Academic and Professional Qualifications:

BSc Criminology - University of Teesside
BSc Applied Science with Forensic Investigation – University of Teesside
PhD Combustion Engineering – Leeds University


Sarah has a background in forensic science and combustion engineering, having completed her undergraduate degrees in Criminology and Applied Science with Forensic Investigation at the University of Teesside, and a PhD in combustion engineering at the University of Leeds. Her PhD research involved the investigation of stratified gas explosions within confined, vented and complex geometries. She also conducted research involving dust explosions and gas and dust hybrid explosions for an industrial client. Sarah joined Burgoynes in December 2006 and transferred to the Manchester office in 2007. During 2013 she was seconded to the Hong Kong office before returning to Manchester.

Since joining Burgoynes, Sarah has investigated over 600 incidents of fire and explosion within domestic dwellings, commercial buildings, industrial buildings, vehicles, plant and machinery for insurance, legal and industrial clients. Incidents investigated to date have included domestic appliances, electrical equipment, hot work, heat-producing appliances (including gas-fired, oil-fired and solid fuel burning equipment), heated animal and vegetable fats, flammable liquids, agricultural and automotive equipment, paint spraying facilities, accidental release of solvents, deliberate application of volatile flammable liquids (e.g. petrol), other deliberate acts of fire raising, and also explosion incidents involving gas vapours and dusts. Sarah has investigated fires in the UK, Europe and Asia.

Sarah has contributed articles on her research into gas explosions, explosion venting and CFD modelling to leading periodicals in her field, and her work has been presented at conferences worldwide. She has prepared reports for submission to court and has given evidence as an expert witness in the UK criminal courts.