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IT Services

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Meet the team

Adrian Harwood

Adrian is a Research Software Engineer (RSE) and the Mobile and GPGPU Application Lead for the RSE team. He joined the team from a permanent lectureship in the School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering at The University of Manchester where he led research into interactive simulation tools for Computational Fluid Dynamics. He has a PhD in Numerical Aero-acoustics and has a track record of publishing open source software. His experience includes a wide range of APIs: UE4, CUDA and OpenGL/GLSL for GPU, MPI and HDF5 for HPC, VTK, Android SDK/NDK, JNI and Kinect. He has language experience in C/C++, Java, C#, MATLAB and VBA.


Aitor Apaolaza

Aitor joined the team as a Research Software Engineer after working as a Research Associate for The University of Manchester. His PhD focused on the gathering and analysis of Web interaction events, to identify interaction behaviours correlated with visitors' familiarity with the Web page. After his PhD, Aitor participated in various research projects, such as IDInteraction, where he studied how users interact with multiple screens via multiple sensors. Aitor has experience as a full stack software developer, combining Web applications with data science features. He developed WevQuery, a highly interactive Web application that allows users to describe interaction behaviours as sequences of events, transforms them into scalable queries, and provide visualisations and pattern mining functionalities to analyse them. Aitor has experience (among others) with NodeJs, Java, and R, as well as multiple database systems including SQL and NoSQL.


Andrew Gilchrist

Andrew is a Systems Administrator working as a member of the Research Infrastructure team. His current role involves supporting the research needs of academics mainly within the fields of genomics, bioinformatics, biomedicine and bio-imaging through provision of High Performance Computing and storage for “big data”.


Andrew Jerrison

Andrew is a Research Software Engineer and prior to this role had a background in industry working in commercial enterprise software. He is the lead software engineer for Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health research projects. Since he has been at the University he has worked on software for a large number of research projects within the Humanities and Medicine areas. He designs and develops bespoke applications across different technologies and platforms, which support the research of the University. Andrew also acts in a technical consultant role for the preparation of grant bids.


Andrew Rowley

Andrew works as a Senior Software Engineer and is assigned to work on key software for the Human Brain Project within the APT group in the Department of Computer Science. Since joining the University in 2004 he has worked on a number of software projects and his current role involves setting up the SpiNNaker Neuromorphic Compute platform for the execution of large scale, biologically plausible neural networks.


Angus Hearmon

Angus is the Research IT Programme Director and IT Services Business Partner for research.

He has a background in the chemical industry where he spent 20 years - ten years running nuclear magnetic resonance labs, and ten years running the research IT function and a knowledge management consultancy. After a few years as a management consultant covering strategic change in process industries, he joined the Civil Service on large IT projects. After eight years he became Business Development Director of a government laboratory, a role including research IT accountability. His last project in government was selling the lab to the private sector.

Angus's background in IT includes programming in Fortran, interfacing and networking large instrumentation, running applications development units, enterprise architecture of a large government department and developing large databases for research data. He has also consulted in knowledge management and research systems improvement.

Angus spends his time at the University ensuring that the £15.4 million investment in the Research Lifecycle Programme maximises benefits for both researchers and the University.


Anja Le Blanc

Anja is a Research Software Engineer for Research IT. Currently she is leading the Research Applications Group. In her role she is helping researchers to adapt their software to run on larger data efficiently, writing bespoke code in suitable languages, and advising on applications.

After finishing her Computer Science studies she was working on a multitude of interdisciplinary projects. She also has experience in developing and running a national repository service.


Ann Gledson

Ann is a Research Software Engineer and has been conducting research since 2000 in the areas of data analytics, text mining, interface design and software engineering. In the InnovateUK CityVerve project she has developed a Django application to combine disparate streams of IoT data and allows users to perform various analysis techniques. In previous projects she has combined application development, data analysis and visualisation.

Ann’s main skills are in data science and in software engineering. For the former she has used python pandas, Weka, SPSS and R. For the latter she has experience in Python, C#, Delphi 7, JavaScript, Jquery, Java, XML (DOM, Schemas, XSLT), JSON, HTML, Perl, Visual Basic, C++.


