Congratulations to JBA Consulting chartered senior analyst Peter Rook MCIWEM C.WEM, who has just been awarded the Chartered Water and Environmental Manager registration.
Below we learn more about Rook's career, what CIWEM Chartership means to them and their advice to anyone applying.
Years of experience
Five years in flood risk management
BSc - Geology, Royal Holloway, University of London
MSc - Petroleum Geoscience, University of Manchester
What's your day to day job role?
I am a chartered senior analyst at JBA Consulting working in Flood Risk Management. I lead a wide range of projects, with my role focusing on supporting Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) in delivering their role under the Flood and Water Management Act. I also undertake Flood Risk Assessments and Surface Water Drainage Strategies for private sector clients. There is no ‘typical day’, but I often spend time catching up with my project teams, leading client meetings and undertaking a variety of technical work.
Before I joined JBA in 2020, I spent three and half years working as a flood risk and SuDS officer at East Sussex County Council. I led the delivery of LLFA schemes and provided consultation responses on planning applications. This experience gives me a valuable insight into the challenges faced by LLFAs, and allows me to more effectively support them to overcome these challenges.
What inspired you towards a career in this sector?
I originally trained as a geologist and I have always had an interest in earth processes and environmental management. I started my career working in a Lead Local Flood Authority, and quickly found I enjoyed working in the sector, partly due to the variety of interesting projects I was involved with, such as delivering the initial stages of a groundwater flood risk study, which is often poorly understood as a flood risk.
I also had exposure to the variety of different organisations and disciplines in the sector including land drainage, hydraulic modelling and drainage engineering among others. I continued to build my knowledge and understanding of flood risk, surface water management and project management as a result of my early experiences and my own interests. Ultimately this led me to join JBA Consulting as a flood risk analyst in June 2020.
What is the most exciting part of your career?
The work I do makes a difference and has real world implications, as an LLFA officer I prepared a successful funding application to deliver Property Flood Resilience measures to 50 properties in East Sussex. I enjoy understanding and assessing complex flood risk problems, recently I have been leading a multi-disciplinary team including hydraulic modelers, engineers and other environmental specialists in appraising options to better manage surface water flood risk in Brighton.
I enjoy helping clients understand and overcome flood risk issues, and I have recently led a number of Section 19 post flood investigations to understand the causes of flooding and consider measures that could mitigate the impacts of similar flooding in the future. As a project manager, I enjoy developing the skills of staff working on my projects and giving them exposure to the wide range of different technical challenges faced in the sector.
What is the greatest challenge the sector is facing?
It is evident that climate change is one of the most significant issues of the 21st century, and one with worldwide implications. Developing the innovative solutions necessary to solve these issues requires collaborative working between partners and is beyond the remit and capabilities of a single organisation to resolve.
With responsibilities for flood risk management distributed between various risk management authorities, the greatest challenge the sector is facing is ineffective partnership working. This can lead to poor implementation of existing plans and strategies and problems in developing effective solutions to mitigate flood risk. Effective partnership working from an early stage in a project can capitalize on the variety of expertise offered by different organisations and help deliver the schemes needed to solve the challenges of the future.
Why did you apply for Chartership and how will it support you in your career?
I had been a non-chartered member of CIWEM since 2020, which allowed me to become familiar with CIWEM and participate in a number of events before I applied for chartered membership. This includes the ‘Tackling Surface Water Flooding’ conference in 2019 which I particularly enjoyed.
Gaining professional registration is something I have aspired to do since starting my career and demonstrates to my clients, employer and colleagues that I have had my competencies independently assessed. Being chartered also means recognition of the hard work I have put in to better manage flood risk and develop sustainable solutions over the past five years.
Chartership is just the beginning and I am looking forward to furthering my knowledge and understanding throughout my career. I am eager to participate in the variety of CIWEM groups and panels, and I am eager to contribute and share my expertise with other industry professionals.
What advice would you give to someone considering starting out on the application process for Chartered member?
It's never too early to start thinking about how your experience aligns with CIWEM’s mandatory competencies. I found that matching my own experience and projects against the competencies helped me structure my application and feel confident that I could meet the requirements for chartership. Thinking about the competencies early in your career can help you understand areas where you need to build your experience in and help you develop as a well-rounded professional.
Find a mentor who can bring out your strengths and help you understand what is needed to demonstrate competence for the registrations you are applying for. I had two brilliant mentors through JBA’s Professional Membership scheme, who supported me from formulating and reviewing my application, to helping me prepare for my professional review interview.
To learn more about all CIWEM membership grades, including chartership, visit our dedicated membership page.
The next application deadline is 07 April 2022. Here you can find the rest of our 2022 application deadlines.