Christopher Hinton was one of the 20th century’s most eminent engineers, making an enormous contribution both to energy generation technology and later to politics as an active member of the House of Lords.
At the UK Atomic Energy Authority he oversaw the design and construction of the uranium extraction factory at Springfields, the Windscale facility with its production piles and complex chemical plants, the diffusion plants at Capenhurst, the first nuclear reactor at Calder Hall and the fast breeder reactor at Dounreay. He continued to contribute to public service during his retirement, as a special adviser to the World Bank and as Chairman of the International Executive Committee of the World Energy Conference 1962-68.
Lord Hinton was a highly successful first Chancellor of the University of Bath. He received many national and international awards for his achievements during a long and distinguished career. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1954.
As President of the Council of Engineering Institutions, Lord Hinton was involved in the final stages of creating The Fellowship of Engineering, now the Royal Academy of Engineering. He brought enthusiasm and energy to his presidency of the Fellowship and was instrumental in developing its activities and administration. He introduced an annual Distinction Lecture in 1977, which was renamed the Hinton Lecture when he retired as President, and is still the Academy’s premier annual lecture.
1901 Born 12 May in Tisbury, Wiltshire
1917 Engineering apprentice with Great Western Railway at Swindon
1926 Graduates with a first in Mechanical Sciences from Cambridge University
1926 Starts work with Brunner Mond (forerunner of ICI)
1940 Seconded to the Ministry of Supply
1946 Deputy Controller of Production, Atomic Energy
1951 Knighted for services to industry
1954 Member for Engineering and Production, UK Atomic Energy Authority
1957 First Chairman of the new Central Electricity Generating Board
1965 Receives Life Peerage
1966 First Chancellor of the University of Bath
1976 President of both the Council of Engineering Institutions and the newly formed Fellowship of Engineering
1976 Appointed to the Order of Merit
1983 Dies 22 June aged 82