Senior leadership team

Ben Shearer

Managing Director

Ben is the Managing Director and is responsible for leading the business in delivering client solutions in portfolio delivery and strategic asset management.

He is an experienced Director and project professional with over 10 years’ experience of major projects in the water and gas industry. He has acted in numerous roles as project director and delivered programmes in excess of £1.2bn.

Ben provides strategic advice on development and implementation of client operating models and delivery vehicles, including leveraging value to achieve operational and capital efficiency requirements.

Neal Edmondson

Director of Clients and Partnerships

Neal is Director of Clients and Partnerships which involves leading the company's client management function and sales pipeline, as well as contributing to the wider development of the business.

Neal’s background is in management consultancy and business development across the utilities and infrastructure sectors. His focus is on winning, developing, and delivering projects, often by forming value-add partnerships, that secure funding, maximise innovation and realise value for clients.

His experience includes framework and account management, providing strong relationship building and stakeholder management capabilities. These are enhanced by critical thinking, strategy and leadership skills developed through a successful executive MBA programme and as a Chartered Manager.

Emma Carroll-Walsh

Director of Customer Programmes

Emma’s role is to grow the Customer Programmes service line, the purpose of which is to help clients manage and deliver portfolios, programmes, and projects, typically deploying a team that will deliver economies of scale to their needs.

As a Chartered Project Professional and Fellow of the Association for Project Management (APM) Emma brings with her over 30 years project management experience, delivering programmes across aerospace, power and energy, supply chain, and built environment sectors.

Min Bahia

Director of Commercial

Min is the Director of Commercial and plays a key role providing clients with an excellent service, spearheading transformative business programmes, and driving innovation.

With over 20 years of professional experience, Min has honed his expertise in commercial and project management within the construction, transportation, water, and energy sectors. His diverse portfolio includes quantity surveying, cost estimation, commercial and procurement oversight, value and risk management, cost assurance, and project/programme advisory. He holds a professional qualification as Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Min consistently delivers exemplary value-for-money savings and operational efficiencies, thriving in high-paced delivery programmes. Passionate about innovation, he endeavours to provide net-zero solutions while leading a profitable business.

Michael McNamara

Director of Engineering and Design

Michael is Director of Engineering and Design and leads a talented and innovative engineering and design team to develop and deliver outcome focused safe, efficient, and sustainable solutions. The team has a successful track record of results for service delivery across the asset lifecycle, from feasibility and optioneering through to pre-construction phase design, build, commissioning, and operational support.

Michael has over 25 years’ experience in developing and delivering engineering consultancy services across the asset lifecycle. Throughout his career, he has worked for a number of the UK leading engineering consultancy, manufacturing and design and build companies. 

As an engineering leader with extensive operational and project management experience in several of the UKs regulated markets including energy, water, transport and defence, Michael has a proven track record for design and execution of strategies that link short term requirements to longer-term objectives.

Tom Rathmell

Director of Engineering Services

Tom is Director of Engineering Services providing leadership across the portfolio of engineering, water infrastructure and modelling projects, supporting the development of, consultancy services that relate to client’s key challenges.

Tom began his career as a civil engineer and wastewater modeller and has held numerous roles at Sweco including secondments into NWL as Project Manager. His most recent role was UK Water Director for Sweco, where he led the Water business across the UK and developed a strategy to service both client and contractor relationships, as an engineering services provider.

Mark Pye

Director of Strategic Advisory

Mark Pye is Director of Strategic Advisory, focusing on the delivery of client specific solutions for the development and implementation of Target Operating Models and organisational design, strategic asset management, optimisation and efficiency, programme identification, development, set up and performance improvement.

Mark also acts as Project Director (leadership) and Project Executive (governance) for client projects, whilst also leading the development of several sector client specific growth strategies.

Through a 20+ year career in business development, programme design and delivery, transformation, and asset management across Infrastructure, he has developed a proven track record for successful senior client relationships, leadership, and excellent value creation.

With experience in utilities, highways, aviation, and the public sector, Mark is practised in the development of cohesive, integrated and aligned teams and organisations to define and deliver joint business and regulatory objectives and has a proven track record of delivering sustainable business solutions and performance through optimisation, asset management and efficiency.

Michael Clark

Director of Infrastructure Management and Modelling

Michael is Director of Infrastructure Management and Modelling specialising in data, systems and (water networks) asset management. His focus is on innovative solutions development for water distribution systems through, water network management, network modelling, asset reliability and network optimisation related projects.

Michael has decades of ‘hands on’ water networks experience and his strength is in building teams and delivering significant programs of work.

Michael has a wealth of experience in the development of optimised processes and structured governance through the creation of best practice methodologies which aids clients in the delivery of holistic and evidential, risk-based network performance assessments. This culminates in the delivery of optimum intervention recommendations focused on a client’s regulatory targets & ODI’s.

Colum Goodchild

Director of Asset Management

Colum is Director of Asset Strategy which involves working with organisations to develop their approach to business planning.

He brings with him experience from Cadent Gas as their Regulatory Investment Planning Manager, where he developed a £4billion business plan (RIIO-GD2), and National Grid as their Asset Strategy and Investment Programme Manager where he lead the implantation of a £500m per annum investment programme.

Before that he worked for Northumbrian Water in a variety of Asset Manager and Operational roles
including production of the water and waste water business plan submission for PR14.

Whether asset strategy, asset planning or asset management, Colum’s role as working with customers and stakeholders to design and deliver the right services through time.

Karl Godfrey

Director of Delivery and Performance

Karl is the Director of Delivery and Performance and is responsible for the internal PMO, commercial management and support services. With a key focus on delivering value to our clients; Karl is ultimately accountable for ensuring we deliver on our commitments and have the supporting infrastructure to meet our client and business needs.

The Delivery and Performance team lead our consultants to ensure right first-time delivery and that the business is set-up to deliver for our clients in the most efficient way.

He has over 10 years’ experience delivering public and private sector projects across nuclear, defence, water and regulated industries and has a keen interest in all things digital. Karl also provides consultancy within project services and transformation, embedding solutions to provide actionable insights.

Katie Swithenbank

Finance Director

Katie is CIMA qualified, Head of Finance, ensuring fiscal health and regulatory compliance. She fosters cross-departmental collaboration to align financial objectives with organizational goals, leveraging robust management information and conducting comprehensive analysis, while providing actionable insights for strategic decision-making.

She is particularly passionate about continuous improvement, driving initiatives to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, contributing to Aqua's growth and long-term sustainability as a valued strategic member of the leadership team.

With over 18 years of diverse finance experience across industries such as facilities management, SaaS, and procurement, Katie offers a wealth of commercial insight to Aqua. Her background encompasses budgeting, forecasting, risk management, and commercial acumen honed through navigating various sectors.

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