Ben Pietras

Ben joined the Research IT team in 2020 as an Infrastructure Analyst, dividing his time between supporting the CSF and Research Data Management. Prior to this, he held a Research Associate position within the Department of Nuclear Physics at the University of Manchester, where he built and managed small-scale HTC clusters to perform Monte Carlo simulations. Before returning to the UK, Ben held a Research Associate position at the University of Santiago de Compostela, using MC simulations to guide the construction of calorimeter prototypes. He has also worked in industry as a Mass Spectrometer Development Scientist and obtained both his PhD in Nuclear structure and MRes in Bio-physics from the University of Liverpool.

Ben is an open-source enthusiast and has experience in C++, ROOT, PostgreSQL, LaTeX and Python.


Brian Blower

Brian joined the University in 2005, providing Linux IT support for the Imaging Science Group within the faculty of Biology, Medicine, and Health. He is currently working as a Systems Administrator for the Research Infrastructure team. He has previously implemented a range of infrastructure projects including large capacity work-group storage systems, enterprise backup solutions, both Windows and Linux HPC clusters and has been responsible for supporting multiple server rooms. Brian’s last assignment saw him implement and develop the infrastructure for the Trustworthy Research Environment, co-ordinating building work with the installation of the necessary utilities and environment to deploy an OpenStack cluster for secure data research.


Chris Grave

Having come from a Field Support Role within IT Services, Chris now works as a Systems Administrator in the Research Infrastructure Team. Chris is currently implementing and maintaining a local XNAT imaging platform one of several being set up throughout the UK for the purpose of dementia research.


Chris Heeley

Chris joined UMIST in 1986, providing IT support for the School of Biochemistry and Applied Molecular Biology until the merger in 2004. He then Joined the Faculty of EPS Central IT team in 2005, supporting desktops and infrastructure as well as various roles with Faculty and ITS, including managerial, supporting all platforms. He is now a Systems Administrator in Research IT actioned with ongoing support of RDS and RVMS/I. His current projects include Triangulum, the NVivo upgrade and the Condor Service development on the Windows Platform.


Christopher Paul

Chris joined the University in 1992 and has worked in a number of roles including temporary lectureships, IT Manager within the School of Mathematics and several EPS Faculty IT management roles. Currently Chris is responsible for setting up the research VM service, continuing to develop and support the Condor high throughput computing service, and contributing to the ongoing development and deployment of the managed EPS linux image.


Daniel Corbett

Daniel obtained a PhD in theoretical physics at the University of Cambridge in 2007. Following several research positions Oxford and Manchester he joined the Research IT team in July 2018. He works as part of the University's contribution to N8 CIR (previously N8 HPC) collaboration to work with future compute platforms.


David Love

Dave has a long career in doing and supporting research computing, initially starting out as an experimental nuclear physicist. He has had research support roles at Liverpool, Daresbury Laboratory (in assorted scientific and support roles), and Manchester. He has also been a maintainer for several significant free software projects. He is now in the Research Infrastructure team, supporting the computationally intensive research systems.

Donal Fellows

Donal is a research software engineer at the University of Manchester. Since 2002 he has worked supporting data-intensive research across many fields of science and humanities (from weather forecasting to solar wind physics, and from business resource planning to digital library curation), is experienced with the complexities at the intersection of research data and its metadata, and has experience adapting workflow solutions and cloud infrastructure to research.


Douglas Lowe

Doug is a Research Software Engineer. He gained his PhD in Environmental Sciences at Lancaster University in 2004, and has subsequently worked as a researcher at the University of Manchester, focusing on studying air quality around the world. He has worked extensively with the open source regional atmospheric chemical model WRF-Chem, and contributes to the development of this model. He was also involved in setting up, and now maintains, the forecast simulations used for the ManUniCast meteorology and air quality teaching portal. His main interests are in numerical software development and research workflows on HPC systems. He has experience in using Fortran, shell scripting, NCL, Python, Perl and Matlab.


Fiona Treacy

Fiona’s background is primarily in culture and employee engagement. She joined the University of Manchester in March 2019 as a Research Community Engagement Officer, supporting the Research Lifecycle Programme (RLP). In her role, she is responsible for identifying ways to engage with the research community, to ensure their feedback and voices are reflected in the programme. She is also responsible for the communication of the programme to ensure stakeholders are well informed about the projects and that they understand the RLP’s purpose and objectives.


