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Nico Zurcher

Prior to becoming an investigator, Nico worked in a international environmental consultancy where he was involved in a number of major government marine projects in Hong Kong, as well as oil and gas, and mining projects around Asia. In 2011 he joined HFS-Asia in Hong Kong, where he worked as a fire investigator and consulting scientist. In 2015, Nico moved to London where he joined Hawkins to bolster our growing International and Shipping Incidents team. He continued investigating a broad range of land-based and marine incidents, both in the UK and internationally. He was also a member of our contamination team, taking on cases in the UK and Europe. Hawkins acquired HFS-Asia in 2016 and in 2020 Nico returned to Hong Kong to head the office he helped to build several years earlier. Nico has investigated several fires in large industrial plants, as well as in commercial and residential premises. On the marine side, he has investigated major fires on container and general cargo vessels. He has worked on numerous cases of bulk cargo spoilage, involving grains, oil seeds and seedcake. Nico has also worked on cases involving the carriage and storage of mixed chemical cargoes, and the contamination of […]

John Holland

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 […]

Russ Smith

After graduating, Russ was employed by the Avon & Somerset Constabulary as a Scenes of Crime Officer engaged in the forensic examination of crime scenes, including fires. In 1998 he joined the Avon & Somerset Scientific Support Fire Investigation Team specialising in arson cases. In 2000 he was promoted to Team Leader Scenes of Crime Officer, with responsibility for the coordination of the Constabulary’s response to vehicle crime, while continuing to play an active role in fire investigation. He has lectured to Police Officers, Fire Brigade personnel and Scenes of Crime Officers on subjects including the identification and preservation of evidence, scientific analysis of exhibits and the influence of DNA on crime scene examination. In 2002 Russ joined Dr J H Burgoyne & Partners LLP as a Consulting Scientist specialising in the investigation of fires and explosions. He was responsible for investigating a diverse range of incidents including small fires in domestic properties, large fires in restaurants, commercial buildings and vehicle fires. In 2005 Russ joined Hawkins, where he continues to carry out fire investigations. He is also frequently asked to provide expert assistance in criminal cases. He was Regional Manager of the Bristol Office for many years, and currently […]