Flood risk management and an international secondment for one of our latest graduates

Anna Hastings at JBA team meal
Anna Hastings at JBA team meal

Hey, my name’s Anna Hastings and I’m currently an Assistant Analyst in the Haywards Heath office in the flood risk team. Since joining JBA in October 2017, I have been a part of a wide variety of projects working with numerous offices across the company. It’s hard to condense exactly what I’ve learnt over the past year as it’s certainly involved an incredibly wide range of experiences!

Being from ‘up North’ and having never heard of Haywards Heath prior to accepting my job offer, I certainly felt apprehensive about moving six hours away from family and friends. However, I’ve experienced such a warm and friendly welcome at JBA and have certainly settled in quickly. I like to think that I have made not just friends with my colleagues at JBA, but friends for life.

I love the friendly vibe at JBA. It certainly makes the job highly enjoyable – as well as the wide variety of opportunities and projects I get to work on.

JBA Trust Masters Sponsorship

I first heard about JBA due to its strong ties with Newcastle University – where I completed my undergraduate and masters degrees. I often came across reports and articles written by JBA or sponsored by the JBA Trust.

The JBA Trust’s Masters Sponsorships were then brought to my attention and after applying, I was successful in having my Masters degree sponsored by the Trust. JBA’s commitment to support students and help develop future employees inspired me to want to work for them in the future.

Personal training budget

Anna Hastings at the CIWEM Study weekend 2018

The main thing I like about working for JBA is the variety of opportunities open to me. This includes the availability of a personal training budget which allows me to attend technical courses ranging from the flood estimation handbook course to hydraulic modelling courses in TUFLOW and ISIS-Flood Modeller.

I’ve also attended ICE, CIWEM, and British Hydrological Society events to aid in my career development towards chartership. During my time, I have used my training budget to attend a CIWEM study weekend in Durham where I worked and met with other people in the industry ranging in ages and at different stages in their careers.

Variety and flexibility

Anna Hastings on a Brighton Sewer tour

My day to day job can range across a variety of different flooding-based projects. I enjoy the diversity and flexibility in the work I do for a wide assortment of clients. This can range from:

  • Conducting site visits as part of Property Level Protection (PLP) schemes down in Polegate. I met with residents to discuss flooding issues in the local area and to survey their property for suitable PLP measures as part of local authority schemes.
  • Assisting in building a hydraulic model of the Thames using Flood Modeller (ISIS) and TUFLOW in Reading to inform Environment Agency schemes.
  • Calculating property damage to aid in identifying areas in which flood management techniques can be implemented to develop areas previously deemed ‘undevelopable’ in Stroud Valley.
  • Writing Flood Risk Assessments and Strategic Flood Risk Assessments for local authorities and property developers. This usually involves a lot of mapping where I get to use my creative flare and problem solving to come up with new ways for displaying different datasets.

International secondment

The most exciting of all though is my three to four-month secondment in January 2019. I’ll be joining the team at Mekong Modelling Associates, a member of the JBA family over in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to work on projects centred around the Mekong river basin including:

I should be able to experience a whole host of new software and gain international engineering experience as part of this secondment.

My future at JBA sure looks to be exciting over the next coming year!

Want to know more?

Email Anna Hastings for more information on her experiences of the graduate scheme and her work with our flood and water management teams. You can also visit our flood and water management web pages to find out more about our continued work in this area.

Why not apply for our 2019 graduate intake? Engineering applications opened on 24 October and our water and environmental management opportunities open on 5 November.

Visit our graduate recruitment web pages to find out how to apply.

Leave a Reply