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Meet Ben Fountain

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Job: 

Modelling Manager, Wellington Water Ltd.

Job description: 

I head up the hydraulic modelling team that builds, maintains and uses computer models of our stormwater, wastewater and water supply networks. We use the models to understand the performance of our networks, identify and manage risks, and plan upgrades.

Work background: 

I have been working for about 20 years as a civil engineer. I started work at Wellington City Council managing construction projects. I then spent 10 years working for a multinational consultancy specialising in flood risk management. Two years ago, I joined Wellington Water.

Favourite part of job: 

I love taking complex problems and working with a wide range of people to develop solutions. I also love natural systems and helping shape cities to work with nature rather than against it.

Least favourite part of job: 

I like to get stuff done and there are many blocks that can prevent the right thing from happening.

What I am working on now: 

Recent flooding in Wellington is keeping me busy developing options to reduce flood risk.

A quick story about a job well done: 

I recently met with a community group who wanted to know what they can do in a flood to help protect people and property. I was able to give them a whole lot of ideas about what they can do before, during and after a flood.

A (humorous) story about a job that went badly and what you learned: 

I once passed out in my hotel room from overwork because I had pushed myself too hard to deliver a plan to deal with the flooding in Christchurch after the earthquakes. I shouldn’t have pushed so hard because as it turned out the politicians decided they wanted more time before they made a decision.

Qualifications: 

Bachelor of Engineering (Natural Resources). Chartered Professional Engineer.

Interests outside work: 

I am into the outdoors - tramping, swimming and jumping off things into water, that kind of stuff. I fly a drone. I also help out with recent refugees who have arrived in NZ.


Meet Ben Fountain, a Modelling Manager with Wellington Water. Image: Wellington Water.