Blake began his career in 2004 on the Gold Coast with DHI, a Danish water consulting company and also the suppliers of the MIKE suite of software. The first few years of Blake’s career were focussed on hydrodynamic modelling of sewer systems and planning of upgrades. Much of this time was spent on secondment to Gold Coast Water. Following this, Blake spent the next five years undertaking flood studies, flood impact assessments, drainage assessments, support for road and rail design, management of custom software development, software support and training. Blake also completed several long-term secondments embedded in both government and private organisations. It was during this time that Blake really gained an appreciation for the impact modelling could have on the projects especially in relation to approvals, design and costs.
In 2010, Blake became DHI’s Flooding Business Area Manager for Australia. In this role, Blake lead DHI to many new clients and projects in Western Australia, whilst maintaining and expanding relationships in Queensland and New South Wales.
Blake grew up around small business. His father owned, started and grew a carpentry business followed by a residential construction business during the 1980s to 2000s and Blake worked in a local marine chandlery when at school and university. Whilst exposed to the ups and downs of small business at times, the rewards of close relationships with clients and colleagues were always evident.
By the beginning of 2012, at the height of the mining boom, Blake recognised that many modellers and companies specialising in modelling had shifted focus from solutions to problems to more and more detailed modelling processes and techniques often without project benefit. Seeing this as an opportunity, Blake founded Water Modelling Solutions in June 2012. Initially on contract to Gold Coast City Council, Blake undertook a performance improvement study of the Woongoolba Drainage Scheme liaising extensively with farmers in the region as well as hydrodynamic modelling of the Gold Coast Seaway and Broadwater to inform the Cruise Ship Terminal project. In mid-2013, Blake and his family relocated to Toowoomba to assist Council with the recovery from the devastating floods in 2011 and to assist with an amendment to Council’s Planning Scheme for the inclusion of flooding. Whilst on contract to Council, Blake also led the submission of many successful funding applications including for a flood forecasting system for Oakey that he led the technical development of.
In 2015, Blake was joined by Monika in ownership of the business. At this time Water Modelling Solutions opened its first office in Brisbane and began to employ more engineers. As Managing Director, Blake now spends about half his time on management activities and half on technical engineering.