Professor J W Hinchley (1871—1931) was the first Professor of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, UK. He formed a chemical engineering group within the Society of Chemical Industry but wanted an independent Institution which would be a qualifying body. As a result, he was the driving force behind the foundation of IChemE and was its first Honorary Secretary, a position he held from 1923 to 1931.
In 1942, Council approved the proposal for the establishment of a Hinchley Medal at Imperial College of Science and Technology in memory of the late Professor and resolved that the medal should be presented to the best student in the graduating class at Imperial College.
In 2007, Council granted Imperial College the right, in perpetuity, to award the medal without referral back to IChemE for approval and since that time it has been awarded directly by the College. To this day, the Hinchley Medal is awarded to the outstanding final year MEng student, at Imperial College, London, UK.