The beginnings In 2012, whilst working as a group of researchers at the University of Bristol, Fathom’s co-founders started to discuss some of the major obstacles that needed to be overcome in order to simulate flooding across entire countries in developing regions of the world. Flood models had historically been built at small-scales and in data-rich areas, so the creation of large-scale models in data-scarce regions would require a radically different approach.
The founders therefore began to examine the best ways to bring together cutting-edge research methods from across a range of complementary fields such as hydrology, hydraulics and remote sensing. In 2013, this conversation led to the formation of Fathom, with the aim being to create a leading, data-driven and transparent modelling organisation to help improve our understanding of flooding around the world.
Today, Fathom has become a global leader in water risk intelligence. Academic research remains as important to our team now as when we started. In the face of the increasing challenges posed by climate change, this commitment ensures we are providing our customers and partners with market-leading flood models based on the ever-advancing frontiers of scientific research.
Whilst undertaking their PhDs at the University of Bristol, Chris and Andrew visited America to attend a research conference. It was there that they developed the idea for Fathom.
When first founded, Fathom was named SSBN Ltd. The company operated under this name until 2017.
Fathom’s purpose was to build models in data scarce areas of the world when first developed. Here is one of Fathom’s first models.
Having origionally received grant funding from the Natural Environment Research Council, Fathom’s first office was at the Engine Shed.
It was in the US that Fathom first made a name for itself following the release of the first fully peer-reviewed and validated US flood catastrophe model.
Our mission Our mission is to provide scientifically rigorous water and climate information for the benefit of businesses and communities worldwide.
It is Fathom’s vision to become global leaders in the provision of water risk intelligence.
Collaboration—We will work with academic and commercial partners to pioneer the future of flood risk intelligence.
Transparency—We will be open and transparent with the data that we produce, enabling both the academic community and industry to scrutinise our work.
Research first—Our products will be led by research and our team will remain actively involved in academia.
Accessibility—Wherever possible, we will make our products and research available to external academic researchers to enable their own research objectives.
Dr Andrew Smith
Prof Paul Bates
Dr Christopher Sampson
Dr Jeff Neal
Dr Natalie Lord
Dr Oliver Wing
Dr James Savage
Dr Jeison Sosa
Dr Niall Quinn
Dr Simbi Hatchard
Dr Matthew Jones
Josué Rodríguez González
Quote Fathom delivered high-quality and timely analyses to improve the global flood hazard classification in ThinkHazard!, and helped make the data available for disaster risk management activities in developing countries.