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.

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Dr Andrew Smith and Dr Chris Sampson

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.

SSBN logo

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.

Flood risk intelligence map

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.

Our Pledge

One for all—Whenever in need, each teammate knows that they can lean on the whole company for support. Together, we solve problems better.

We make a difference—The impact that we have as individuals and as a team is one that we are proud of.  Our work has purpose, and that is to bridge the gap between academia and industry. 

Science is in our DNA—As scientists, we’re on top of all the latest discoveries in the world of water risk. And working with other world-leading research teams, we make many of these discoveries ourselves. We put our peer-reviewed research to work  solving our customers’ challenges.

We are open and transparent—Our customers know exactly where they stand, because we’re 100% honest about how we develop our products. We thrive on open feedback and conversation with our customers and fellow scientists from around the world.

We embrace individuality—At Fathom being different is the norm and we value all opinions from our teammates. As a company, we challenge the status quo to deliver real innovations that stand out from the crowd.

We are dynamic—Always determined to do even better, we are flexible with our employees, adaptable with our customers and agile as a business. We shape what we do around what needs to be done.

Chief Technical Officer

Dr Christopher Sampson

Chief Operations Officer

Dr Andrew Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Stuart Whitfield


Prof Paul Bates

Chief Research Officer

Dr Oliver Wing

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr Jeff Neal

Principal Hydraulic Modeller

Dr James Savage

Principal Modeller

Dr Niall Quinn

Head of Engineering

Gavin Lewis


Gaia Olcese

Global Product and Audience Marketing Manager

Holly Taylor

Senior Climate Change Expert

Dr Natalie Lord

Senior Developer

Dr Pete Uhe

Senior Model Developer

Dr Simbi Hatchard

Insurance Business Development Manager

Harry Vardigans

Senior Developer

Nick Sampson

Chief Product Officer

Dr Matthew Jones

Research Mathematician

Izzy Probyn

Senior Hydrologist

Dr Nans Addor

Rodríguez González
Infrastructure Manager

Josué Rodríguez González

Head of Talent Acquisition

Jess Szucs

Senior Developer

Dr Jannis Hoch

Graduate Developer

Joe Bates

Graduate GIS Specialist

Sam Himsworth


Tom Collings


Prof. Ivan Haigh


Hamish Wilkinson

Hydraulic Model Developer

Anthony Cooper

Software Engineer

Rhianwen Davies

Junior CAT Model Developer

Conor Lamb

Senior Software Engineer

Olumide Ogundele

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.