George Leaver

As a member of the Research Infrastructure team, George provisions the University's computationally intensive research systems, in particular the Linux HPC clusters and GPU systems available to research groups from all faculties. This covers system administration, application support, software development (multicore and GPU) and training in the use of the University's computational systems and GPU programming.


Gerard Capes

Gerard works as a Research Software Engineer, and also provides application support for researchers on desktop and HPC facilities. He coordinates a training programme for teaching computing skills to researchers, and delivers many of the courses himself. An active member of the Software Carpentry community, he maintains threelessons and regularly contributes to the lesson materials.


Gillian Sinclair

Gillian has two roles in Research IT – Research IT Relationship Manager and N8 CIR Programme Manager. In her role as Relationship Manager, she facilitates and coordinates research networks across campus and ensures that researchers are kept up to date with Research IT activities. In her role as N8 CIR Programme Manager she is responsible for the operation of N8 CIR with the support of the N8 CIR Project Directors' Group and is also responsible for outreach, communications and reporting for N8 CIR.


Ian Cottam

Ian is a senior Research Software Engineer and Head of Research Software Engineering. As well as technical work, Ian is the point of contact and is responsible for RSE-supported projects within the Faculty of Science and Engineering. He first joined the University in the early 1980s as a computer science Lecturer in formal methods. Since then he has had numerous roles, including: Director of PEVE within CS; Research Fellow at AMBS; IT Manager for various parts of the University; IT Services Research Lead; and lately Technical Support Manager back in Computer Science. He also worked for the University spin-out company – Transitive – as VP of software engineering from day 1 (employee #1) on what became the Rosetta software layer used by Apple.


Ian Hinder

Ian is a Research Software Engineer with a background in high performance computing and numerical methods. He obtained his PhD in Applied Mathematics (General Relativity) at the University of Southampton in 2005, and subsequently worked as a researcher at Penn State University and the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, colliding black holes on supercomputers. Ian is one of the maintainers of the Einstein Toolkit, the main open source framework for numerical relativity. He is interested in good software development and data analysis practices for research, and correctness and reproducibility of computational research outputs. He has a background in C/C++, Python, MPI, OpenMP, and Mathematica.


Ian Leigh

Ian joined Research IT in 2017 and works as a System Administrator based at the Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre (SBDC). The SBDC aims to industrialise the process of identifying biomarkers (specifically proteins) that could be used to diagnose or inform treatment of diseases such as cancer.
As well as managing the numerous systems hosted on the Stollers virtualization platform, Ian also supports a variety of lab systems; Labatory Information System, Mass Spec Acquisition, Liquid Handling Automation, High-performance Liquid Chromatography, Plate Readers, etc.
Prior to joining the University, he lead a team of IT support engineers at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and worked as a System Engineer at a local newspaper.


James Schumm

Jim works as a Research IT Software Engineer and in 2019 joined the Research Applications Group with a focus on building a service for online digital collections. Prior to this he provided central IT Support and Development for 5 years to the large multi-site Neighbourhoods and Dementia study, funded under the Prime Minister's First Challenge on Dementia. He has worked in IT at the University since the mid-1990s, assisting researchers in a number of areas including medical image analysis, online international economic time series data and geospatial data provision.


James Sinnott

James is a Research Software Engineer with over 15 year's experience as a software developer in both industry and academia. He has a particular interest in usability and good user interface design. He is currently working in the Division of Informatics, Imaging and Data Sciences, helping to build tools to improve patient outcomes in NHS Primary Care.


Joshua Woodcock

Josh is a Research Software Engineer. A recent graduate from our University he currently works with Virtual Reality - creating interactive prototypes for researchers using Unity and VRTK. He also develops for the web and mobile, and within data science using Python, R, Typescript, Django, and Wagtail. Josh is particularly interested in using new technologies to further research and sharing knowledge on how best to use them.


