Benjamin Vallat

Associate Engineer, Fire Engineering

Mobile: 027 533 8825

Benjamin graduated from an M.Sc Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland) in 2013 and has now acquired over 5 years experience across a variety of projects such as Industrial Plants, Expert Witness Support, and Tall Buildings. His previous experience also included working as a health and safety technician on Wind and Solar Farms.

Benjamin has worked for nearly 5 years as a Volunteer Firefighter in the French Fire and Emergency services. Trained both as a firefighter and medic, he has learned about Crisis and Emergency management. He has evolved in a range of operations such as medical calls, fires, vehicle accidents, flooding, and water rescue. 

Here is his story:

As a kid, I dreamt about being part of the Fire Service, which I eventually joined as a volunteer. After graduating from high school, I decided to study for a Health and Safety degree. But the more I learned about the principles of health and safety, the more I realised that my best chance at having a meaningful impact, was at the root of the problem. Hence, I chose to study a Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering, at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. 

As a keen outdoor explorer and rugby fan, when Olsson Fire & Risk offered me the opportunity to work in New Zealand, I could not refuse. Working at a small, specialised fire engineering consultancy allowed me to quickly be exposed to a wide range of projects, with varying levels of complexity, and rapidly learn about project management. In 2018, Olsson then merged with GHD. During my two years at GHD, I have enhanced my understanding of buildings and the implications the fire engineering design has on other disciplines. On the design side, my experience in these roles included undertaking condition assessments of existing buildings, developing the fire engineering design for both new and existing buildings, modelling, and peer review activities. On the construction side, it involved construction monitoring and providing support to a range of stakeholders to maintain fire safety during construction (with egress routes, alarm systems, hydrants, the staging of works, etc.). Finally, I have also assisted in litigation support. 

Recent projects included the fit-out for the Auckland City Police Station, fire engineering design for the Westhaven Marine Village, Construction monitoring for the M1 building in Huapai Retirement Village, and litigation support for a multi-story residential building in Auckland.

Outside of work, I particularly enjoy taking part in outdoor activities (rugby, soccer, hiking, biking, running, kayaking, swimming, etc.)


Inside of every problem lies an opportunity. 
– Robert Kiposaki