Burgess began his career as a Laboratory Assistant in 1967 at Ellis Jones & Co., Stockport. After gaining his diploma in leather technology at Northampton College in 1971/72  he continued his employment with the North of England based company gaining extensive knowledge and experience in the development, manufacture and application of wet end chemicals, during this time he also travelled extensively throughout the world giving technical service to tanneries.
In 1980 he began his long association with Trumpler firstly in the UK where together with Derek Thorpe he helped in establish their UK subsidiary in Yorkshire. In 1984 he relocated to Trumpler’s headquarters in Worms, Germany to take up the position of Technical Services Manager, his extensive knowledge in the field of leather chemicals led to his appointment in 1991 as Head of the research & development and application departments.
In 1995 he was appointed Group Technical Director, a position he held up until his retirement.
Trumpler Managing Director, Dr Thomas Feigel, in paying tribute said David’s contribution to the development of modern environmentally friendly leather chemicals along with his extensive worldwide network of contacts had greatly assisted in promoting a professional and competent international image for the company.