Prof Ray Hills

Past Master Prof Ray Hills obituary

Professor Raymond (Ray) Hills passed away peacefully in his sleep on the 17th May 2023 following a short illness. He was a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers.

Ray was born on the 22nd June 1933, growing up with his adoptive parents in Welwyn Garden City. He had vivid memories of living above the fire station during the blitz and watching the glow of London on the horizon. He attended the University of Bristol, graduating in Electrical Engineering in 1953. He went to work for the BBC as a broadcast engineer, and then “jumped ship” to the fledgling ITV.


He became responsible for the transmission of ITV television throughout the UK, exemplified by his work in 1969 following the collapse of the large mast at Emley Moor and the rush to establish temporary structures to resume broadcast service. He became Assistant Director of Operations with the IBA, moving from central London to Crawley Court near Winchester in Hampshire.


Ray retired from the IBA in 1988, setting up his own consultancy. He became Visiting Chair and gained an Honorary Doctorate at De Montfort University, and is a past President of the Chartered Professional Institution of Electrical Engineers.


Ray was a keen sailor, sailing his own boat in the Solent, a steam railway enthusiast becoming a guard on the Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway. He was a Church Warden at Compton All Saints Church, his local parish. He was a staunch supporter of the RLNI and Guide Dogs.


Ray was predeceased by his beloved wife Trisha in 2009, and is survived and deeply missed by his three sons and seven grandchildren.