Ken Kirby

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Ken Kirby
Ken Kirby

Director of Metallurgy, Inspection and NDT

BEng (Hons), PhD

work Liverpool

work +44 151 236 0083
cell +44 7894 171276

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Career Summary

Curriculum Vitae

Ken Kirby graduated with a BEng (Hons) degree in Materials Science & Metallurgy and a PhD in Metallurgy.  He had ten years' industrial experience in production, research and development of rare earth, transition metal alloys. He joined Brookes Bell as in-house metallurgist in 2006 and became a Partner in 2011. Ken is currently Director of Metallurgy, Inspection and NDT


Before joining Brookes Bell, Ken was responsible for investigating the quality of raw materials and finished products, implementing procedures for the casting of rare earth alloys, and for overseeing their production. 

He also participated in an EU Project which investigated and devised new technology for the manufacture of high-temperature magnets. 

Since joining Brookes Bell in September 2006, Ken has undertaken investigations into failures of a wide range of ships' structure, machinery and components, including fatigue and corrosion mechanisms. He has also investigated numerous cargo damage claims.  These have included alleged contamination of both ferrous and non-ferrous metals; ores and other mineral cargoes; and machinery and other finished products. Ken has carried out investigations on-site and in the laboratory, and has produced expert witness reports for litigation and has given expert witness testimony at arbitrations and High Court proceedings in the United Kingdom, Shanghai and the USA. 

Professional Qualifications 

  • I.A.T.A. Shipping Dangerous Goods by Air Certificate 
  • Member of the Institute of Metals Minerals and Mining 

Academic Qualifications 

  • BEng (Hons) Materials Science & Metallurgy. II (i) degree classification (Liverpool University) 
  • PhD in Metallurgy (Birmingham University) 

Previous Employment History 

  • Research Metallurgist at Less Common Metals Ltd. 
  • Cast Alloy Production Supervisor at Less Common Metals Ltd. 

Surveying and Consultancy Experience 

Investigation of: 

  • Claims involving ferrous and non-ferrous cargoes, including re-bar, steel coils, aluminium sheet/ingots, and various finished products, including galvanised steel. 
  • Claims involving mineral ore cargoes and cargo sampling. 
  • Component failures; material and chemical analysis. 
  • Corrosion of ferrous and non-ferrous products, plant and machinery, including claims for sulphur damage to ships' structure. 
  • Corrosion of stainless-steel cargo tanks and other structures within chemical products tankers, including damage caused by phosphoric acid cargoes. 
  • Failure of major items of vessels' structure/equipment, including rudder horns; rudder stocks; camshafts; crankshafts; hull structure, etc. 
  • Failure of marine wire-ropes, including crane wires, lashing wires/chains, and their associated equipment. 
  • Quality of raw materials and finished products, and the effect of using contaminated/defective products in sound production processes. 
  • Quality of welding, including new-building disputes, and failures resulting from defective welding. 
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