Clive Broadbent

Clive Broadbent & Associates Pty Ltd

Legionella consultancy

Clive Broadbent graduated from RMIT (Melbourne) and has 50 years engineering experience. His specialty is reports on preventive measures for Legionnaires' disease hazards such as may be presented by cooling towers. With a team comprising microbiologists, medical personnel and other engineers, he carried out an extensive field study into Legionella ecology in cooling towers. The field study included research into the effectiveness of biocides and water treatment approaches.

Notable achievements

  • Author of 12 TAFE modules on air conditioning systems
  • Author of over 120 technical publications such as conference papers, journal articles, books and monographs
  • Won AIRAH Journal annual best paper award twice
  • Won AIRAH James Harrison award
  • Inducted 2012 in to the ARBS Hall of Fame (the Australian overall building services industry’s highest award)
  • Recipient in 2019 of ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award
  • Certificates of appreciation from engineering institutes in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia
  • Keeps in touch with an international network of microbiologists, chemists, engineers, health officials and others who have a special interest in the control of Legionella
  • Member of several committees of the Standards Association of Australia, including chairmanship of the committee that produced AS/NZS 3666: Air-handling and water systems of buildings - Microbial control.

Professional associations

  • Fellow and Life Member Institution of Engineers Australia
  • Fellow and Life Member Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heating
  • Fellow and Life Member American Society Heating, Refrigerating, Air conditioning Engineers

Career History

Clive Broadbent is an independent Canberra-based engineering consultant specialising in risk management of building services hazards such as control of Legionella, the causative agent for Legionnaires’ disease. He has over 50 years of experience in the HVAC&R industry including working for many key Government projects both in Australia and internationally. He is a Life Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, a Life Fellow of ASHRAE (American Society Heating Refrigerating & Airconditioning Engineers) and a Life Fellow of AIRAH.

Clive’s experience includes preparing Risk Management Plans for sites including paper mills, chemical manufacturers and refineries, mining sites, and power stations as well as a plethora of educational premises, hospitals, aged care facilities and commercial buildings having cooling water systems and air-handling plants that may potentially present hazards to health.

Clive is regularly in touch with Australian Government authorities such as the state health departments and has contributed to regulatory publications including those for international engineering and public health authorities. He has travelled many times to conferences in Europe, Asia and the USA and has presented over 120 technical papers, many overseas.

He chairs the committee that developed AS/NZS 3666 and was the originating author for this standard. He is a voting member of the ASHRAE committee responsible for developing a risk management standard on Legionellosis. In 2000 he was presented with the award of Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to public health. In May 2003 he worked in Beijing, at the request of the World Health Organisation, as the only engineer in their team to stop the spread of SARS in ventilation systems at hospitals and other public buildings (a hugely serious epidemic with 8,400 cases there in Beijing alone; this included 970 hospital doctors and nurses, 39 of whom died, while attending to patients with SARS).

Clive has prepared many teaching modules for the TAFE sector and other educational institutions and has contributed significantly to many of the AIRAH Design Application Manuals; he is the author of those on maintenance, water treatment and indoor air quality.

For most of his career Clive was a mechanical engineer in the former Federal Department of Housing and Construction (the Federal Government’s principal building construction authority) located in the Melbourne office. This career, from Junior Engineer to its Principal Mechanical Engineer there, began in 1959 after completion of a government cadetship and then national military service. Clive’s work was mainly that of a designer for mechanical systems including air conditioning at government laboratories, hospital operating theatres, industrial ventilation systems (acid baths for aircraft parts, paint spray booths), airport baggage systems (Tullamarine), airport aerobridge design, cargo handling, steam and hot water systems. The design work also included fire safety systems, emergency power generation, office building air conditioning, telephone exchange air conditioning, and many other building services. His responsibilities in project delivery involved the full range of activities from client briefing to design development, documentation, contract supervision, plant commissioning and eventually senior management.

