Our People

Some of our key staff include:

Jonathan Cooper - Managing Director

Jonathan is the managing director for the company and is based in our Limerick office.  He has over 30 years’ experience in river engineering and restoration, environmental consultancy, strategic catchment management, and flood risk policy.  He provides considerable expertise in multi-disciplinary project management.  He has worked on flood policy and management issues across Europe.  He has previously held a senior position with Atkins as Chief Engineer.

He leads the strategic vision of the office to develop an environmental practice based around the water cycle. He is actively engaged in research, such as embedding adaptive capacity to climate change uncertainties, management of aquatic vegetation, impact of hydro-power on fish passage.  Jonathan has led JBA to become the foremost consultancy in the state in field of flood and coastal risk management.   Jonathan undertakes a number of expert witness roles on a broad range of issues, such as flood risk and water resources.
Jonathan  was commissioned by the Irish government in 2007 to lead a team to scope and develop the first Flood Risk Management Planning Guidance for the country.  Since publication of the Guidance he has been retained to provide training and capacity building.

He is Project Director for the OPW led Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Studies in the Western River Basin District, which involves looking at hydrological regimes in karst systems.  The appraisal approach to the flood risk management plan is integrated within a thorough SEA and AA, together with active engagement with all stakeholders. Currently he is technical director on the country’s largest flood relief scheme in Cork and project director for the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Clonakilty flood relief scheme.

Elizabeth Russell - Operations Manager

Elizabeth has over 10 year' experience working in the water industry, and is Operations Manager for JBA Consulting Ireland.  Elizabeth has been a key member of the JBA team involved in integrating the Planning Guidelines within the wide framework of the Local Authority planning system.  She developed the SFRA for Laois, and through an iterative process, worked with the Forward Planning Team to allocate land zoning objectives in the County Development Plan.  Elizabeth provided guidance and training to Cork County Council as they undertook SFRA for their LAPs, and has further applied this knowledge and experience in a number of SFRAs in Counties Meath, Laois, Carlow and Tipperary.  Her knowledge and experience is also regularly applied to development management, undertaking flood risk assessments for private clients.

She has also been involved in the design of several large scale flood management schemes, including the River Deel in Crossmolina, Co. Mayo, the River Bandon, Co. Cork and is Project Manager for the Lower Lee and Glashaboy Flood Relief Schemes, also in Cork.  She is Deputy Project Manager for the Western Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study, a long term commission for the OPW.

Elizabeth began her career as a topographic river surveyor, and takes the lead in coordinating survey requirements for JBA Ireland, including managing the National Survey Management project for the OPW, which saw thousands of cross sections over hundreds of kilometres of river being commissioned across the country.

Ross Bryant - Senior Analyst / Team Leader

Ross looks after the team of 12 engineers and scientists in the Limerick office and part of the senior management team.  He is also our lead expert in the flood risk assessments for a range of development uses.  Ross has over 10 years’ experience within the field of flood risk modelling, mapping and management.  He has been involved in a wide variety of projects that range from asset management to national scale flood mapping.  He moved to JBA Ireland in August 2008 where his role has largely been related to European Union Floods Directive deliverables (hazard and probability mapping) application of the JBA authored 2009 Planning System and Flood Risk Management guidelines.  He has managed and delivered technical projects for Local Authorities, Insurers and a host of local private clients.

Declan White - Principal Engineer

Declan has a bachelor of Engineering Degree (Hons) from University College Cork and is a Chartered Engineer with Engineers Ireland. 

With over 18 years in the civil engineering and construction sectors, Declan has gained a wide variety of experience with completed projects in Ireland, US and Middle East. 

Post-graduation, Declan worked in consultancy as a design engineer throughout the various stages of projects, namely; inception, planning, tender and construction.

Subsequent to the above, Declan was Project Manager with a leading property development firm with direct responsibility for all stages of Irish projects from site sourcing and purchases, legals, commercials, planning, project management of design teams and sub-contractors. Declan also project managed the construction of Lexington Park Condominium Tower in Chicago. 

Declan has also worked in the Middle East providing design and project management services to MODON, the Saudi Industrial Property Authority. Declan also project managed the ArRiyadh Stormwater Masterplan Review on behalf of the ArRiyadh Development Authority (ADA).

Since returning from the Middle East, Declan has been central to the delivery of multiple JBA projects (site infrastructure/drainage, flood relief schemes, SuDS) in his role as Principal Engineer and/or project manager. Sample projects include, Foynes Flood Alleviation Scheme, Kings Island Flood Relief Scheme in Limerick, Co Brook Flood Alleviation Scheme in Bray, Co Wicklow, Santa Sabina Residential Development in Sutton, Co Dublin, Ballymaley Industrial Park, Ennis, Co Clare, Solar Park Developments in Kinsale, Co Cork and Annacotty, Co Limerick, and the reinstatement of the Claddagh Basin in Galway City.

Bernadette O'Connell - Technical Director - Landscape and LVIA

Bernadette is a personable and energetic Environmental Consultant, specialising in the project management of environmental reporting for infrastructure projects in the Transportation, Quarrying, Power and Water sectors. She has worked in engineering consultancy for 28 years in Ireland, the UK and Asia during which she has adapted her skills to suit the needs of the changing trends in infrastructure.

Bernadette has assisted in the delivery of projects from Tender, Feasibility through the Statutory Process and has worked on Compliance and Implementation on site. She has project managed many EIA’s with environmental teams for infrastructure projects including M50/N3 junction as part of the M50 Upgrade in Dublin, Binion Hill and Lettergull wind farm EIA in Co. Donegal, Feltrim Quarry Remedial EIA in Co. Dublin and Kilkenny Railway diversion EIA Co. Kilkenny. She has acted as an Expert Witness at 6 Oral Hearings.

Bernadette is also a chartered landscape architect and visual impact specialist focussing on the use of flood water within the design of open spaces. She has supplemented this experience with more recent training (PG Cert in Flood and Coastal Risk Management, Lancaster University) and project experience in the flood risk management sector.