An Intel scholar, John graduated with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering from University College Dublin, Ireland in 2000. As part of his degree he developed an automatic moisture sensor for use in the peat industry for which he was awarded the Hewlett Packard national award for innovation in engineering.
After a brief period with Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Peru, John returned to Ireland to take up a position with Teradyne Connection Systems, before joining Timoney Technology as a mechanical design engineer, where he specialised in the design and development of Hydropneumatic Suspension Systems for specialty off road vehicles. In this role he also gained considerable experience with computer aided engineering techniques such as Finite Element Analysis and Vehicle Multi-body Dynamic Analysis.
John was appointed engineering manager with Timoney Technology and took over full technical responsibility for all engineering projects and products. Projects of note include the DARPA Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicle, the USMC Gladiator Tactical Unmanned Vehicle and the Timoney ADT Independent Suspension Axle System manufactured under licence by Terex Equipment Ltd.
John was also involved with the Ginaf Rally Power and DeRooy race teams for the 2007 Dakar Rally and has numerous automotive suspension patents filed in his name.
John specialises in the investigation of fires, explosions, escapes of fluid, engineering failures, personal injuries – particularly those involving plant and machinery, building damage resulting from water ingress, and road traffic accidents. His level of experience in the design of heavy-duty off-road vehicles gives him a unique insight into incidents involving HGVs.
John has a detailed knowledge of the health and safety regulatory framework in the UK and of how relevant regulations apply to the design, development, provision and use of plant and machinery in industry. Since joining Hawkins, he has investigated over 700 incidents, ranging from small domestic losses to major and complex incidents involving serious injuries and fatalities. He has produced expert reports for Pursuers and Defenders and has given expert evidence in the Court of Session and in the Sheriff Courts. He has also been appointed, via the National Crime Agency, to assist Police Scotland in criminal investigations and has prepared reports for criminal defence lawyers. He is known for his attention to detail, his pragmatic approach, and his ability to explain complex engineering matters in a way that is clear and easy for non-technical readers to understand.
John presents regularly on topics such as the forensic investigation of fires and escapes of water, as well as on health and safety related topics, at events organised by the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters, the Chartered Insurance Institute, insurance companies and law firms.