Originally from Cape Town (South Africa) Francois currently resides in Durham, NC. He graduated from the University of Cape Town in 1983 with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, is a registered international professional engineer, and in 2014 graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with a MSc in Baromedical Sciences.
After compulsory service in the South African Navy and a long career in the nuclear industry, he then served (and later led) Divers Alert Network in South Africa from 1996 to 2016. He is currently the VP of Safety Services at Divers Alert Network in Durham, NC.
His career in diving started in 1994 as the operations director of a company that designed, manufactured and supported a wide range of commercial diving systems, including producing hyperbaric facilities. This expertise was later put into use when he was tasked with performing on-site safety assessments at more than 150 recompression and hyperbaric medicine chamber facilities around the world.
He has managed a range of organizations and companies in parallel throughout his career, enjoying involvement in many fields, including technical, investigative, educational and out-reach capacities.
His primary function at DAN is to promote safety and accident prevention through education, training and awareness, and with this, to also assist and help develop global remote recompression chamber facilities that accept injured divers for treatment.
He has authored a series of books, chapters, articles and guidance documents, including risk assessment publications for recompression chamber facilities, clinical hyperbaric facilities, and for dive operators and dive professionals, all now accepted as industry standards.
He is fortunate to represent industry in several international organizations, including the UHMS safety and the FDA regulatory committees, the NFPA-99 (hyperbaric healthcare facilities) and NFPA-53 (safe practice in oxygen-enriched atmospheres) committees, the ASME PVHO standards committees, the European Code of Good (hyperbaric) Practice committee, the Canadian Standards committee for hyperbaric facilities, and several ISO committees (all related to pressure equipment). Francois is the technical advisor to the Southern African Undersea & Hyperbaric Association (SAUHMA) and leads the hyperbaric facility accreditation program for SAUHMA.
He is very active in safety education programs for DAN, serves on educational faculties at four international universities, regularly presents papers at a range of internal scientific meetings, and has been faculty of a medical educational organization in Texas for more than 21 years.