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IFE Australia 2022 National Conference and Exhibition

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Welcome to the IFE National Conference 2022. It is great to be finally back in-person after a COVID-imposed hiatus. 

Formed in 1918, the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) is a global professional membership body for those in the fire sector that seek to increase their knowledge, professional recognition and understanding of fire through a global discourse. Comprising a diverse and professional membership base from fire services and the private sector, the IFE is focussed on improving fire safety through the gaining and sharing of knowledge, promoting the understanding of fire science and engineering, and promoting collaboration between government, industry and academia in advocating for best practice. The IFE also provides professional recognition for fire engineers across a broad spectrum and has achieved recognition by the Engineering Council to assess and nominate qualified fire engineers for registration as professional engineers. 

The IFE National Conference is a key platform for the organisation as we aim to serve fire industry professionals by focusing on current and relevant issues, promoting best practice, sharing of knowledge and providing networking opportunities. 

The 2022 Conference is our third partnered conference with the Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC). AFAC has consistently delivered the largest fire conferences in the Southern hemisphere, and the IFE is proud to associate our goals and efforts in the fire sector, with the capability of AFAC in delivering quality conferences. 

We trust that you will be well served by our conference program with our presenters canvassing topical fire safety matters not only relevant to Australasia, but also with an international perspective.  I encourage you to also drop by the IFE exhibition booth to have a chat. If we can assist you with information regarding the IFE’s purpose, IFE membership or even professional engineering registration, we would welcome your visit and will be happy to assist. 

Best wishes for the conference, 

Nages

Nages Karuppiah BEng MEng CEng MIFireE 
President IFE Australia Branch 

IFE22 Conference – 24 & 25 August 2022 

The IFE22 Conference will be held on 24th to the 25th of August 2022. Please check the full IFE program here and register
 
Delegates registering for any of the IFE events will qualify for CPD points. Please note that you must select the IFE conference option when registering to attend the IFE conference to qualify for CPD points. IFE conference registration also allows you access to other conference streams and the trade show & exhibition. 

IFE Conference Program

Tuesday 23 August

IFE Training Day with MFS Firefighters (4.5 CPD points)

Time: 8:30am – 3.30pm

Venue: Angle Park Training Centre. Two busses will depart from the MFS HQ on 99 Wakefield Street at 8am sharp.

A training session at the MFS Training Centre at Angle Park for fire safety engineers and other fire safety professionals. This would involve several small activities in which delegates would participate in full firefighting gear alongside trained fire service personnel to understand the relationship between fire service operations and modern building design and construction.

Spaces are only limited to 40 participants (20 per bus). All 40 participants will be wearing firefighting uniform when participating in activities with only 24 delegates who are able to wear breathing apparatus and participate in certain activities due to the limited availability of breathing apparatus. Therefore, first in best dressed. All participants will need to bring a change of clothes.

Morning tea and lunch will be provided. Busses will depart the Training Centre at 3.30pm to the MFS HQ. All other details will be provided upon registration.

Cost: Nil. Morning Tea and Lunch will be sponsored by IFE Australia. When Registering, please advise any dietary requirements.

Acknowledgement: The IFE Australia would like to sincerely thank the MFS and CFS Senior Management and the MFS Training Department for their support in organising this event.

Register

IFE AGM

Time: TBC

Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre (Room TBC)

The IFE invites members of IFE Australia to join the Board for our Annual General Meeting at the Adelaide Convention Centre to engage with the Board and provide feedback that will ultimately will assist in shaping the IFE Australia’s future direction. Time and location will be advised closer to date. 

IFE President’s Dinner

Time: 6.30pm

Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre, Gilbert Suite

The IFE will be organising the President’s Dinner sponsored by Flaim at the Adelaide Convention Centre attended by limited exclusive guests by invitation only. Guests include leaders, key partners and representatives from the fire and emergency services, fire engineering industry, fire protection industry and academia. Expression of interest is welcomed for future consideration by the Board. 

