Fire Safety Engineering – Did we Drop the Ball?


Nate Lobel Senior Fire Engineer, Performance Based Consulting (PBC)

Nate Lobel is a Chartered Fire Safety Engineer with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Fire Protection Engineering. Since moving to Australia nearly seven years ago he has worked on a variety of buildings across Australia whilst delivering a range of services from high level strategies to detailed modelling analysis. His projects often focus on developing fire strategies for special hazards such as his work on a 60m tall internal green wall, a 200-vehicle automated vehicle parking system, and a grid-scale battery energy storage system at a solar and wind farm.

In addition to developing fire strategies and undertaking analysis for building projects, Nate has been involved in several industry initiatives with a focus on the future of the fire industry. This has included work investigating the Australian Fire Safety Verification Methods, working with the Society of Fire Safety to propose new Fire Safety Performance Requirement’s for the Building Code of Australia, contributing to the Warren Centre’s latest project focussing on professionalizing fire safety engineering, and assessing the ABCB’s latest proposal for quantified risk metrics. When not undertaking project work, Nate focuses much of his time on how to improve industry practice and outcomes in fire safety and the competence of engineers which are topics he is quite passionate about.

Sarnia Rusbridge Project Director Sydney, Holmes Fire

Sarnia has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a Master of Fire Engineering from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Sarnia has been involved in assembly, commercial, industrial, storage, health care, residential, utilities and services, retail, and heritage projects, providing fire engineering alternative solutions, BCA assessments and, fire safety upgrades to provide innovative and cost effective solutions for fire safety.

Sarnia has significant experience in the use of zone and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) fire models as well as with egress assessment methods and models and is able to use these fire engineering tools to investigate fire and occupant behaviour.

Sarnia is a Fellow of the institution of Engineers Australia, she is also a Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng), a Registered Engineer on the National Professional Engineers Register (NER) in Fire Safety, and is registered by Engineers Australia as an APEC Engineer in Australia. Additionally Sarnia is the deputy chair of the Society of Fire’s National Committee and is a member of the NSW committee, she is a Registered Professional Engineer (Fire Engineering) of Queensland (RPEQ) and a Registered Building Practitioner (Engineer / Fire Safety) with the Building Practitioners Board of Victoria.