Thomas Grace

Fire Engineering Manager


Tom is a fire engineer who seeks practical solutions to building design that take account of its purpose and its users, and produce a building that is functional and safe.

Tom is an expert in human behaviour in fires, and brings nearly two decades of fire engineering experience in Australia and especially Britain to his work with Babbage. While living in Scotland, his input helped change that country’s fire regulations and he has a special interest in the fire engineering of historic buildings.

He says the issue with fire engineering is not just meeting safety codes but exceeding them – but the solutions must be practical. Materials used in buildings continue to change and he works with other engineering disciplines to ensure the structural design, mechanical operations and electrical services take account of this and other potential fire issues.

Tom, who is of Ngati Porou, Whakatohea and Tuhoe descent, gained his bachelor’s degree from the University of Canterbury in 1995, and his master’s in 1997. He was invited to present his research report on people’s behaviour in fires at an international conference organised by the Ulster University in Belfast the following year.

Tom’s approach to fire engineering is to look at fire safety from different angles, understand the client’s needs, and think outside the box. After 15 years working overseas, he returned to New Zealand in 2015 and joined Babbage in 2018.

Key projects include

  • Qatar 2022 Football World Cup stadiums
  • Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, all venues
  • Britomart egress strategy for the new underground train station and tunnels
  • Sainsbury superstore, Maidenhead (award-winning design)
  • Drumlanrig Castle, Scotland, fire engineering strategy to accommodate public events


Fire Engineering Manager

ME (Fire), BE (Civil). CPEng (NZ), CMEngNZ, CPEng (Australia), MIEAust, CEng (UK), MIFE (UK), MSFPE

Specialising in

Fire engineering, passive fire protection, evacuation schemes, fire and risk assessments, technical due diligence


+64 27 240 5925