Wednesday 24 August

Conference Day 1 (5.5 CPD Points)

Time: 11:50am – 5:00pm

Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre

Michael Morgan

Keynote Speaker: Mr Michael Morgan, Chief Officer and Chief Executive, SAMFS 

Please check the full program here. The IFE program will commence with a keynote from the CEO of the South Australia Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS) and followed by a fantastic line-up of local and international speakers on various key topics. Delegates must select the IFE conference option when registering to attend the IFE conference and qualify for CPD points. IFE conference registration also allows you access to other conference streams and the trade show & exhibition.  

Please check the full program here. Delegates must select the IFE conference option when registering to attend the IFE conference and qualify for CPD points. IFE conference registration also allows you access to other conference streams and the trade show & exhibition. 

Gala Dinner

Time: 7:00pm – 10:30pm

Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre

Join the IFE and AFAC delegates from a wide-ranging field of fire safety industry for a fantastic networking opportunity and a chance to meet some of the key industry stakeholders, speakers and subject matter experts from around Australia and overseas. Seating allocation can be verified at the venue when collecting your conference registration passes. 

Register

Thursday 25 August

Conference Day 2 (5.5 CPD Points)

Time: 11:10am – 3:30pm

Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre

David Crowder

Keynote Speaker: Dr David Crowder, Partner at DCCH Experts LLP 

The second day program of the IFE conference will conclude with a keynote from Dr David Crowder who has worked on major fire investigations including the Atherstone on Stour warehouse fire, Royal Marsden Hospital, the Cutty Sark, Lakanal House and the Grenfell Tower fire. His presentation will set out the UK’s experience of the Grenfell Tower fire in terms of the circumstances that led to this tragedy and the consequences that continue to flow from it. 

Please check the full program here. Delegates must select the IFE conference option when registering to attend the IFE conference and qualify for CPD points. IFE conference registration also allows you access to other conference streams and the trade show & exhibition.  

Register

Friday 26 August

Professional Development Program (PDP) (6 CPD points) 

Time: 8:30am – 5:00pm

Venue: Adelaide Convention Centre

Lithium Ion Battery Fires

This day will focus on the emerging risks and challenges of Lithium Ion Battery Fires in Australia, USA and the UK. Speakers include representatives from SAMFS, QFES, CFA, ABCB, UL, SolarEdge, DCCH Experts LLP. 

The workshop will include varying aspects of battery fires including but not limited to the following:

  • Drivers for increasing use of batteries in commercial and domestic settings, and in vehicles

  • Regulatory Challenges

  • Firefighting challenges and concerns

  • Previous battery fires in Australia and lessons learned

  • Future research

Price - $285 + GTS

Register

PDP Day Agenda

Time

Session

Speaker

8:30 – 8:45 am

Welcome & Intro of speakers

IFE Australia

8:45 – 9:30 am

Lithium-ion Battery Storage Systems  – Emerging Risks and Unaddressed Dangers

Melanie D’Ambrosio - Senior Scientific and Environment Officer, SAMFS

9:30 - 10:15 am

Victorian Big Battery fire

Commander Ian Beswicke – CFA Incident Controller;

Commander Mark Collins – Incident Operations Officer then lead CFA Fire Investigator; and

Mr Matt Allen - CFA Specialist Risk and Fire Safety Manager

10:15 -10:30 am

Tea/coffee break

 

10.30 - 11.15 am

Griffith Uni Fire Event - Building N78: What, How , Where ? - Lithium Fires

Christopher Markwell - Building Approvals Officer, QFES Community Infrastructure Branch, Cladding Support Unit.

11:15 - 12:30 pm

Regulation

Gary Rake, CEO, ABCB

12:30 – 13:15 pm

Lunch Break

 

13:15 - 14:00 pm

Keeping up with the pace of innovation

David Crowder – Partner DCCH Experts LLP (UK)

14:00 - 14:45 pm

Container and Residential Unit Testing

Sean DeCrane – Manager of Industry Relations, UL (USA)

14:45 - 15:30 pm

Risks and Hazards mitigation from residential PV, Batteries and EV's

James Sturch - Technical Director RoW (Rest of World) at SolarEdge Technologies

15:30 - 15:45

Tea Break

 

15:45 – 16:30 pm

Panel discussion & Q&A

All speakers

16:30

Thank you note

End

 

Register

IFE PDP Speakers

Gary Rake, Chief Executive Officer, ABCB 

 

Gary

Gary Rake was appointed CEO in January 2022 an joins the ABCB as an economist and accountant who has held senior executive, CEO and COO roles in the Commonwealth, NSW and ACT Governments. He has also worked in banking and been a Partner in a Big 4 consulting firm. Gary says he “enjoys grabbing the prickly problem nobody else wants to touch”. Outside work, he’s a volunteer surf life saver, a kayak coach and Chair of the Canberra Glassworks. 