Kamie Kitmitto

Kamie is a geospatial expert interested in the creation, value addition and management of data big and small. After finishing his PhD in Geomatics Engineering at UCL and a stint in industry, he moved to Manchester, 1991, to provide consultancy and training to the academic community on the use of geospatial technologies. Kamie is interested in the creation and utilisation of Spatial Data Infrastructure and their part in supporting, research, visualisation and analysis.


Kamilla Kopek-Harding

Kamilla (Milla) is a Research Software Engineer with a focus on data management and data science. After completing a PhD in computational chemistry at the University of Manchester (2012). She worked as a research assistant and health data manager/scientist in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health before joining Research IT. She has experience in Python, R, Stata and SPSS, and is interested in data analysis, text mining, prediction models and data harmonisation.


Louise Lever

Louise works as a Research IT Software Engineer and specialises in data visualization and analysis, web application development and HPC. She has collaborated on many projects ranging from local academic support through to international commercial product delivery. Louise provides technical consultancy to the researcher community and has a life-long passion for the application of computer graphics and visualization to research challenges.


Mark Lundie

Like many of his colleagues, Mark moved from using HPC systems to supporting them. Following a PhD in computational physics at the University of Salford, he joined the Hartree Centre at Daresbury Laboratory as a HPC Systems Administrator, where he supported the local compute and storage platforms, as well as the UK national service, Archer. Mark has joined the team as part of the University's contribution to the N8-CIR (formerly N8-HPC) collaboration to work with future compute platforms, both locally hosted and cloud-based.


Martin Turner

Martin is a Research IT Relationship Manager, and is a Visiting Scientist within the Scientific Computing Division in STFC; after overlapping secondments being Visualisation Director for the Harwell Imaging Partnership (HIP) at STFC/RAL and as a Visualisation Group Leader at STFC/DL. He initially gained his PhD in the Computer Laboratory at Cambridge University, on Image Coding and now supports the full research pipeline over a broad HPC/HTC background, specialising in many Visualization Themes, Computer Graphics and Mathematical topics associated with image and signal creation, data management, analysis, processing and presentation.


Mary McDerby

Mary is a Business Analyst with over 20 years experience working in Research IT, where she has collaborated on projects with the academic community (locally, nationally and internationally). Mary has experience of managing large business change projects from the initial idea which included success in obtaining funding through to delivery of service. She specialises in Scientific Visualization, Big Data Analytics, and Research Data Management.


Nik Harratt

Nik recently joined the University from Wolverhampton Art Gallery where he was responsible for marketing their programme of contemporary art and family-friendly exhibitions across print and social media. He also prepared exhibition graphics, artwork and publications for the service using a mixture of Adobe Creative applications. Before that he was a Digital Projects Officer for Stoke-on-Trent Museums. He has experimented with technologies such as gigapixel photography, image stacking and 3D scanning and printing. These were used to increase the service’s ability to reach new audiences and improve the way that information and interpretation was communicated. Nik is the Marketing and Communications Officer for N8 CIR.


Patricia Barnby

Trish joined as a Research Software Engineer (RSE) working on the Mobile team. Her previous role was at Stoller Biomarker Discovery Centre. Working towards GcLP accreditation and ultimately GXP software compliance, Stoller provides lab facilities for discovery of novel protein biomarkers. Trish was Project Manager, Business Analyst and Administrator for the LIMS at Stoller but also produced interface software. She holds a Masters in Advanced Computer Science, the main area of interest being IoT, mobile and smart watch development. Trish has 20 years of inductry experience working in highly regulated public sector environments as both systems analyst and full stack developer, including (among others) Mobile, Java, C# as well as multiple database systems including Oracle, MySQL and SQLServer. She has BSC accreditation in Agile, Requirements Engineering and Business Analysis Practice.


Penny Richardson

Pen joined in October 2001 as a helpdesk analyst for the University and national HPC services. Currently she is part of the Research Infrastructure Team which administers and provides support to researchers for a number of facilities including parallel and high-throughput computing, data storage, and virtual machine provision.


Peter Crowther

Peter has a background in Physical Chemistry and recently completed his PhD in Nanophysics at the University of Bristol. At Bristol, Peter worked on cluster classification and image processing algorithms for analysing experimental colloidal particle systems. He mainly works with C/C++ and Python but also has experience in R, MATLAB, LabVIEW and VB.Net. He also has a training role in Research IT helping researchers to get the most from the services that we offer.


