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131st President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Hilton joined the Institution as a young member in 1982 when an undergraduate at Hatfield Polytechnic, his training scheme was at Rolls-Royce (military engines group, Leavesden). On graduation he took was appointed to their helicopter engine design group.
His passion for engines led him to Formula One and in 1991 he moved to Cosworth as Engine Designer. By late 1997 he was Chief Engineer of the F1 programme. In 1998 Hilton moved to the TWR Arrows team as Chief Engineer of the F1 Engines group; he built up a team of skilled engineers to design and develop F1 engines for TWR.
In early 2003 Hilton and his F1 engines team moved to Renault F1, where he formed the UK based engine division for the team. As Technical Director Engine Division, he was intimately involved with a very successful period for the team winning both driver’s and constructor’s Formula One World Championships in 2005 and 2006.
In January 2007, Hilton and former Renault F1 colleague Doug Cross, formed a new engineering company called Flybrid Automotive to develop high-speed flywheel based hybrid systems for automobile application. As Managing Director, Hilton provided direction for all activities, with prime responsibility for commercial aspects of the business until January 2014 (when Torotrak PLC acquired the company). He is now a Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of the parent company.
Hilton has held a number of official posts at the Institution including, Chairman of the Midland Region, Chairman of the Automobile Division and Chairman of the Formula Student organising committee.