The beginnings In 2012, whilst working as researchers at the University of Bristol, Fathom’s co-founders started to discuss the major obstacles that needed to be overcome in order to simulate flooding 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. Above all, 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 originally 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 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.
One for all—Whenever in need, each individual can lean on the whole team and know that they will receive the support that they need from the company.
Positive impact—The impact that we have as individuals and as a team will be one that we are proud of. Our work will have purpose and make a real world difference to our customers and society.
Science at heart—We have a symbiotic relationship with academia. Science is in Fathom’s DNA.
Open and transparent—Operating as a glass box means that we are transparent. It allows us to be open and honest about our strengths and weaknesses.
Embracing individuality—At Fathom being different is the norm and all opinions are welcomed. We challenge the status quo and stand out from the crowd.
Dynamic—We shape our actions around what needs to be done. Fathom is flexible with its employees, adaptable with its customers and agile as a business.
Dr Christopher Sampson
Dr Andrew Smith
Prof Paul Bates
Dr Jeff Neal
Dr Oliver Wing
Dr James Savage
Dr Niall Quinn
Dr Natalie Lord
Dr Pete Uhe
Dr Simbi Hatchard
Dr Matthew Jones
Dr Nans Addor
Josué Rodríguez González
Dr Jannis Hoch
Prof. Ivan Haigh
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.