Contact Dr Leigh Dunn

Areas of expertise

  • Air Transport Safety & Investigation
  • Structures and Materials



BEng Hons (Aerospace Engineering) University of Hertfordshire (2002)
I studied for 3 years at the University of Hertfordshire and was awarded a 2:1 in Aerospace Engineering with Honours from the Royal Aeronautical Society.

PhD Cranfield University (2013) 
My doctoral research was focused on the investigation of methods of composite material failure mode identification, in the field of aircraft accident investigation.


I joined Apollo Metals UK Ltd (latterly ThyssenKrupp Aerospace) in 2002 working within the commercial and account management aspect of the company. My final appointment within ThyssenKrupp Aerospace UK Ltd was as a Global Programs Manager, which commenced early in 2008. this gave me valuable experience in the commercial side of sales, business development and account management. I departed ThyssenKrupp Aerospace to conduct a full-time PhD at Cranfield University.

Having completed my PhD in early 2013, I remained at Cranfield University's Safety and Accident Investigation Centre (CSAIC) as a full-time teaching and research fellow. During this period I was module and CPD course lead for Fundamentals of Material Failures for Accident Investigators, Legal Skills for Accident Investigators and the Applied Safety Assessment Workshop.  In addition I taught industry professionals on courses contained within CSAIC's wider Accident Investigation short course portfolio.

In 2016, I departed Cranfield University to work as a Serious Incident Reviewer (safety investigator) for East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT). I was responsible for leading high quality safety investigations, conducting detailed analysis, and making safety recommendations, on serious incidents that occurred within ELFT. In May 2018, I re-joined Cranfield University as a Lecturer in Aircraft Accident Investigation.

Current activities

Whist the field of Accident Investigation can be tough and heart-breaking, I love that I can make a difference to safety and to people’s lives. I am currently a Lecturer in Aircraft Accident Investigation at Cranfield University and I lead the world-renowned Fundamentals of Accident Investigation short course. I train professional safety investigators in some of the fundamental principles of safety investigations and I have an active research interest in future tools for accident investigation, such as the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems for accident site surveying and developing bespoke mobile APP’s for accident investigation management. I also develop and deliver bespoke courses in Accident Investigations with courses ranging from 3 days to 2 weeks. I have experience in conducting safety investigations as a technical advisor in the aviation sector and previously as a full-time safety investigator within healthcare. In my spare time I fly light aircraft and I am proudly involved in an organisation that keeps a WW2 flying boat airworthy in an effort to inspire future generations, and as a reminder to those who served.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a professional member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI).