Richard Maxey is one of our Senior Hydrologists. For this article, he took some time to let us know about himself and the role he plays in our Flood Forecasting and Warning team.
What attracted you to working for SEPA?
I’d been working as a hydrologist in the Environment Agency in England for more years than I care to mention. I was looking for a move to Scotland, which I’d been visiting regularly for many years and where I had a few contacts. The arrival of new opportunities in flood risk management gave me the chance to continue with similar work, in a place that I wanted to live, and be in at the start of the new forecasting service at an exciting time.
What kind of work are you involved in?
I’m the SEPA Coordinator for the Scottish Flood Forecasting Service (SFFS). This is a partnership between SEPA and the Met Office that’s been going since early 2011. Every day, SEPA hydrologists and Met Office forecasters issue the SFFS Flood Guidance Statement which provides guidance on flood risk to emergency responders and the government. We also issue Flood Alerts and provide a central hub of expertise in all things related to flood forecasting.
My job entails looking after this system on a day-to-day basis in partnership with my opposite number in Met Office Aberdeen, ensuring that everyone knows what they are doing and has the tools for the job. We also have to keep on top of the latest forecasting science in the fields of meteorology (entailing visits to Met Office HQ in Exeter) and hydrology so that our tools and products stay at the forefront of operational forecasting practice. You can read more about the work of the forecasting service at www.floodforecastingservice.net
What are your green credentials?
I walk a lot. As I live near the office and the middle of Perth I tend not to use the car much for local journeys. I also often take the train. This includes journeys to Exeter for work purposes, but also long distance travel across Europe for holidays on occasion.
Visitors to my house sometimes comment on how frugal I am with my heating, which comes courtesy of a supplier who invest their profits in renewables.
What is your favourite Scottish environment?
The Highlands and islands are fantastic, particularly in the north west. I get into the hills whenever I can, and am grinding out the munros (still a couple more years to go at least!). Island hopping is also great fun.
Closer to home I’ve been exploring the Fife Coast Path and rural Perthshire.