Jim is a forensic chemist, a Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers and holds the Forensic Science Society Diploma in Fire Investigation, accredited as a Post-Graduate Diploma by the University of Strathclyde. He is also a Certified Fire Investigator under the International Association of Arson Investigators scheme and in 2007 was elected a Fellow of the Forensic Science Society, now the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, in recognition of significant contributions to the field of fire investigation. Jim also holds a UK trade qualification in electrical installations and systems.
Jim began his career in forensic science in 1972 and has specialised in the investigation of fires and explosions since 1979. Formerly a member of the Fire Investigation Unit at the Metropolitan Police Forensic Science Laboratory (“Scotland Yard”) with a background in criminalistics, he has examined more than 4000 fire and explosion scenes including over 350 fatalities, carried out laboratory examinations and analyses on items and materials originating from more than 1000 others, and given evidence as an expert witness on numerous occasions in a wide variety of legal settings.
Jim is one of only a few specialists in the interpretation of thermal damage and injury distribution to injured and deceased victims of fire, helping to explain the person’s orientation and movements while the burning was taking place. He has devised and delivered fire investigation education and training in several countries and is widely sought after as a writer and speaker internationally. Jim is a former office holder of the NSW Association of Fire Investigators, where he remains an active member.