Institution of Mechanical Engineers IMechE

Chairman's Address: What has Formula One ever done for us?

01 October 2009

Formula One is famous for a high-technology product developed at break-neck speed and applied in one of the most competitive markets that exists. The focus is often on the technology but behind the scenes there are highly developed organisations performing research, development and manufacture of complex engineering products. Top teams employ hundreds of highly skilled people yet the management style is often highly entrepreneurial.

In modern F1 reliability of the racing cars is supremely important yet the absence of in season testing means that new parts must be proven off the car and even when cost is no object this is difficult to do.

Jon Hilton has spent more than 17 years working in the area of motorsport. With a background in engine design he rose to become Chief Engineer of the Formula One engine programme at Cosworth Racing and Technical Director – Engine Division at the Renault F1 Team. Now running his own engineering business developing flywheel based automotive hybrid technology Jon will show how F1 techniques can be applied to speed development, encourage innovation, deliver complex projects on time and make a profit.

Clips:

L112 J Hilton

: Jon Hilton has spent more than 17 years working in the area of motorsport. With a background in engine design he rose to become Chief Engineer of the Formula One engine programme at Cosworth Racing in the mid 1990s and went on to hold a similar post at the TWR Arrows F1 Team. As Technical Director – Engine Division at the Renault F1 Team Jon helped to deliver the F1 drivers and constructors’ world championships for Fernando Alonso and Renault in 2005 and 2006.

In January 2007 Jon started Flybrid Systems with business partner Doug Cross and the company has already become a world leader in the development of flywheel based hybrid systems for racing and road cars.

Jon is current Chairman of the Automobile Division of the IMechE, Head Judge of the Formula Student competition and a Fellow of this institution.

Duration: 1h15m