What’s your background and experience before joining GeoSmart?
I previously worked for an Environmental Consultancy Group in London Bridge and the Environment Agency since leaving University in 2009. During my time in consultancy I have worked as a Flood and Drainage Engineer and Project Consultant, delivering flood risk and drainage projects across the UK.
During 2011 at the Environment Agency I was lucky enough to contribute to some really large and interesting projects, working within flood modelling, public partnership and project management teams to hone my skills. I undertook several detailed flood modelling studies for a range of catchments within the West Thames area and worked during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 flood events along the River Thames.
What does your role involve?
My current role within GeoSmart involves providing flood risk and sustainable urban drainage scheme (SuDS) advice to our clients, to assist through due diligence and / or planning process.
I work hand in hand with a range of clients who require a turnaround period that suits their planning or investment timescales. Our team is designed to adapt to any scenario and to provide the best response in the period we are given.
What do you enjoy about working at GeoSmart?
It is great to work on a wide range of both small and large opportunities and with industry first datasets to assist our clients. It’s a breath of fresh air working within such a creative company using our data and the governments Open Data in new and intuitive ways.
I really enjoy meeting new challenges head on. My experience of working within the Environment Agency and now within two different consultancies may coin the term “poacher turned gamekeeper”, although it has provided me with a breadth of experience when it comes to producing and reviewing flood risk and drainage assessments.
In particular, I really enjoy analysing large and small datasets and finding the most efficient solution to a problem using whichever data and software is available. We recently produced a flood risk assessment for a 10 hectare site within an area which has a mix of flood risk, using flood modelling software to confirm the impacts of the proposed development on floodplain storage.
I recently worked within the team who delivered the first ever sustainable drainage (SuDS) screening report for the transaction market. This in itself has been one of GeoSmart’s biggest achievements in the last 12 months and I was part of it.
What do you think are the biggest environmental challenges in the property market at the moment?
One of the biggest environmental challenges in the property market at the moment is using, promoting and including SuDS in line with the constantly evolving national and local policy on SuDS and climate change. Climate change is pretty much the single biggest threat to the Earth today. Adapting to its impacts and in particular the frequency and intensity of rainfall events, whilst providing homes and achieving growth within the economy, requires us and developers to really think about mitigation measures and associated costs.
Thinking about the impacts of climate change and the requirements for SuDS as early on in the development process through our SuDS screening report, is proven to reduce costs to our clients and influence the overall layout to incorporate SuDS in line with allowances for climate change.
What do you enjoy doing out of the office?
I really enjoy spending time with my family. I have a 1-year-old who is extremely adventurous and who is keeping me fit. A recent trip through Green Park in Reading gave me an opportunity to show my son a range of new SuDS schemes, I don’t think he was that interested but did enjoy eating the flowers growing out of the attenuation ponds and swales.
I love visiting new places around the UK and recently spent a week along the Pembrokeshire Coast, coasteering, dolphin spotting and sampling the local Welsh delicacies – Welsh Cakes are delicious!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Connect with Mike on LinkedIn or e-mail him directly for more information on SuDS and Floods or if you would like GeoSmart to assist you with any of your projects which might involve SuDS and Floods for planning or due diligence.