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James Clarke

Senior Associate
Investigator James clarke

James is a fire investigator specialising in fire engineering design, fire safety management and fire risk assessment.

Since graduating from The University of Huddersfield in 2017 with a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering, James has worked in a number of industry sectors across project management, mechanical engineering, and fire safety engineering. James’ degree covered a range of topics, including Mechanical Design, Manufacturing, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Finite Element Analysis, and Business Management. When given the option to specialise, James focused on a live industrial dissertation subject covering asset utilisation and six sigma manufacturing techniques, coupled with technical assessment on the design and analysis of helicopter landing gear and the optimal design of trailer aerodynamic devices.

During his time at university, James also held a project engineering position with a Yorkshire based pharmaceutical company where he assisted with the development and introduction of new production and packaging facilities. James quickly developed the ability to assess both products and components involved with flammable and explosive environments, advising the internal engineering and Health & Safety teams. As part of a summer internship, James continued in operations development with a national telecommunications company, to help increase efficiency in maintenance processes and data analysis. During this time, James helped to streamline the company’s Planned Work processes and eradicate ‘waste’ from databases.

Having completed his degree, James joined a national quarrying and mining company as an operations graduate continuing his work to streamline processes and the management of engineering components. He also assisted with the development, rollout and trial of preventive maintenance software at various sites.

Since 2018, James has worked as a fire engineer with Arup. Having gained valuable experience in the management and operational development of companies in a wide variety of sectors, James has brought this knowledge to the fire safety design and management of various types of buildings. As a consulting fire engineer, he successfully developed and delivered fire safety strategies for manufacturing facilities, offices, schools/universities and hospitals. James’ position has also provided the opportunity to conduct on-site and desktop assessments of existing buildings.

James has carried out a large number of investigations into the fire safety design of buildings. His work has included reviews of external cladding systems, EWS1 certification, fire risk appraisals of external walls (FRAEWs) and passive fire protection systems such as (but not limited to) fire compartmentation, fire-stopping and fire doors. Site investigations include buildings across the UK and overseas that are under construction, and in use and those buildings that have been damaged by fire. His work investigating fires focuses not just on causation, but potential building defects which might have assisted in the spread of the fire. He routinely assists other investigators at Hawkins with inquiries relating to the spread of fire on sites across the UK.

James is also an A2 Certificate of Competence (A2CofC) certified drone pilot and can assist clients with aerial surveys on cases relating to fires, fire engineering and support surveys investigating other elements of the built environment, including civil/structural failures and escapes of water. The use of drones in an investigation can be particularly beneficial to inspect dangerous or hard to reach areas.

James is a Senior Associate in our Leeds Office.


MEng Mechanical Engineering – The University of Huddersfield

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