Abstract 

The role of government intervention is to prevent problems and create opportunities in the community. Our communities are rapidly adopting electric vehicles. They expect us to have considered the risks and practicalities and be ready for this new world. But are we ready? How do regulators and first responders collaborate to make sure we do not fall behind the pace of change? 

Melanie D’Ambrosio, Senior Scientific and Environment Officer, SAMFS 

melaine

Melanie performs the role of Senior Scientific and Environment Officer with the MFS, and her portfolio includes alternate energy doctrine and training development. Melanie is co-Chair of the Alternate Energy Doctrine Group and a member of the AFAC Alternate and Renewable Energy Technology (ARET) Working Group. Melanie is passionate about raising awareness of the emerging risks associated with alternate energy technology, to ensure firefighter and community safety. 

Abstract 

As Australia moves toward tackling climate change and reducing its carbon footprint, the renewable and alternate energy sector is expanding and evolving at a rapid pace. Lithium-ion battery technology is at the forefront of this drive toward carbon-pollution free energy, however it is not risk-free. Numerous incidents involving lithium-ion batteries have occurred which have resulted in injuries to first responders and community members, and caused destruction of property and businesses, including right here in South Australia. Uptake of this new technology is occurring swiftly, and legislation, regulations and standards are not keeping up, escalating the hazards and risks. 

Hear about the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service’s experiences with this rapidly evolving technology, including the lessons learned from incident attendance, the challenges faced with normalising and concluding an incident, the difficulty in developing doctrine and training for personnel, and other lingering concerns.  

It is imperative that legislation, regulations and standards catch up with technology, as well as raising awareness of the issue to first and secondary responders, businesses, and the wider community, to prevent further incidents with disastrous outcomes. 

Commander Ian Beswicke, Country Fire Authority (Secondee from Fire Rescue Victoria)  

Ian

Ian has over 45 years’ experience with CFA joining as a volunteer at 16 years of age and then became a career fire fighter in October 1977 working through the ranks from fire fighter to senior station officer.  

Ian worked as a structural instructor for 2 years from 2002 to 2004.  

Ian was promoted to Commander in District 15 in late 2004 and is currently Commander managing the Bellarine Catchment of Brigades in CFA District 7. 

Ian is a structural fire investigator, Major collision investigator, ICAM lead investigator and driving instructor for both on and off road 

Ian is an Endorsed Level 3 Incident Controller and was the IC for the entirety of the Victorian Big Battery Fire event. 

Abstract 

On 30th July 2021 at Moorabool (near Geelong Victoria) a fire occurred at the site of the Victorian Big Battery. The site was under construction at the time of the fire.   

Whilst the fire was relatively small in size – destroying two Tesla Megapack units and damaging two others of the 212 megapacks on the site. The fire attracted national and international attention – being the first of its kind in the world. 

Although a multi-agency response contained the fire and protected exposures allowing the two megapacks to burn out there were a number of complexities for the Incident Management Team to work through, during both the operational firefighting phase and the complex multi-agency investigation process that followed. 

The presentation focusses on: 

  • The importance of pre-planning 

  • The operational considerations of the Incident Management Team at the time 

  • Community Safety, and Messaging 

  • Atmospheric Monitoring and HazMat considerations 

  • Joined- up multi agency approach 

  • Water supply requirements  

  • Lessons learned and considerations for other fire services

Commander Mark Collins, Country Fire Authority (Secondee from Fire Rescue Victoria)  

Mark

Commander Mark Collins - Country Fire Authority (Secondee from Fire Rescue Victoria)  

Mark has over 30 years’ experience with CFA, of which 27 years as a career firefighter working through the ranks from Firefighter to Senior Station Officer.  

He is currently a Commander within CFA District 7, managing the Leigh Catchment and multiple organisational portfolios within the District. 

