“We are tackling a truly complex problem that has a massive impact on the livelihoods of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of people who are affected every year by extreme floods all around the world.”
Flood Engineer and Data Scientist Juan Ossa-Moreno is working with FloodMapp towards the mission to save lives and reduce the impact of flooding.
Juan is part of the ForeCast team and manages the quality assurance of the outputs of FloodMapp’s ForeCast product, having come to FloodMapp with a fascination with water and extensive practical and academic experience.
“I first started to enjoy working with water resources like hydraulics, hydrology, fluid mechanics and flood modelling while studying my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in Colombia,” Juan said.
“I began my career in research and academia as a research assistant for some years, then I did a master’s degree before I moved to Australia to undertake a PhD research in hydrology and water resources management in mining regions.
“This research project involved analysing water from multiple perspectives, including social and economic points of view. It was a great opportunity to understand the importance of water resources management for our society.”
“After finishing this degree, I worked in engineering consulting which was a great experience for me to apply my technical knowledge in a different environment and to add value in very relevant projects in Australia and several other countries, in industries such as energy renewables, mining, urban drainage/flooding and green hydrogen.”
“I thought FloodMapp’s work was very interesting in how the company was merging two things I was very interested in - water resources (flooding) and technology (coding, cloud infrastructure, data science, etc.).”
FloodMapp first caught Juan’s eye when he saw the tangible, positive impact of the technology.
“I am quite excited about the work we are doing at FloodMapp to build a safer future where the costs of flooding, in terms of economic and human costs, are zero. I would like to continue supporting my team at FloodMapp with my flood engineering experience but am very happy to continue learning about data science, cloud infrastructure and coding, business development, sales and management,” Juan said.
“It is about finding a solution to the very large number of people that lose their lives because of floods, all the economic impacts and the traumas that this generates in the affected people. Also, with the population growing and changing climate conditions, the consequences of floods are expected to rise, so finding a solution to mitigate their toll is crucial for our communities.”
Clearly very community-minded and devoted to reducing the impacts of flooding, Juan is also passionate about the community work he does to support school students from marginalised communities in Colombia.
“Though I now live in Sydney, I spend a lot of time supporting a non-profit back home in Colombia that is rethinking public education by connecting public schools with EdTech,” Juan said.
“We support several schools and hundreds of students from marginalised communities for them to develop STEM skills in robotics and computational thinking, amongst others, so that they can break intergenerational poverty cycles and thrive in the digital era. We have also developed a free online platform that is used by thousands of students to prepare for free for the final year school exam in Colombia.”
Oh, and he’s also a passionate football fan, especially for his home team Independiente Santa Fe!
FloodMapp is very lucky to have Juan on the team as he so passionately displays compassion and empathy for people impacted by flooding, as well as excellence in his work.