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Email: postmaster@burgoynes.com

FORENSIC MECHANICAL ENGINEER

Introduction

We presently have vacancies in our Ilkley, Manchester and Stevenage offices for Mechanical Engineers to undertake forensic investigation of a wide range of engineering related incidents and accidents including those involving personal injury and health and safety aspects. The candidate for the Stevenage position would be expected to investigate road traffic accidents as well. These investigations will usually be undertaken for insurance related purposes. Our clients include international insurers, loss adjusters, solicitors, marine Protection and Indemnity clubs, insurance brokers and industrial corporations. Our clients require prompt and accurate technical advice, sometimes at very short notice, regarding the cause of the incident or accident and assistance with determining liability.

The Nature of the Work

If you are looking for a routine laboratory or an office based position then this is definitely not the job for you. We are offering you a rare opportunity to enter a unique and very rewarding profession in which the variety and the nature of the technically focussed work is extremely diverse and challenging, thus providing you with what we consider is unrivalled job satisfaction. A key attraction of this role is that you will typically have the opportunity to be responsible for seeing the technical investigation through from beginning to end, from initially collecting the evidence on site to preparing the final technical report and ultimately giving expert evidence in Court.

You will have the opportunity to investigate a broad range of engineering related incidents and accidents. This will encompass the investigation of engineering failures, ranging from the separation of plumbing connections to the collapse of large engineering structures. The investigation of personal injury accidents will often require both engineering expertise and a detailed knowledge of health and safety regulations and guidelines. The entirely unpredictable nature and location of the work are key attractions of the roles.

Your work will often require you to visit the location of an incident, sometimes at short notice, to record and gather evidence and to examine and analyse engineering components and other physical evidence in a laboratory environment. There is also a practical element to the job in that on occasion you will be required to carefully dismantle machinery, equipment or component assemblies in a systematic manner to obtain the evidence that you require to determine the cause of the failure. This practical aspect of the work also extends to the requirement to devise and undertake ad hoc mechanical tests, as and when the need arises.

The list below provides an overview of the various aspects of the job:

  • Conducting site-based investigations to record and gather the available physical evidence.
  • Obtaining details regarding the background and circumstances surrounding the incident by interviewing people associated with the incident.
  • Undertaking telephone enquiries of equipment suppliers and manufacturers to obtain the required technical information.
  • Reviewing technical documentation that may comprise engineering drawings, operating manuals and maintenance records.
  • Consulting relevant standards, regulations and other published guidance.
  • Undertaking technical literature reviews.
  • Providing the client with timely preliminary verbal and/or written advice in a form that can be readily understood by a layperson and ultimately a Judge.
  • Conducting detailed visual and low magnification examinations of failed components, equipment or machinery.
  • Mechanical testing of components, equipment or machinery.
  • Devising and conducting ad hoc testing of components, equipment or machinery.
  • Preparing reports that may be in the form of a brief letter style report or in the form of a detailed, illustrated report for Court proceedings.
  • Attending client meetings to discuss your investigation.
  • Meetings with experts appointed by the other involved parties as part of the litigation process.
  • Providing expert witness evidence in Court, which may involve being questioned in depth by a Barrister.

Incident Examples

Provided below are a few examples of the types of investigation we have undertaken in this field, which serve to illustrate the diversity of the work that you will encounter with Burgoynes.

  • The collapse of a large, newly constructed cement storage silo upon first filling due to an error in the sizing of a key structural member.
  • A collision between two forklift trucks in a warehouse resulting in one overturning and its operator sustaining fatal injuries.
  • A mobile crane overturning accident resulting in injury to the operator and serious damage to both the crane and a nearby building.
  • An industrial accident in which a machine operator sustained a serious hand injury due to inadequate guarding.
  • A fatal accident resulting from the detachment of a section of the boom of a vehicle- mounted hydraulic access platform.
  • A fall related personal injury accident involving an aluminium stepladder.
  • The extensive collapse of industrial racking within a large cold-store facility.
  • A personal injury accident involving an industrial nail gun.
  • The erroneous operation of a foam deluge fire suppression system.
  • A fatal accident involving the uncontrolled descent of a passenger lifts during maintenance work.
  • A trip related personal injury accident at a chemical plant.

Our Requirements

The Mechanical Engineer position is a technically demanding and challenging role requiring a thorough understanding of mechanical engineering principles and their application.

Ideally you will:

  • Have attained a good honours degree in mechanical engineering.
  • Have gained several years of postgraduate experience, preferably in an industrial engineering environment.
  • Have an aptitude and enthusiasm for problem solving.
  • Be self-motivated and be able to work effectively under pressure.
  • Have experience of undertaking engineering type investigations and be familiar with health and safety regulations and guidance relating to the workplace.
  • Have a practical engineering ability in addition to a strong academic record.
  • Have the ability to communicate technical concepts clearly, both verbally and in writing, to others less informed than yourself.
  • Be prepared to work unpredictable hours, as and where the work demands.
  • Be prepared to provide expert witness evidence in Court when required.

Training and Prospects

Comprehensive “on-the-job” type training in the conduct of forensic investigation and the preparation of reports for our insurance and legal clients will mostly be provided in-house and will be supplemented on occasion by external courses. Career advancement and reward are based on ability and attitude. There may be opportunities subsequently to transfer to other offices overseas.

Package

We offer unrivalled job satisfaction and a highly competitive starting salary with unparalleled prospects. Benefits include five weeks holiday, a contributory pension scheme, medical insurance, life assurance, permanent health insurance and a company car. Where appropriate a relocation package is available. The London Office appointment has London weighting.

Application

Further information and application forms are available from recruitment@burgoynes.com (please include your postal address) or alternatively write to Miss S Ambrose-Kemp, Dr JH Burgoyne & Partners LLP, 11-12 Half Moon Court, Bartholomew Close, London, EC1A 7HF.