Russell Smith

After graduating, Russell 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 Russell 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 Russell 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 […]

Robert Edwards

After completing a Post Doctoral Research Fellowship, Robert joined Liverpool John Moores University as a Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry. Here he developed a successful research programme in environmental chemistry and environmental analysis, publishing numerous papers in scientific journals and books and presenting research work at many national and international conferences. Robert has lectured extensively on analytical, environmental and corrosion chemistry. He was the course leader for the University’s MSc Analytical Chemistry course and was an assessor for the Higher Education Funding Council (Wales). Robert also gave annual lecture courses and workshops in Universities in Thailand, where he was a visiting lecturer. Since joining Hawkins in 2001, Robert has specialised in post-fire, post-flood and post-chemical spill contamination investigations throughout the world. This work involves determining the effects of contaminants on buildings, production equipment, complex computer systems and products, including food stuffs, and providing advice on the long term effects of the contaminants and best remediation techniques for recovery. During his time at Hawkins, Robert successfully completed the BOHS course for surveying buildings for asbestos and has since carried out asbestos contamination surveys following various incidents in the UK and Europe. Robert has also conducted many forensic fire […]

Ian Giddings

Ian gained sponsorship for his degree from GEC Satchwell Control Systems. Whilst studying for his degree he also undertook periods of formal training with Satchwell in their Electromechanical Section, Technical Laboratory and the London North Office. After obtaining his degree with honours, Ian worked as a design engineer for Satchwell. Ian utilised his knowledge of mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering to take a number of projects from concept to manufacture. These projects included the design of microprocessor based control systems, valve actuators and gearboxes. He was also responsible for project planning and the ISO 9001 documentation for each of his designs. In 1999 Ian joined Dr J H Burgoyne & Partners LLP as a Consulting Engineer, where he specialised in the forensic investigation of fires, explosions and engineering incidents. Ian conducted around 400 investigations and was appointed on several occasions to present expert evidence in accordance with Part 35 of the CPR and also for criminal proceedings. In 2006 Ian joined Hawkins’ office in Reigate, Surrey where he continues to carry out forensic investigations of fires, explosions and engineering incidents. Ian has conducted a wide range of investigations including fires in domestic, commercial and industrial premises, fires in domestic appliances, […]

Andy Bryce

Andrew’s career in forensic engineering began while carrying out an undergraduate placement at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, analysing the cause of aircraft component failures for the Air Accident Investigation Branch. Following his Masters Degree he joined Rolls Royce plc, Military Engine Division in 1988 where he was trained in the forensic investigation of engine failures for both in-service and development engines. Other areas of responsibility included carrying out in-service turbine component condition assessments and writing quality standards. Andrew resigned from Rolls Royce at Senior Scientist grade and joined Hawkins in 1991. Since joining Hawkins, Andrew has carried out over 1700 forensic investigations involving engineering, fire and explosion incidents both in the United Kingdom and overseas. These cases have covered a great range, from small domestic incidents to multi-million pound losses in shops, warehouses, factories, power stations (gas turbines & compressors), aerospace and marine. Andrew is experienced in the legal process and has given evidence in the capacity of an expert witness in Magistrates’ Courts, County Courts, High Courts, Crown Courts, Coroner’s Courts, mediations and arbitrations on numerous occasions. He is listed as an expert in the Expert Witness Directory. Andrew is currently a Director of Hawkins and based in the […]

Andrew Prickett

As part of his first degree Andrew worked for Alusuisse, Switzerland analysing production methods of lithographic alloys and for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency on new materials for aerospace applications. His career in failure investigation began while carrying out his PhD, which was an investigation to determine the failure characteristics of fibre reinforced composite materials using fracture mechanics and surface analytical techniques, that was sponsored by BAE Systems. After completing his PhD, Andrew continued his interest in failure investigation by undertaking a post-graduate research project for Thames Water on the failure modes of cast iron trunk mains systems.In 2001 Andrew joined Hawkins, specialising in the investigation of materials failures, escapes of water, fires and explosions. He has investigated a wide range of failures in plastic, ceramic, metal and composite materials. He also uses his engineering knowledge and experience of the processes required for a forensic investigation to determine the causes of fires in residential, commercial and industrial premises.Andrew is experienced in the legal process; he is frequently appointed as a Single Joint Expert and has given evidence in the capacity of an expert witness in Magistrates’ and Crown Courts. In 2022, Andrew was promoted to Managing Director and is […]

