Conferences and Seminars

FIG UK 25th Anniversary Seminar
held on 19 June 2013 at the Imperial Hotel, London

Biographical Summaries of Speakers

Dr Roger Berrett BSc, PhD

Dr Roger Berrett has been a forensic scientist for over 40 years. He joined the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science laboratory at Scotland Yard as a forensic chemist in 1967 with a BSc and a PhD in chemistry from Birkbeck College, University of London.

Roger worked on many cases of murder, robbery, burglary, arson, fraud, traffic accidents, possession and supply of drugs. In 1973 he was appointed head of the Drugs and Toxicology section of the laboratory.

In 1978 Roger he took up a new post as ‘Staff Officer to the Director of the Laboratory’. This role broadened his knowledge to encompass all areas of forensic science including Biology, Document and Firearms examination, Scanning Electron Microscopy and numerous chemical and physical techniques used to enhance latent marks and fingerprints. The post involved giving many lectures on ‘Forensic Science Awareness’.

In 1988 Roger returned to the ‘sharp end’ of forensic science and became an operational member of the Fire Investigation Unit.

In 1994 he took a voluntary early retirement and became self-employed as a Forensic Science Consultant in general matters of forensic science and fire and explosion investigation in particular. Since this time Roger has advised and conducted investigations for a number of Companies, individuals, lawyers and police organisations in the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Germany, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Jersey, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Spain.

Throughout his career, in both the public and private sector, Roger has lectured at various national and international conferences and training courses for scientists, police, fire officers, lawyers and other professionals.

Keeping up to date is achieved through numerous contacts that have been made over the years, the scientific literature and attending meetings. Roger is an active member of the Forensic Science Society (Vice President 2002–2004), also the Fire Information Group UK (FIG UK) and a founder member of the Fire and Explosion Investigation Working Group of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI). He regularly attends ENFSI meetings as an invited UK delegate.

9 Herons Croft, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0PL | 01932 848688 | 07957 450514 |

Kirsty Bosley

Kirsty started work at the Home Office Fire Experimental Unit in 1989 and has worked on many practical and research projects over the years. The projects she has worked on range from developing standard tests for firefighting foam, through fire appliance design and developing the Fire Service Emergency Cover Toolkit (FSEC).

In 2008 she moved from managing a team of operational and social researchers in the Fire and Resilience Division of DCLG in London to carrying out fire research for the Scottish Government in Edinburgh. She has recently worked on analysis supporting the transition to a single Fire and Rescue Service in Scotland.

Kirsty Bosley, Scottish Government – Fire Research and Statistics |

Kirsty is the Chair of the Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group (FRSUG) |

Jim Fitzpatrick MP

Jim Fitzpatrick MP has been a Member of Parliament since 1997, when he was elected to serve Poplar and Canning Town, which changed to Poplar and Limehouse in May 2010, where he was re-elected.

He is a former firefighter with the London Fire Brigade, and was proudly decorated with his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1994.

In Parliament his career began when he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Alan Milburn.

After the 2001 General Election he became an Assistant Government Whip, then becoming a Government Whip) in 2002. He was again promoted within the Whips Office in 2003 when he became the Vice-Chamberlain of HM’s Household.

He was re-elected in the 2005 General Election, and was then appointed a junior minister in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister then moved to the Department of Trade and Industry in May 2006.

He has always had an interest in FIRE, and was a founder member of the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety & Rescue Group in Westminster, for which he is currently is Secretary.

On 29 June 2007 he moved to become the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport.

He is a proud West Ham United supporter and sometimes joins Bob Neill MP in the stand, who is the former Fire Minister in the coalition Government.

Dr Chris Foster

Chris is a consultant to Dr. J. H. Burgoyne and Partners LLP. He joined the practice as an Associate in 1972 following completion of his PhD studies on factors controlling the accidental ignition of naval fuels and became a Partner and then a Principal Member of the Company. Since joining Burgoynes he has been continuously engaged in the scientific investigation of fires, explosions, combustion related incidents and hazardous chemical incidents worldwide, in both land and marine environments.

Land based investigations have ranged from major incidents involving petrochemical and chemical plants/depots and large industrial and commercial premises to domestic premises and household appliances. Chris has also given advice on fire precautions in hotels and commercial premises. He has investigated incidents of carbon monoxide fatalities and poisoning caused, or allegedly caused by both flueless and flued gas and oil-fired domestic appliances, and has supervised tests in connection with such incidents. He has prepared expert reports for Court in connection with these investigations.

Marine investigations have involved all types of vessel including passenger ships, Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), chemical tankers, general cargo and bulk carriers, container ships, dredgers and pipe laying barges. The types of investigation Chris has undertaken include those resulting from engine room and accommodation fires and explosions and the effects of missile strikes particularly during the Iran-Iraq war.

