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Graham Atkinson

Principal Scientist

Graham Atkinson

Dr Graham Atkinson has a background of safety research and fire engineering and has been an employee of the Health and Safety Executive since 1989.  Throughout this time he has regularly carried out investigations at the scene of fatal or unusual fires and explosions. The majority of these incidents have been in factories, chemical sites or warehouses.

Graham has also led numerous research projects on a wide range of industrial fire and explosion problems. He has published widely in the international reviewed literature both on specific industrial fire problems and fundamentals of fire and explosion engineering.

He has recently been involved in HSE's work towards Net Zero through experimental research in the areas of gas permeation underground and a variety of safety issues in using liquid hydrogen.

Research Interests

  • Risk assessment for gaseous hydrogen distribution and use
  • Safe use of liquid hydrogen including in aviation
  • Gas and condensed phase explosions involving hydrogen
  • Vapour production during loss of containment incidents
  • Gravity driven dispersion
  • Vapour cloud explosions
  • Fume production in major chemical fires
  • Anaerobic Digestion

Previous Projects

  • H100 Experimental research to support risk assessment

Notable Achievements

  • 2006 Frank Lees Medal by the IChemE for  work on the fire hazards of composite Intemediate Bulk Containers (IBCs)
  • 2010 Hutchinson Medal (IChemE) for his forensic work on the Buncefield incident
  • 2016  ISTSS Achievement Award for pioneering work on smoke control in tunnels. Papers from 1995 and 1996 still form the basis for the design of emergency ventilation systems in road and rail tunnels world-wide

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