Peter’s engineering career started in the textile industry where he worked on improving textile laminating and drying machinery. After a two year return to university to follow his interests in combustion and energy engineering, Peter undertook four years of research on biomass fuelled furnaces, gasifiers and carbonisation kilns at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI). During his time at NRI he wrote a number of papers and short books on the combustion of biomass.
After he witnessed an explosion in an experimental gasifier, Peter developed an interest in explosions and uncontrolled combustion. In 1994 he moved to Chilworth Technology, a company specialising in providing advice to process industries on explosion prevention and protection. There, he undertook fire and explosion risk assessments and provided training for a number of firms, largely in the chemical, food and pharmaceutical sector.
Peter joined Hawkins in 1996 and almost immediately became involved in the investigation of a number of gas explosions. Since then, he has applied his knowledge to the investigation of over 900 fires, explosions, chemical incidents and water leaks. These include the investigation of arson and major industrial incidents, but his work also involves looking at small domestic fires, electrical faults and failed pipework.
He has given expert evidence in civil and criminal cases and has extensive experience of providing advice to insurers and their legal representatives.
Peter helped to set up Hawkins’ London office where he is based.