Marine cargo incidents dealt with include those involving crude oil and other refined petroleum products, LPG cargoes, refined bulk chemicals, unstable and toxic chemicals, pesticides and containerised gaseous, liquid and solid cargoes. Chris has provided technical support and advice to assist in the resolution of live cargo incidents involving fires and hazardous cargoes. He has also provided advice in connection with cargo quality and contamination disputes involving oils and refined petrochemicals, chemical products and bulk cargoes.

Some notable incidents that Chris has investigated include the Flixborough chemical plant explosion disaster in 1974, the Kings Cross underground fire in 1987, the fire on the cruise liner “ROMANTICA” off Cyprus in October 1997, the fire in the Mont Blanc vehicle tunnel in 1999 and the Buncefield explosion in Hemel Hempstead in 2005.

Chris has frequently given evidence as an expert witness in both the High Court and Criminal courts in the UK. He has also given expert testimony in Courts in the Irish Republic, in the Court of First Instance in Athens, in The Supreme Court of Cape Town, South Africa, in the Supreme Court of Singapore, in the Civil Court of the Peoples Republic of China and in connection with litigation in the USA.

Chris has published technical papers in the academic press on combustion science, and in the Insurance press on the investigating fires and explosions. He lectures annually on a Fire Science and Fire Investigation course at Edinburgh University and has lectured on fire and explosion investigation at The City University, London, at the University of Leeds, at The University of British Columbia, The University of Ulster and the University of Alexandria, Egypt. He has contributed a chapter on “The investigation of gas phase explosions in buildings” to a textbook entitled “The forensic investigation of explosions” published by Taylor & Francis. From 2001 to 2003 he chaired a task-group of the Arson Control Forum Intervention Group set up by the Home Office that determined protocols and procedures for investigating fires of suspicious origin and reviewed fire investigation training requirements on a national scale. He is a serving committee member of the UK Arson Prevention Forum. |

Dr Jim Glocking BEng, PhD, MIFireE

Jim is the Technical Director of the Fire Protection Association. Originally a Chemical Engineer, he did his PhD in Nuclear Engineering at the UK Atomic Energy Authority before undertaking a post doctorate in watermist fire extinguishing technologies.

He has worked as a university lecturer in Chemical Engineering & Fire Engineering and as a Forensic Fire Investigator. Immediately prior to joining the FPA he was the Associate Director of the Special Projects Group at LPC and then BRE.

Jim continues to undertake research into fire protection with his sizeable team of experts with particular emphasis on solving high risk detection / suppression issues and has worked extensively with the ABI, major UK insurers and the MOD. He has responsibility for the annual UK insurer research budget which is administered through the RISCAuthority scheme. |

Sheila Pantry OBE, BA, FCLIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals)

Sheila works in the UK and internationally in information provision, and is strongly committed to the use of computers in information management and associated training.

She has worked in a variety of major industries. She developed and ran the world renowned “UK Health and Safety Executive Information Service”, and has developed a large number of computerised services, pioneering health and safety, environmental, fire, leisure information from the early days of computers, also via compact disc technology and now via the Internet – current examples are the authoritative and validated FIREINF and OSH UPDATE

She has worked closely with the International Labour Office Health and Safety Centre (ILO/CIS), and European Commission programs in telematics and living/working conditions, and was instrumental in the development of a Masters Syllabus in Information Engineering.

Sheila writes articles, books and edits extensively for the health, safety, fire and environment press as well as for the information industry. She is Strategic Editor for IHS OHSIS and produces their fortnightly News Brief. Also edits web sites that aim to help health and safety, fire, environment and chemical practitioners worldwide e.g.

She has given many talks/seminars in the UK and internationally on all aspects of information management, staff training and development, and the use of health, safety, fire, chemical and environment information. Carried out consultancies setting up information services and training staff in Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Jordan, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, USA and Zimbabwe.

Sheila is a member of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents National Occupational Health and Safety Committee, the Fire Information Group UK and also the Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group.

In 2000 the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents awarded Sheila their Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of her personal contributions in the field of occupational safety and health. In 2005 ILO/CIS awarded Sheila a special certificate for her international health and safety information work.

Sheila was also awarded the OBE by HM The Queen for services to the health and safety information industry in 1993.

When not involved in information activities, Sheila and her husband enjoy going to theatres, operas, concerts, jazz sessions, gardening, cooking, entertaining, travelling and keeping up with family and friends around the world. |

David Sibert BEng (Hons) Fire Engineering

David joined Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service in 1982 where he work for 22 years.

After graduating from South Bank University with a BEng Honours degree in fire engineering, David also worked as an associate fire engineer with a fire safety consultancy in Nottingham.

In 2004 David joined the Fire Protection Association (FPA) where he worked for four years.

In April 2008, David took up his current post as Fire Safety and Integrated Risk Management Planning Advisor for the Fire Brigades’ Union.

David’s current role is wide ranging but at its core it is primarily focussed on the maintenance of firefighter and public safety through the delivery of fire safety in the built environment and through good fire and rescue service planning.

David is Chair of the Technical Guidance Workstream of the Fire Sector Federation and he is a member of many committees across the fire industry ranging from BSI committees to the England and Wales Wildfire Forum. |