Water Modelling Solutions and I3 Consulting Prove a Dream Team

Why Their Partnership is a Lesson for the Engineering Industry

Australian East Coast

Monika Balicki

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Location
Australian East Coast

Water Modelling Solutions (WMS) is a specialist water engineering firm with offices in Brisbane and Melbourne. Founded in 2012, they engage in both private and public sector work. Projects for the private sector typically involve collaboration with other consultants, civil engineers, construction companies, developers, architects and town planners. These firms seek WMS to ensure a smooth path through the approval process and that optimised solutions are ultimately constructed.

I3 Consulting (icubed) is an engineering and development consultant firm that also has offices in Brisbane and Melbourne. Founded in 2004, the business has a strong focus on renewable energy and infrastructure. WMS and icubed crossed paths and soon realised they could be a formidable team in the industry.

The First Project

Nick Canto, Director of icubed recalls their first project with WMS. icubed was working on a proposal in the Toowoomba region, but realised they didn’t have the technical capability in the stormwater space to go it alone. He decided it would be “better and easier for us to just go to an expert”.

WMS was an easy choice for Nick. He explains, “They’d already done a bit of work in that region for that council so there was a degree of trust with the approving authorities already…it demonstrated to the authorities that the reporting was above scrutiny. It made life easier.”

Travis Smith, Principal Civil Engineer at icubed also recalls that first job with WMS, saying they “smashed that one out of the park”. They are now his “first call when it comes to 2D modelling work”. Travis explains that “when it comes to that water field, it’s very specialised. And if you mess it up it creates a lot of problems for everyone involved. So having a specialist who we can trust to get it right and not have to think about it is really great.”

The Benefits of an Ongoing Relationship

Since that first project WMS and icubed have joined forces for numerous others. Their partnership proved a successful one, seeing projects approved more quickly and smoothly by local authorities.

Whether it’s a complete outsource or whether it’s a less critical body of work where we might get WMS to do peer reviews on our work, it’s just a very comfortable relationship. It certainly makes life easier.

Nick Canto, Director at icubed consulting

Monika Balicki, Director of WMS agrees, acknowledging they know what icubed needs and vice versa. The trust is so great between the two businesses that they no longer need to spend time submitting long proposals. A project can get underway with a simple email. As Monika explains further, “It keeps coming back to that familiarity – the more you work with someone, the more experience you have, the easier it is to get projects done. You’re not giving them outlandish suggestions because you understand the requirements.”

The advantage of involving a specialist communications person was that it ensured a high level of engagement, which was important to Council – they wanted to know the community were properly consulted with and had their say. Having a specialist engagement team in board also allowed WMS to focus on the technical aspects of the study, which in themselves were quite complex and challenging.

This was demonstrated by the Witmack Road Solar Farm project that the two worked on together. icubed knew the area flooded and had ground erosion issues. However, it was critical that they understood the depth and velocity of water flowing through the area. They needed this information so they could work out where to put the solar farm. Travis Smith says they went straight to WMS with a brief that was more complex than normal, and “they picked it up straight away and ran with it. They came back to us with a model which conveyed those two pieces of information”. From there icubed was able to come up with a layout for the farm that was a feasible investment for their client. Travis says, “the modelling went through council smoothly with no objections. The client was rapt. And we were rapt.”

WMS and icubed are a perfect example of how engineering firms can work together for better, faster results. By harnessing each other’s strengths, they’ve collaborated and developed a relationship built on trust. Time and money are saved because each knows how the other works and each knows they can rely on the other. As Monika says, these working relationships “should be a win-win situation” and WMS and icubed have proven that they can be.