James Berryman

BSc Geography (Human) and Planning (2006); MSc Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy (2007)
Current Job: 
Drainage Design Consultant, Business Development, ACO

Why did you choose Cardiff University as a place to study?

The School of Geography and Planning has an extensive and well recognized range of courses. The wider university is well located in Cardiff city centre and offers one of the best students unions in the country with a mass of societies. I was in no doubt after completing by BSc to stay at Cardiff University to study my MSc. 

What was the best thing about your time as a student at Cardiff?

I gained an extensive amount of knowledge from the courses I attended and gained numerous friends. I was an active member of the Cardiff University Rowing club and enjoyed all the training and social aspects.

What thing or person inspired you most whilst you were a Cardiff University student?

The School is a great department with experts in a diverse range of all things planning. As you progress through a course you gain detailed insights into planning as a tool for to provide regeneration and economic gains, environmental and sustainable advances and social and aesthetic success.

What one thing would you tell someone else about the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff?

The class sizes rarely exceeded 30 for many lectures and at post grad often half this which enabled a more active connection between the students and the lecturers and enabled greater input.

How did your degree most help you in the career or job you have now chosen?

A large part of both my current and previous role as a Product Manager for a civil engineering software company is the ability to understand and translate policy, guidance and standards into products. These products are both:

  • software design tools to model and manage storm water sustainability
  • physical products used to collect, clean, hold and release storm water 

Tell us a bit about your current job, how you got into what you are doing and what you enjoy about it most.

My currently role began as a research analyst following guidance and translating this into best practice for software design tools. This developed into:

  • Project manage software release focusing on research and specification of all software futures in line with changing regulations/standards and customers feedback. Coordinating this with the development team and producing all support and markets materials.
  • Pluvial flood modeling for events affected by the 2007 floods, notably Thatcham, Berkshire. The completed project was referenced in the ministerial Pitt Review and the Thatcham floods were subsequently chosen as one of the first six Surface Water management Plans.
  • Heading US research on international project to develop a sustainable drainage design product to tests for water quality, pollution removal and storage capabilities of various SuDS, LID, BMP/WSUD.
  • I am a committee member on the Central Southern Branch for the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM). In June 2012 delivered a paper at the annual CIWEM Surface Water Management conference.
  • I sit on the British Water SuDS group.
  • To date I have sat on four CIRIA project steering groups, covering topics such as Water Sensitive Urban Design, sustainable urban drainage systems, and Retrofitting to Manage Surface Water.
  • Collaboration with the University of Sheffield in the development of a new Green Roof runoff calculation tool now implemented within the software. I presented the final paper at the 2010 World Green Roof Congress and the work was referenced within the Environment Agencies green roof tool kit which was short listed for RTPI award (at the same awards evening I was pleased to see Jon Anderson accept an award for the School for the Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy MSc Course).
  • Deliver training courses on an array of technical water management topics to consulting engineers, Environment Agency, University Students, Water Boards, and Local Authorities.

What opportunities do you feel have opened up to you as a result of being a student at the School of Geography and Planning?

Both my BSc and MSc created a good platform for my career, providing a broad range of the knowledge that I still use as I regularly liaise with customers from numerous backgrounds, such as the Environment Agency, Local Authorities and Engineering Consultants.

Tell us any interesting facts about yourself, hobbies or interests that you have.

Having grown up on the family farm in the far west of Cornwall I have a keen interest in rural pursuits. I also enjoy travelling, photography, and walking.