Philippa graduated from the University of Cambridge with MA and MSci degrees in materials science and metallurgy. She subsequently stayed at Cambridge to gain her PhD, researching the microstructures and properties of laser and laser/arc hybrid welds in pipeline steels, a project supported by industrial partner, TWI Ltd.
Philippa then spent 18 years working at TWI Ltd, and developed an international reputation in fracture toughness testing, and engineering failure investigation, often of welded steel structures, through her project work and consultancy. In her last six years at TWI she was a Team Manager, her roles included responsibility for a team of engineers who delivered fracture toughness testing services for TWI. She has also carried out projects related to fracture tests in corrosive environments and hydrogen embrittlement of steels.
She has published over 45 conference and journal papers on her academic research, and on topics supporting her involvement on British and International standards committees for fracture testing. Philippa was herself the industrial supervisor of five PhD students and four MSc students from 2013 to 2019 working on fracture-related topics.
An inspirational and respected technical expert, she is an enthusiastic and experienced presenter to both technical and non-specialist audiences on topics related to welding engineering, metallurgy, failure modes, and structural integrity. While at TWI, Philippa was a regular lecturer on the IIW Welding Engineering Diploma, and wrote a textbook to accompany the course in 2014, ‘The Welding Engineer’s Guide to Fracture and Fatigue’.
In 2021 Philippa joined Jensen Hughes UK as the Principal Materials & Metallurgical Engineer within the forensics operations based in London. She led and supporting forensic engineering investigations of metallic and/or non-metallic components that had cracked, fractured, or failed. Her forensic investigations covered issues such as escape of water claims, cracks in glass, and product and engineering failures. She also provided expertise on topics related to welding engineering, materials science & metallurgy, failure modes in metals, and structural integrity to Jensen Hughes forensics colleagues for cases worldwide, and was instructed as technical expert on fracture assessment for a large arbitration case in the UK.
Philippa joined Hawkins in 2022 and is based in the Cambridge office. She specialises in materials failures, escape of water and oil, and mechanical and engineering failures.