Director of the Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory
Chosen because: A 20-year career as an engineer with Chrysler led to a key position in the government's PNGV program before Hillebrand jumped to lead Argonne's vehicle systems and hybrid vehicle development programs. At Argonne, Hillebrand, 48, also oversees research of fuels and technologies that could one day replace oil -- including the Holy Grail of the lithium-air battery. Despite his futuristic pursuits, Hillebrand is a pragmatist who told the science journal Nature: "I just don't see it. It doesn't make sense," regarding the development of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure.
Quote: "The auto business is an evolutionary business," Hillebrand told the National Journal. "We comfortably slide from one thing to the next. Since the Model T, we're driving exactly the same vehicles with minor changes. Plug-in hybrids would be a logical transition because they don't require a huge infrastructure change."