Speak to our team
Close this search box.


Carl Butler

Principal Associate
Investigator Dr Carl Butler

After his PhD, Carl became a post-doctoral research associate in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Cambridge. He studied the chemistry involved with the production of high purity silica and also completed research work for industrial clients using fluidised bed reactors.

In 1997, Carl moved to the Process Safety Section of the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL), an agency of the Health and Safety Executive. His work there, initially as a Higher Scientific Officer, involved the assessments of hazards associated with industrial chemical reaction processes, including runaway chemical reactions, BLEVEs and LPG vapour cloud fires, for which he was a partner in a European Joint Industry Project. Later, as Senior Scientific Officer, he led a research team investigating hazards associated with a wide range of processes, including high pressure water-jetting, fire-engulfment valves, LPG-storage and pool fires. Carl was also involved in large-scale testing to assess the hazards presented by the use of hydrogen as a fuel.

His work at HSL also included the investigation of a number of incidents and he was an incident officer for the Process Safety Section. He also produced industry guidance on prevention of over-pressurisation of storage silos.

Carl joined Hawkins in 2004 and is a Principal Associate in our Manchester office. He  specialises in fire and explosion investigation. He has been responsible for forensic investigations, ranging from multi-million pound fires through to incidents in shops, offices, factories, churches and vehicles. Carl is also an A2 Certificate of Competence (A2CofC) certified drone pilot and can assist clients with aerial surveys. The use of drones in an investigation can be particularly beneficial to inspect dangerous or hard to reach areas. 

Carl also investigates road traffic collisions and is part of the Hawkins’ RTA Investigation Team. He has completed reconstruction reports for road collisions, including fatal incidents, and has attended Court in this capacity.

Carl has attended Court as an expert witness on several occasions, including as an expert for the Police and Fire Brigades in a criminal prosecution. He has also acted as an expert witness for a public hearing on behalf of a local council. He is registered with the UK Register of Expert witnesses.


MA Natural Sciences – Chemistry – Cambridge
PhD ‘Chemistry of ions in Flames’ – Dept Chem Eng – Cambridge

Feedback for this expert

Related Expert Insights

Interested in working at Hawkins?

We are always on the lookout for talented individuals. Please contact us on the careers page if you would like more information.


Upcoming Events

Request a call

Please complete this form and a relevant Hawkins team member will respond within one business day.