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.

Bernadette O'Connell - 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.

Michael O'Donoghue - Associate Director

Michael holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree from University College Cork and has over 13 years of industry experience in both consultancy and contracting disciplines. His contracting experience was predominantly in civils/infrastructure projects. Michael was a Senior Tunnelling Engineer for the Victoria Station Upgrade in London.

Michael's consultancy experience crosses a number of disciplines, ranging from urban realm, heritage as well as extensive experience within the energy sector. He undertook the role of Senior Engineer for the recently completed Evishagaran Wind Farm, a 13 turbine 46MW development in Co. Derry. He holds a PGDip in Building Conservation and acted as Resident Engineer for the Luas Cross City heritage remedial works. He has experience in urban realm development, having acted as Senior Civil Engineer and PSDP on both the Ennis Town Centre Regeneration Project and the New Shannon Town Park development. 

Since joining JBA in 2021, he has been working on numerous civil engineering projects, namely the Miltown Malbay Flood Relief Scheme for Clare Co Council, Myrtle Square Greening for DLRCC and the Kinvara Boardwalk for Galway County Council. 

Michael attained chartership from Engineers Ireland in 2016.

Tom Sampson - Technical Director

 Tom has 18 years’ experience in project management and technical delivery of strategic flood risk appraisal, environmental and catchment studies, GIS analysis and spatial data management with consultancy, public sector and international funding organisations.  As technical director he has a leadership role as a core member of the project team delivering the programme of measures and Flood Risk Management Plans for the 2nd cycle Floods Directive for the whole of Romania.

He oversees the co-ordination of team resources, workloads, project delivery, technical review, methodological development and tender submissions for hydrology, environmental assessment, nature-based solutions, flood risk strategy and flood schemes.  Tom is the lead reviewer for flood hydrology studies in JBA Ireland, and also co-ordinates R&D work within the Irish business.

Recent strategic projects include expert advice to the European Investment Bank and Flood Risk Management Authorities in Romania and Hungary to comply with the EU Floods Directive, hydrometric data review for the application of JBAs Flood Foresight tools in Ireland, and catchment scale flood risk management appraisal of catchments in Western Ireland and Romania.  Tom has produced feasibility study and Multi-Criteria Analysis guidance and supported climate change risk assessments for flood risk management schemes in Romania seeking European Investment Bank funding.  He has delivered training courses in flood scheme appraisal to the OPW in Ireland.

Tom has been the key client contact and technical expert for site specific flood risk assessments for major global clients (Boeing, Jabil) seeking evidence based property insurance.  He has the ability and experience to apply global best practise and understand local and national norms, methods and data.

He was a key member of the Western Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) project team, involved in all stages of the project. 

Tom has proven experience of delivering multidisciplinary flood and environmental projects with teams from different organisations.  He demonstrated his broad understanding of environmental considerations and issues in the development of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Green Infrastructure Strategy and reviews of EIAR, Habitats Directive, WFD and Climate Change submissions for Hungarian flood relief schemes seeking EIB investment. 

Ross Bryant - Principal Analyst

Ross has 20 years’ experience within the field of flood risk modelling, mapping, GIS analysis and scour risk management.  He has been involved in a wide variety of projects that range from asset management to national scale flood mapping and risk assessment.  Ross is also involved in business development and staff leadership for JBA Ireland.  His background is in asset management and flood risk assessment with involvement in a wide variety of projects that range from national scale flood risk assessment for road/railway agencies and insurance firms to site specific flood risk assessment and expert witness flood studies.  

Ross is a key member of the JBA team involved in integrating the Planning Guidelines within the Local Authority planning system.  He has developed and led Strategic Flood Risk Assessments for Local Area Plans, Development Plans and County Development Plans across Counties Meath, West Meath, Clare, Carlow, South Dublin and Wexford, developing county flood maps and a risk based approach to managing development and flooding.  Adopting an iterative process, Ross has worked with Local Authority Planners and Engineers to allocate land zoning objectives in the various Development Plans to ensure compliance with the Planning Guidelines.  

Through completion of various national and county scale flood mapping projects Ross has expertise in managing, analysing and visualising large and complex datasets using a range of GIS software platforms and the application of hydrological and hydraulic flood models.