Hawkins Wishes a Happy Retirement to Rod Newbery

Investigator, Rod Newbery, retired on Tuesday, 7 April after 29 years of working with us. We will miss him greatly, and want to acknowledge his service to Hawkins & Associates and beyond. He has investigated everything from fires, to road traffic collisions, to escapes of water, to the failure of a teapot.

Rod says of his early investigations and training with Hawkins: “The world was different then. No mobile phones, no satnav, no internet, film cameras. An important part of taking a new instruction was getting directions to the site, and we had a store of maps in the library. Every time I went to Birmingham I got lost - we didn’t have a Birmingham office then.”

When Rod joined us in 1991, we were a much smaller company with just one investigator in Bristol, two in Manchester, and eight in Cambridge, including him. He says some of the best aspects of working at Hawkins have been the people and the unpredictability. “You don’t know what you are going to be faced with and you don’t know when. You are always being given new challenges and get to see many interesting places.”

Rod is duly proud of a few Hawkins case records he holds including:

  • Most seats of fire in one case -- 51 unsuccessful attempts using diesel
  • Highest water leak -- on the 42nd floor of the HSBC tower at Canary Wharf
  • Longest period of smouldering --42 days at a World War II hangar in North Weald Airfield
  • Greatest distance between ignition and explosion -- 6.5 miles after a smouldering bale of cotton was mistakenly recovered from an overturned lorry and put into a different pickup vehicle, which drove 6.5 miles away to its yard. Overnight the smouldering developed and the oxygen cylinder exploded, destroying the pickup.

Rod was Managing Director of Hawkins between 2001 and 2006, during which time he steered the company through many changes and started a rapid period of growth.

Hawkins would also like to commend Rod’s work outside of his investigations. Both Rod, and fellow Cambridge Office investigator Rennie Chivers, spent a day with a terminally ill man who dreamed of riding in a Ferrari and Aston Martin, and made that dream come true.

Rod said that he was technically told not to come in on his first day of work with Hawkins, due to the fact that everyone available to train him was already out on site. And ironically, due to the current COVID-19 measures in place, Rod wasn’t able to go into the office on his last day, either. We look forward to the day when we can properly celebrate his career at Hawkins with him in person and wish him a very happy retirement. 

Latest News

We've Added 3 More Webinars on The Built Environment

5th May 2021

We have added three more webinars to our Civil Engineering & The Built Environment series to take place this month in May 2021!All talks take place on Thursdays at 9:00 AM BST. Click Here To Register If the date has passed and there is a recording available, ...

Read More

Grahame Brant Joins Hawkins as New Health & Safety Manager

28th Apr 2021

Hawkins is pleased to welcome Grahame Brant as he joins us as our new Health & Safety Manager. He will be working closely with our Health & Safety Director, Andy Bryce, and based in the Cambridge Office. Grahame’s career started in the print industry ...

Read More

Hawkins Now Offers Forensic Architecture

26th Apr 2021

Hawkins would like to announce our new offering of Forensic Architecture services, as well as the joining of both Sam Morley and Alastair Ferguson as Senior Associates within the company. A forensic architect can help insurers, building owners, and legal ...

Read More

James Clarke Joins Hawkins' Fire Engineering Team

21st Apr 2021

James Clarke joins Hawkins after graduating with a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Huddersfield in 2017 and subsequently working in as a fire engineer. Since graduating, James has worked in a number of industry ...

Read More

Hawkins' 2021 Webinars: The London Series

6th Apr 2021

Our colleagues in the London Office have created a series of webinars from clothing damage to corrosion, contamination, crash test dummies and many things in between! All talks take place at 9:00 AM UK time.If the date of the webinar has passed, a recording ...

Read More

Contact Us

Submitting this contact form will enter your details into our contacts database and we will reply to your request as soon as possible. We will also retain your details so we may contact you from time to time. You can ask us to remove your details at any time. For details, see our Privacy Notice.