Darren Cook

Darren was sponsored through his MEng degree at Strathclyde University by NACCO Materials Handling Group, designer and manufacturer of Hyster and Yale forklift trucks, where he spent four summer placements working in Special Products Design, Test and Development, Manufacturing Engineering, and Production. After completing his degree, Darren worked for BAE Systems Surface Ships, based in Glasgow. He worked there for four years, most recently as a Lead Research and Technology Engineer, leading a wide range of novel research projects within the Naval Ship industry. Projects have included a Concept Capability Demonstrator Programme of an Unmanned Surface Vehicle and sea trials onboard HMS Bulwark aimed at improving the operability of UK Amphibious Warships. He also has experience of test and commissioning of Type 45 Destroyers and spent four months on secondment to Babcock Integrated Technology in Rosyth. Darren joined Hawkins in 2011 as a fire and explosion investigator. He has since investigated over 650 fires and explosions, ranging from small domestic incidents to large multi-million pound losses involving plant, machinery, agriculture, retail premises, industrial premises and buildings of international historical significance. Darren is a Principal Associate based in our Glasgow office. He is a Chartered Engineer and is a member of […]

Ian Major

Ian started his career working for Aspen Burrow Crocker on a variety of civil engineering projects. He was involved in the design of numerous highway and infrastructure schemes, waste transfer stations and the Thameslink rail project. He has also spent time supervising construction work on site including a year working at wastewater treatment plants. In 1999, Ian joined Hyder Consulting where he spent 11 years working predominantly on the design and project management of major infrastructure projects including the N5 in Ireland, the A2 widening in Kent and the A421 improvements in Bedfordshire. Ian joined Hawkins in 2010, specialising in the investigation of property damage and personal injuries involving civil engineering and building incidents. He is also an experienced fire investigator, having investigated over 200 fires including major and complex losses in domestic, commercial and industrial premises. In his specialist field of engineering, Ian has determined the causes of a wide range of losses from small domestic claims of water ingress through to catastrophic building collapses. Other examples of incidents that Ian has investigated include wall failures, subsidence, flooding and problems associated with ground-borne vibration. Much of this work has involved advising on matters in relation to the requirements of […]

Gareth Dobinson

Gareth started his career in engineering with an industrial placement during his third year at Loughborough University. The twelve months were spent working for Xerox as a Systems Engineer where he undertook a wide range of engineering work as well as developing a system to monitor paper control timings for a paper transport module. As part of his placement he spent five months working in Venray, Netherlands, integrating new products into the manufacturing line. On completion of his placement he received a bursary from Xerox for the final two years of his degree. His final year project was sponsored by Xerox and investigated “The environmental effects on glass reinforced plastic”. After completing his degree Gareth joined Xerox on their Graduate Engineering programme based in Welwyn Garden City. During his five years at Xerox, Gareth obtained a wealth of experiences in both the mechanical and software aspects of engineering. He started working in the Mechanical group where he was the lead engineer on a paper handling module. This was followed up by two long term assignments to Senai, Malaysia and Wilsonville, USA. During his third year at Xerox Gareth undertook a conversion course in Software Engineering. The skills learnt on this […]

Luke Collins

Following his Masters in Aerospace Engineering, Luke worked as a Dynamic Test Technician for Ipeco Holdings Ltd, a leading manufacturer of civil and military aircraft seating. In 2009, Luke joined Hannaford Forensic Services Ltd (Hannafords), specialising in the forensic investigation of vehicle fires. During his time at Hannafords, he undertook over 150 investigations, which included road vehicles from all classifications, as well as a large number of off-road plant equipment. To assist with the investigations, Luke successfully completed a VOSA Public Service Vehicle Inspection Procedures and Standards course. On several occasions, he prepared expert witness reports for use in civil litigation and has presented in court in Southampton. In 2011, Hannafords extended into Asia opening a Hong Kong office (HFS-Asia). Luke undertook marine fire investigations, including engine room fires and cargo hold fires. During this time, Luke obtained a Diploma in Marine Investigation from Lloyds Maritime Academy. In 2014, Luke joined Hawkins’ office in Reigate, Surrey. He has expanded his expertise into the field of fire and explosion investigation of domestic and commercial properties, factories and process plants, whilst continuing vehicle and marine fire investigation work. In 2014, Luke completed John DeHaan Theoretical and Practical Fire Investigation courses at Gardiner […]

Ian Giddings

Ian gained sponsorship for his degree from GEC Satchwell Control Systems. Whilst studying for his degree he also undertook periods of formal training with Satchwell in their Electromechanical Section, Technical Laboratory and the London North Office. After obtaining his degree with honours, Ian worked as a design engineer for Satchwell. Ian utilised his knowledge of mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering to take a number of projects from concept to manufacture. These projects included the design of microprocessor based control systems, valve actuators and gearboxes. He was also responsible for project planning and the ISO 9001 documentation for each of his designs. In 1999 Ian joined Dr J H Burgoyne & Partners LLP as a Consulting Engineer, where he specialised in the forensic investigation of fires, explosions and engineering incidents. Ian conducted around 400 investigations and was appointed on several occasions to present expert evidence in accordance with Part 35 of the CPR and also for criminal proceedings. In 2006 Ian joined Hawkins’ office in Reigate, Surrey where he continues to carry out forensic investigations of fires, explosions and engineering incidents. Ian has conducted a wide range of investigations including fires in domestic, commercial and industrial premises, fires in domestic appliances, […]