David’s career started in the Technical Services and Development Laboratory at the BP facility in Hythe. He then moved on to study anti-oxidant behaviour in lubricating oils for his PhD at the School of Chemistry at Leeds University. After graduation he studied hydrocarbon combustion as a research fellow.
In 1993 David joined the Defence Research Agency (latterly known as DERA) working for the Fuels & Lubricants Centre in Farnborough, running the Fluids Handling and Flammability Hazards laboratories. His research varied from developing methods of preventing gearbox explosions, self-cleaning filtration systems, the compression ignition of hydraulic fluids to fuel reformation for fuel cells. He acted as a consultant to the Armed Forces concerning fire hazards associated with fuels and lubricants.
David became interested in forensic investigation while working as part of the DERA TWA 800 air accident investigation team, investigating the destruction of a Boeing 747 that was caused by the ignition of a fuel-air mixture in the centre wing tank.
Since joining Hawkins in 2001, David has carried out several hundred forensic investigations involving petrochemicals, confined space entry, fire and explosion incidents both in the United Kingdom and overseas. These cases have included small scale incidents to multi-million pound losses involving vehicles, houses, shops, warehouses, factories, petro-chemical plants and ships. David is experienced in the legal process and has given evidence in the capacity of an expert witness in Magistrates and Crown Courts.
By April 2008, David was a Senior Associate, and was also the Health & Safety Manager until 2009. Before relocating to Singapore, David was Regional Manager of the Cambridge Office. He held the role of International & Shipping Manager from 2014-2016.
David is now a Principal Associate and has been the Regional Director of the Singapore Office since 2016.