- 30th August 2018
- Posted by: Joanne Woodhouse
- Category: Blog
Yes, you heard right, Saturday 1 September is JBA’s 23rd birthday. We’ve come a long way since 1995. Some things have stayed the same – we’re still independent and employee-owned and we still focus on innovation and our commitment to exceptional client service.
We have however grown to over 20 offices covering the UK, Ireland, USA, Australia, Singapore, Cambodia, and most recently Romania. So, to celebrate, we’d like to share with you a ‘top 23’ from across the wide range of projects, initiatives and achievements since our last birthday.
1. JBA Consult Europe
In August 2017, we opened an office in Bucharest following the recruitment of Daniela Radulescu one of Romania’s leading experts on implementing the Water Framework Directive and Floods Directive. The new office is concentrating on climate change adaptation guidance and technical assistance to the Romanian Government on European Union (EU) Flood Directive Flood Risk Management Plans.
Daniela Radulescu is heading up our office in Romania bringing a wealth of experience on implementing the Water Framework Directive and Floods Directive at a national level.
2. Graduate scheme and apprenticeships
2018 saw more graduates than ever join our two-year in-house graduate scheme. Successful applicants contribute to exciting and innovative projects whilst working alongside technical specialists and industry experts. The scheme is a development programme specifically aimed at providing a comprehensive foundation for graduates’ future careers with us.
We have also championed the recruitment of non-graduates through apprenticeships to fill key roles in the company and to provide a parallel route of career progression.
3. CFD modelling in Australia
Severe damage occurred across Queensland, Australia following Tropical Cyclone Debbie in March. We were commissioned to develop Flow3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models to reproduce this event and understand how the river bed/floodplain deforms due to scour.
4. EIA accreditation
We were pleased to announce our acceptance by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) as an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Quality Mark Organisation, providing clients added assurance that the quality of our Environmental Statements is independently verified.
5. HEC-RAS 2D Modelling Workshop 2018
Following the success of the 2016 and 2017 events, we organised a HEC-RAS workshop for the third year running. The 2018 workshop focused on HEC-RAS v5.0.5 for 2D Modelling, providing a chance to meet the software developers in person, ask those burning questions and learn from industry peers.
As a company, we are unique in having not only our in-house modelling development capability (e.g. JFlow) but are also experts in all the leading modelling packages – HEC, MIKE, DIVAST, MODFLOW, InfoWorks, Delft, FloodModeller, MicroDrainage.
6. Environment Agency’s Working with Natural Processes Evidence Directory
We worked with the Environment Agency to develop the Working with Natural Processes (WWNP) Evidence Directory. The Evidence Directory is helping authorities understand, justify, develop and implement future flood risk management schemes that incorporate WWNP helping reduce flood risk to vulnerable communities.
7. Metocean and climate impact contract for marine industries
Along with our consortium partners, we won a large EU funded project examining the impact of present-day and future metocean conditions on marine industries. The contract is part of the EU’s Copernicus programme and is being delivered by a consortium led by Stichting Deltares (Netherlands).
8. Flood resilience
Our flood resilience work is growing from strength to strength. We have been appointed to undertake flood risk assessment surveys at properties across Devon as part of the Devon County Council Property Level Resilience (PLR) Grant scheme.
Mark Bentley, Technical Director and Flood Risk Assessment expert, also presented at four Understanding Further Actions Roadshows to promote our Specialist Flood Risk Services.
February 2018 also saw the official end of the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Plans. Launched by the Prime Minister, this was one of the longest and largest contracts we’ve had and was a right of passage for a large number of JBA staff on both sides of the Irish Sea.
9. We’re award winners!
We won two categories at the NCE TechFest awards ceremony; ‘Best use of Technology: Driving Efficiency’ and ‘Designer of the Year’. We were shortlisted for four categories in total at the event, which showcased the best technology-led innovations that are driving civil engineering forward.
We were also awarded ‘Risk Modeller of the Year’ in the Reactions London Market Awards. It was a fantastic achievement and testament to all of the great work done at JBA Risk Management in furthering the progress of the industry.
