Accident investigation: From incident to court

10 Aug 2017

IOM3 Hong Kong Technical Talk Supported by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University


Dr Sophie Parsons BEng PhD CEng MIMMM MFSSoc MAE

Dr Chun Chan MEng PhD MIMMM


This technical talk presents about what a forensic engineer does in general, from the incident occurring to the site visit, then the lab, report and provide expert testimony.

The speakers run through a number of fun and interesting case examples to cover what a materials engineer deals with, so not just broken and rusty stuff, but also contamination cases such as the work we did after the Tianjin explosion.

The talk will discuss how these types of incidents could be prevented and how ultimately the root cause failure tends to be human.



7.00pm - Start

8.30pm - Finish



The event is free to attend and no prior registration is necessary.



A Certificate of Attendance (1.5 hours) for Continuing Professional Development will be provided at the end of the event.


About the Speakers

Dr Sophie Parsons BEng PhD CEng MIMMM MAE

Sophie received her BEng and PhD (Eng) from Queen Mary College, University of London in Materials Science & Engineering. After a post-doctoral research post at Queen Mary's, she joined LGC Forensics, UK, as a Forensic Chemist, specialising in the examination of textile fibres and polyurethane foam retrieved from crime scenes. During this time, Sophie analysed trace evidence, prepared detailed technical reports for court and presented evidence in court as a Court Reporting Officer.

Following her arrival in Hong Kong, Sophie worked as a Research Fellow at City University, Kowloon Tong, developing techniques for analysing trace material evidence in crime laboratories. Her research was published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences and Science & Justice.

In 2012, Sophie joined Hawkins HFS, and has since provided expertise in materials failure analysis and corrosion incidents. As a materials engineer, in addition to metal components, Sophie has conducted investigations involving glass, ceramic, and rubber materials. More recently she has been involved in liquefaction cases and associated laboratory testing for determining the flow point and moisture content of cargo. In addition to her casework, Sophie regularly presenta to law firms, P&I Clubs and loss adjusting companies on materials failure and corrosion.

Dr Chun Chan MEng PhD MIMMM

Chun received his MEng and PhD (Eng) in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Manchester. Prior to his arrival in Hong Kong, Chun worked at Technip Umbilicals as a metallurgy development engineer and was responsible for planning and managing research & development projects. He provided technical support to the manufacturing team and conducted engineering critical assessment and material failure analysis on damaged products at the factory.

Through his study and work, Chun is familiar with many mechanical testing methods such as tensile, fatigue and hardness testing. He also has experience using a range of material analysis techniques such as R-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDAX).

Chun joined HFS-Asia in 2016, specialising in metallurgy, corrosion and welding failures. Since joining the company, he has been involved in conducing material failure analysis and corrosion product assessment. Chun is fluent in English, Chinese, Cantonese and Mandarin.


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Venue and booking

Event Location

Event Location: 
Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Contact details: 

Ir Kelvin Choi - Honorary Secretary