With 22 years’ experience as a Fire Investigator Mark is the District 7 Fire Investigation Co-ordinator, is a Delegated and Endorsed Vehicle, Structural and Bushfire Investigator and Team Leader and was the Lead Fire Service Investigator for the Victorian Big Battery Fire. 

Abstract 

On 30th July 2021 at Moorabool (near Geelong Victoria) a fire occurred at the site of the Victorian Big Battery. The site was under construction at the time of the fire.   

Whilst the fire was relatively small in size – destroying two Tesla Megapack units and damaging two others of the 212 megapacks on the site. The fire attracted national and international attention – being the first of its kind in the world. 

Although a multi-agency response contained the fire and protected exposures allowing the two megapacks to burn out there were a number of complexities for the Incident Management Team to work through, during both the operational firefighting phase and the complex multi-agency investigation process that followed. 

The presentation focusses on: 

  • The importance of pre-planning 

  • The operational considerations of the Incident Management Team at the time 

  • Community Safety, and Messaging 

  • Atmospheric Monitoring and HazMat considerations 

  • Joined- up multi agency approach 

  • Water supply requirements  

  • Lessons learned and considerations for other fire services 

Matt Allen, Country Fire Authority 

 

Matt

Matt is the Specialist Risk and Fire Safety Manager for the Country Fire Authority. Matt has 30 years’ experience within CFA and 17 of those years’ working within the built environment, land use planning and renewable energy environments. Matt is a delegate of the CFA Chief Fire Officer for the building legislation and a CFA Board Delegate under the dangerous goods and the occupational health and safety legislative frameworks. Matt has extensive knowledge of the Victorian Planning Framework and led the team that developed the CFA’s Design Guidelines and Model Requirements for Renewable Energy Facilities (2022).

Abstract 

On 30th July 2021 at Moorabool (near Geelong Victoria) a fire occurred at the site of the Victorian Big Battery. The site was under construction at the time of the fire.   

Whilst the fire was relatively small in size – destroying two Tesla Megapack units and damaging two others of the 212 megapacks on the site. The fire attracted national and international attention – being the first of its kind in the world. 

Although a multi-agency response contained the fire and protected exposures allowing the two megapacks to burn out there were a number of complexities for the Incident Management Team to work through, during both the operational firefighting phase and the complex multi-agency investigation process that followed. 

The presentation focusses on: 

  • The importance of pre-planning 

  • The operational considerations of the Incident Management Team at the time 

  • Community Safety, and Messaging 

  • Atmospheric Monitoring and HazMat considerations 

  • Joined- up multi agency approach 

  • Water supply requirements  

  • Lessons learned and considerations for other fire services 

Christopher Markwell, Building Approvals Officer, QFES Community Infrastructure 

Chris

Christopher has been an Operational Fire Officer with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES)  for more than Thirty Years. 

He has extensive experience in Firefighting Operations and as a Fire Investigation Officer. 

In 2015 he completed a Graduate Certificate in Fire Safety (Fire Engineering) at University of Queensland, School of Engineering under the Tutelage and Assessment of Professor Jose’ Torero. 

Christopher is currently a QFES Building Approvals Officer (BAO) and works in the QFES Community Infrastructure Branch, providing Referral Agency advice to Building Certifiers on the impact of combustible cladding on Firefighting Operations. 

Abstract 

The presentation will report on the challenges faced by QFES Firefighters in managing a fire incident involving a 1MW Lithium Battery Bank in a multi storey building and the contemporary challenges for Legislators, Building Designers and Fire Engineers, regarding the development of Lithium chemistry stored energy systems, installed within the built environment. 

The presentation will review: 

  • The Fire Investigation sequence and determination outcomes; 

  • The sequence of fire development and challenges faced during Fire Service intervention; 

  • The existing NCC requirements for installations of this type; and 

  • Future design considerations

David Crowder, Partner DCCH Experts LLP (UK) 

 

David

David is a partner at DCCH Experts LLP, a firm specialised in the provision of expert fire safety advice in relation to fire incident investigation, building defects and challenging engineering problems.  He has extensive experience in the field of fire safety, having been involved in a wide range of large scale experimental work, testing, inspections and fire investigations, particularly with respect to new developments in the built environment. 