10. Flood and Coast conference
We demonstrated our new projection augmented relief model (PARM), developed in partnership with Nottingham University to explore different flood risk scenarios in specific places. You will have also seen our innovative flood decision support system, Flood Foresight.
11. UK Climate Change Flood Model
This year saw the release of our leading UK Climate Change Flood Model which is the first of its kind available in the UK market. The model will help insurers and reinsurers across the country to understand the potential impacts of climate change in the future for the first time and manage their long-term exposure.
12. Modelling the Mekong
Our international work led us to develop an overtopping model of the River Mekong in Phnom Penh which was successfully tested using the latest version of HEC-RAS.
13. Interactive visualisation tools
The JBA Trust’s interactive visualisation tools help us demonstrate and explain complex flood risk modelling outputs to a non-technical audience. Not only do we use them for client projects where public consultation or stakeholder engagement is required, but they’re great for encouraging the next generation at STEM events.
14. World-leading mapping
We’ve come a long way since our first UK flood maps in 1999 and went on to produce flood maps for almost every country in the world by 2014. This year also sees the continued development of our maps in the US, Europe, UK and Canada, using the latest research and methodologies.
15. Cwm Ivy Habitat Creation Scheme
Natural Resources Wales commissioned us to assess the best way to enable the Cwm Ivy Marsh in Gower to reintegrate and develop habitat creation. Providing a wide range of integrated services enabled us to lead the project whilst also providing specialist advice on the constraints, benefits and costs associated with different options.
Defibrillators assist in providing protection against cardiac arrest, which affects over 140,000 people in the UK each year. When used within the first five minutes of a cardiac arrest the chance of survival increases from less than 5% to over 80%. That’s why we’ve installed a defibrillator in each of our offices, so we can give our staff and neighbours the best possible chance if an incident occurs.
17. Just Be Active
The aim of Just Be Active was to encourage physical activity, to have fun, and to promote some longer-lasting health and wellbeing benefits. Our Wallingford office completed the most amount of pledges – by % of those pledges made – and won £1,000 to donate to a local health/mental health charity of their choice.
18. Building Information Modelling (BIM)
BIM is a management process, not simply a software solution – although digital models can be a key deliverable, BIM encompasses all components of a project including reports, calculations, maps and project management. We’re rolling BIM out across the company, firstly to our main engineering offices, delivering improved collaboration across project teams and with our clients. Other benefits include:
- Increased awareness of health and safety
- Whole life asset management
- Improved filesharing of information and knowledge transfer
- Reduction in waste
- Enhanced performance and efficiency
- Improved and efficient design
19. Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Lancaster University
We have started a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Ensemble and Lancaster University to build on the work done in our Flood Risk Sprint. The KTP is creating a job opportunity for an ambitious, creative software engineer or data scientist to help us deliver this vision and to enable us to share both industry and academic expertise to help develop this area.
20. Programme Delivery Units
We were selected as a key supplier to the Environment Agency within their Programme Delivery Units (PDU’s), building on the great work and reputation we have built up throughout the Water and Environment Management framework to date. Many of our teams have been busy supporting delivery of PDU throughout the year and big thanks go to them for their performance to date and consistent high-quality delivery.
21. Partnership with Oasis and Simplitium
We’ve been working with Oasis and Simplitium this year in an ongoing partnership which sees the release of our UK flagship models on the Oasis platform and Simplitium’s ModEx. This is a real milestone achievement in facilitating easier access to our models.
22. Developing future talent
Personal development, mentoring, and teamwork are just a few of the benefits of building a career with us. That’s why we take the time to welcome work experience and placements students from both secondary and further education, so they get to learn the ropes and understand what working in a business like JBA is like.
Here’s just a couple of examples to show you what our work experience students get up to.
23. STEM work and International Women in Engineering day
Developing future talent and collaborating with academic partners is a core aspect of our business. By working in partnership and developing relationships with universities, schools and other charities, we provide support for a wide range of people and organisations.
For International Women in Engineering day, Rachel Brisley, Associate Director, spoke to Paul Richards, Head of Sixth Form and Careers at Calderstones School, about how the school works to develop girls interest in STEM subjects and how employers can help facilitate this.
Here’s to another 23 years and more!