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Dr Graham Atkinson

Graham Atkinson

Fire Safety

Dr Graham Atkinson has a background in safety research and fire engineering, having  obtained a doctorate in physics from Cambridge University. He has been with HSL for 25 years and regularly carries out investigations at the scene of fatal or unusual fires and explosions. Graham was HSL's lead investigator on fire and explosion aspects of the Buncefield incident. and won the 2010 Hutchinson Medal from the IChemE for his forensic work on the associated vapour cloud explosion. He is an experienced expert witness and has given evidence in many trials and inquests, in both England and Scotland.

Graham has led numerous research projects on a wide range of industrial fire problems including:

- mitigation of industrial chemical fires, especially with water and foam sprinkler systems
- toxic fume production and plume seeding in warehouse fires
- smoke control in tunnel fires

He has published widely on both specific industrial fire problems and the fundamentals of fire engineering.

In 2006, Graham was awarded the Frank Lees Medal by the IChemE for his work on the fire hazards of composite Intemediate Bulk Containers (IBCs).

Earlier in his career, he was responsible for the development of the FIREPEST method. This has been used by HSE since the mid-1990's for the assessment of land use planning applications around warehouse sites storing dangerous goods.


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