Civil engineering professor David Nethercot has been appointed as an assessor to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
The emeritus professor of civil engineering at Imperial College London will not be questioned by the Inquiry, but will assist chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick in his consideration of the technical issues relating to the design and construction of the building and its refurbishment. Nethercot will also work in areas such as providing suggested lines of questioning for witnesses to counsel to the Inquiry.
The inquiry into the fire at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, London, in the early hours of of 14 June 2017, is to be split into two phases, which will run in parallel.
The first will examine what actually happened in the early hours of the morning when the fire broke out. The second phase will look at the refurbishment and how the building was exposed to such a fire risk.
Nethercot’s significant range of academic and industry experience includes a decade as chairman of the British Standards Institute (BSI) committee responsible for the UK’s Steel Buildings Code as well as providing input to the Eurocodes. He now chairs the BSI committee with overall responsibility for all Structural Codes.
He said: “Like others, I was deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of life at the Grenfell Tower. I hope that my scientific background and technical objectivity will assist the Inquiry team in its current task and play a part in reducing the possibility of such a tragedy ever occurring again in the future. This is no small undertaking but the importance of the Inquiry’s work cannot be overstated; it is a privilege to be able to contribute to this process.”
Last month it was announced Arup’s leader of fire safety engineering, Dr Barbara Lane, is to be one of the Inquiry’s expert witnesses.