He specialises in investigating fire development, the performance of fire protection measures and systems during real fire incidents, and the regulatory aspects of performance in these areas.  He is a Chartered Engineer registered with the Engineering Council by the Institution of Fire Engineers and holds a PhD in the impact of fire chemistry in fatal fires, examined via the investigation, reconstruction and hazard analysis of real fires. 

Major fire investigations he has worked on include the Atherstone on Stour warehouse fire, Royal Marsden Hospital, the Cutty Sark, Lakanal House and the Grenfell Tower fire.  He is one of the authors of the Code of Practice for Investigators of Fire and Explosions for the Criminal Justice Systems in the UK, as well as being one of the technical authors of PAS 9980, the Code of Practice for Fire risk appraisal of external wall construction and cladding of existing blocks of flats. 

Abstract 

Innovative technology is burgeoning as a result of humanity’s realisation that it is damaging the environment but has the potential to fix it.  The need to transition to new ways of generating and using energy is one of the most pressing issues we face, and one that will inevitably create new challenges for fire safety.  This presentation will provide an overview of the issues and potential hazards associated with renewable energy sources and innovative energy transportation systems such as batteries, including the implications of their increasing integration into the built environment. 

Sean DeCrane, Manager of Industry Relations, UL 

 

Sean

Sean DeCrane retired as a 25+ year veteran of the Cleveland Division of Fire. He served in various roles including the Director of Training and Chief of Operations retiring as a Battalion Chief. Sean is currently the Manager of Industry Relations for the UL’s built Environment COU. He is responsible for engaging with various industry organizations with a focus on the international fire service including Asia, Australia, Europe, and the United Kingdom. 

Sean has been involved in the research at Underwriters Laboratories and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He served on the UL Fire Council and is a member of the UL Fire Safety Research Institute’s Advisory Board. In 2021, Sean was named to the UL William Henry Merrill Society as a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff. 

Chief DeCrane also represented the International Association of Fire Fighters in the International Code Council process and has served on the 2009, 2012, 2105 and 2018 Fire Code Developing Committee and as Chair for 2015 and 2018. Served on the ICC’s International Residential Code for 2021 and 2024 Editions and as Chair for 2024. Sean served on the NFPA 1 Technical Advisory Panel, NFPA Research Foundation on Tall Wood Buildings and served as the Chair of the Fire Test Work Group for the ICC Tall Wood Building Ad Hoc Committee. 

Abstract 

UL continues to conduct research with the US Fire Service related to the response to ESS failure incidents. In this presentation we will provide a review of the UL Container testing, an overview of cabinet testing and discuss the current project UL is conducting in partnership with the International Association of Fire Fighters under a project for the US Department of Energy evaluating Residential ESS in a garage installation. 

James Sturch, Technical Director RoW (Rest of World) at SolarEdge Technologies  

James

James is a professional in the renewable energy arena with over 25 years dedicated experience. Has an honors degree in Industrial Design, is a UNSW graduate in applied photovoltaics and sits on two Standards Australia committees. He has been co-chair of the Clean Energy Council’s Distributed Energy Directorate since 2019, is chair of the Energy Storage and National Construction Code working groups, he is the CEC representative for DISER committee for Cyber Security and ISC Working Group on Cyber Security of DER. He is a member of the CEC’s Distributed Energy Leadership Forum, a founding mentor in the Women in Renewables program, a South Australian DEM Dynamic Exports Committee and SAPN DER Integration committee member, he also contributes to industry via multiple other stakeholder panels for DER and VPP’s development.  He is currently the Technical Director for Rest of World regions at SolarEdge, he has a passion for renewable energy and is committed to the safe and sustainable transition to a lower carbon future. 

Abstract 

Presentation will be looking at the current status of product and installation standards and best practice of residential PV, Batteries and EV's and their charging infrastructure. I will look in detail about what's already mandatory under  current product standards installation requirements, and how these address hazard mitigation. I will discuss fire hazards as well as natural disasters such as the impact from floods onto renewable energy infrastructure. I will then touch on what additional options and alternatives could be proposed to improve safety for first responders as well as for installers and system owners. 

Sponsored by

IFE President’s Dinner Sponsor

flaim

Conference Gold Sponsor

warringtonfire

IFE Lanyard Sponsor

goretex