Engineer can help to Phil in the facts

A BLUNTISHAM engineer, who specialises in finding out why things went wrong, has set up a forensic investigation company. Phil Mottram, right, who spent the last nine years with Cambridge-based Hawkins and Associates Limited, is offering services to solic

A BLUNTISHAM engineer, who specialises in finding out why things went wrong, has set up a forensic investigation company.

Phil Mottram, right, who spent the last nine years with Cambridge-based Hawkins and Associates Limited, is offering services to solicitors and insurers who need expert engineering advice to determine the causes of accidents or equipment failure.

"People are often not technically minded and often need advice and assistance in understanding engineering concepts," he said.

"Say someone fell off a crane or a machine failed or malfunctioned, resulting in injury. You might think you had a claim, and a solicitor might advise that you seemed to have a good case.


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"Both they and the employer would need to consult an engineering expert to advise on why the machine failed."

Often, both parties would use the same expert, if the opinion were not contested, he said.

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"I have appeared in court as an expert witness in about 30 cases," said Mr Mottram, who has set up Sisco Forensic Engineers Limited.

"That may not seem many, but when you consider that most cases are settled out of court, it actually is.

"Even so, many cases do reach the courts, either as criminal prosecutions or as civil actions."

His previous employers specialised in fire investigations, which meant his own expertise was sidelined. So he decided to set up on his own company, initially from his home in Bluntisham, although he plans to move to offices in St Ives when he recruits more people.

"I started out working in testing laboratories where you get involved in testing things that are broken and trying to understand why.

"But you also have to talk to people and consider the witness evidence as well. The most interesting thing is the variety.

"But, when 28 of the 35 investigators were doing nothing but fire work, I began to get a bit frustrated because my work was not a core activity. So I decided to launch my own business."

CONTACT: Sisco Forensic Engineers Limited is at 15 St Mary's Road, Bluntisham - tel: 01487 740090; fax 01487 843536; www.whyithappened.com

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