Some of the more interesting assignments included:

  • Many aspects of Tullamarine Airport including HVAC for several buildings associated with the airport such as the Airworthiness Building and Police Building – full design work.
  • HVAC designs for many laboratory complexes including those for CSL at Parkville and Broadmeadows, and for CSIRO at Clayton, Parkville, Merbein and Geelong.
  • Air conditioning designs for PNG Defence Signals Buildings in Port Moresby and the Highlands at the time of the Indonesian confrontation episode (1964).
  • HVAC designs for some large-scale electronic telephone exchanges including Windsor and Exhibition in Melbourne, and Launceston in Tasmania.
  • Key reviews and approvals on mechanical plant for the new Parliament House in Canberra.
  • Key design reviews and on-site commissioning supervision for the new Australian Embassy in Beijing (1991).
  • Key design reviews on HVAC plant proposed for the Tindal Air Force base in Tindal, NT.
  • Planning and design work for the proposed Commonwealth Centre building complex in Melbourne.
  • Design input for mechanical services at Antarctic Division HQ at Kingston (Hobart), at the Cape Grim (Tas) baseline environmental monitoring station, for the Federal Law Courts in Hobart, and ABC studios Hobart.
  • Ventilation for the Defence Indoor Weapons Firing Range at Swanbourne, Perth.

In 1983 Clive moved to Canberra to take up the national role of that Department’s Chief Mechanical Engineer which was the position he held until 1993 (the highest level of mechanical engineer in the Federal public service) when he completed service and began his consulting practice. Over the period 1988 to 1993 he also managed a field research project into the ecology of Legionella in cooling towers (devices for building heat rejection) and has published widely on the findings. The work resulted from direct government ministerial request following an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease associated with a government facility. This unique work, which had not been carried out anywhere in the world prior to this initiative, nor has it been replicated since, established by statistical techniques the key indicators to Legionella growth and potential for disease using a large number of cooling towers in normal operation.

Clive has been involved as an engineering consultant at most of the Australian outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, one in New Zealand and one in the USA. These included the Melbourne Aquarium outbreak in 2000, the Wollongong outbreak in 1987 and the Adelaide outbreak in 1986.

Other Federal parliamentary involvements circa 1985 to 1993 included representing the Department of Housing and Construction on building services for public works hearings around Australia (Sydney Harbour Naval Base, Tindal Air Force Base, Puckapunyal Armoured Division, Watsonia Army School of Music, and other places) and also separate presentations to parliamentary hearings on the specific topics of energy management, indoor air quality, and Legionella control measures. All recorded in Hansard. Clive has, since working from 1993 as a private consultant, been an expert witness at parliamentary hearings in NSW (Legionella control) and the ACT (tobacco ventilation regulations) plus as an adviser (friend of the court) in Queensland for an environmental enquiry on several developments in that state.

During this career Clive has acquired many awards which include:

1953 – Hawke Medal for Dux of School (Preston Technical College, Melbourne)
1969 – Distinctive Service Medal for the design of luggage conveyors at Tullamarine and Perth Airports, design of aerobridges for Tullamarine, design of automatic door openers (a new initiative at that time) for Tullamarine, and design of mechanical handling facilities for freight at Sydney Airport.
1985 – Roy Ahern Best Paper award (AIRAH) for the year (co-author, topic: energy targets)
1987 – Roy Ahern Best Paper award for the year (topic: Legionella control)
1987 – ASHRAE Best Paper award for the year (co-author, topic: energy targets)
1992 – James Harrison Medal (the annual AIRAH highest award for services to the building services industry)
1998 – CIBSE National Conference, Bournemouth (UK) – best technical paper
2000 – Awarded Member Order of Australia (AM)
2012 – ARBS Hall of fame inductee (building services consortium for building services achievements in Australia)
2019 – ASHRAE Life Fellow Distinguished Service Award (the only Australian to have received this American-based award)

Clive is the owner of Clive Broadbent & Associates Pty Ltd. Refer

Clive is registered with the Institution of Engineers Australia’s National Engineering Register in the fields of practice of mechanical engineering and building services engineering; His formal post-nominals are AM, FIEAust, CPEng NER APEC Engineer IntPE(Aus).