Phil Bradbury

Phil works as a Developer in Research IT where his work primarily focusses on enabling Academic Staff to store their research data into a secure database, via a bespoke Administrative interface, and also then making this data publicly available for browsing/searching via the World Wide Web. He is currently using Microsoft .Net (C#) with MVC as the main coding technologies (and JQuery/Javascript for UI enhancements), and SQL Server as a backend datastore.


Richard Hoskins

Richard is an Infrastructure Analyst with a background in databases, development and systems administration. He joined the University in 2001, working initially as an Analyst/Programmer and subsequently as a Database Administrator overseeing the key Business Systems. He studied Mathematics at The (Victoria) University of Manchester and holds a PhD from UMIST.


Robert Haines

Robert is the Head of Research IT and an Honorary Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science. He is one of the originators of the term 'Research Software Engineer', has served for six years as an elected representative of the UK RSE Association, chaired the first conference of Research Software Engineers in 2016, and is a founding trustee of the Society of Research Software Engineering.

Robert has worked in a wide range of domains for research projects of various types and sizes from small proof-of-concept investigations up to long-term multi-partner UKRI, EU and US NSF projects. He has collaborated with diverse organisations such as utility companies, national laboratories, start-ups and public bodies, as well as other universities. He also contributes to a number of open-source software communities. His favourite programming language is Ruby.

Robert's research interests include software engineering, software sustainability, software use in open and reproducible research, software citation and credit, and career paths for software engineers and data scientists. He teaches on two course units in the Department of Computer Science: 'Software Engineering' for second year undergraduate students and 'Agile and Test-Driven Development' in the taught postgraduate programme.


Robin Long

Robin is a Research Software Engineer. He gained his PhD in Particle Physics from Lancaster University in 2008. He then worked as a Senior Research Associate at Lancaster on Grid Computing for particle physics where he was responsible for running an HTC (High Through-put Computing) system. He has experience in C/C++, Python, R, and LaTeX.


Sarah Franke

Sarah is the Research IT Strategic Demand Manager focused on the University’s future Research IT requirements. Key aspects of her role are to engage with the research community and colleagues across the institution and to develop our strategic plan and direction.

Prior to joining Research IT Sarah led the GDPR readiness programme for our University and managed a team of Business Relationship Managers in IT Services. She brings her experience from running engagement teams at two other Universities and feels happiest when it’s easy for users to speak to the right people at the right time.

Sarah’s background is in Social Sciences, and she gets excited about all things data privacy, equality, and Southeast European politics.


Shih-Chen Chao

Shih-Chen works as Research Software Engineer in Research IT and comes from a language, history and cultural studies background, with a PhD from the University of Manchester. She is interested in digital humanities and passionate about IT-related areas.


Simon Hood

Simon is the Head of Research Infrastructure and Platforms within Research IT. With a PhD in Mathematics from The University of Exeter he has also worked at The University of Liverpool as a postdoc in Earth Sciences and as a lecturer in the Mathematics Department. Simon leads the team which has developed and built the on-campus Research Infrastructure Ecosystem (including HPC platforms, research storage and networking, and VM infrastructure). He is also the Associate Technical Director of N8 Centre of Excellence in Computationally Intensive Research (N8 CIR).


Theresa Teng

Theresa is a Developer with many years of experience; she designs and develops be-spoke web applications and databases to support the University’s research. Other areas of expertise include business/data analysis, project management and bespoke training material design and delivery. Theresa enjoys searching for suitable IT solutions to meet researcher’s needs and turn them into reality.


Tim Furmston

Tim is a Systems Administrator who recently joined as a member of Research IT. After obtaining a degree in Computer Science he started his working career at the turn of the century at a multi-national computer memory manufacturer supporting the design of electronic components in both technical and coding development work. After a few years, Tim joined the University of Manchester in 2004 and became a member of the School of Computer Science in 2009 supporting many of the schools research IT platforms. Reponsible for setup of the schools main virtualisation platform, its current Oracle database system as well as its main web service.