Imperial College Research Software Community Newsletter - August 2021

Hello Imperial RSEs and researchers. I hope you’ve been having a good summer - even though, if you’ve been in London, the weather has made it feel somewhat less like summer over recent weeks! If you’ve taken some time off then I hope you’ve had an enjoyable break. This was intended to be a somewhat cut down summer edition of the newsletter, however, with lots going on, we’ve ended up providing the usual array of events, news and announcements to keep you up to date with what’s happening over the coming weeks. I hope you’ll find some interesting research software-related activities or articles in this month’s selection to help keep you engaged and informed as we head towards the start of the new academic year.

Over the next few months, in our new “Research Computing at Imperial” feature, we’ll be introducing some of the people at Imperial who are helping to provide the various research software and research infrastructure resources and services that are available to support the College’s research community. This month we have an introduction from Andrew Richards, Imperial’s new Head of Research Computing Services, based in ICT. Our regular Research Software of the Month feature is taking a summer break and will be back next month.

In this month’s newsletter:

Research Computing at Imperial

To kick off this new series of introductions from key members of the College community helping to run, manage and support research computing and research software services, we’re delighted to welcome Andrew Richards, Imperial’s new Head of Research Computing Services:

I would like to introduce myself as the new Head of Research Computing Services in ICT. I joined at the beginning of July 2021, and I am looking forward to working with the RSE community across the college. The central RSE team in RCS has a key role to play in being a part of, and supporting, the broader college RSE activities.

My personal background has been in the higher education and research council large facilities sector for over 20 years. I have always enjoyed developing research computing infrastructure from HPC to grid to cloud and the interdependence on software that can fully make use of these platforms.

Having recently taken on the role, the most important aspects for me now are understanding the essential needs of researchers across the college and I would be happy to meet directly with anyone for a one-to-one session to discuss thoughts and ideas on how RCS can continue to improve its offering across computing infrastructure and software development areas to underpin research at Imperial.

Please get in touch!

You can find further details about Andrew’s role on the Imperial website.

SeptembRSE - September 2021

After a two-year gap, the annual RSE conference is back this year but in a rather different format. SeptembRSE, the 5th Conference of Research Software Engineers will take place online throughout the month of September. Registration for the conference is open at £35 for non-members of the Society of RSE and £15 for Society members. See the registration page for more details. The timetable is now live showing the huge range of sessions that the conference will host between the 6th and 30th September.

Dates for your diary

RSE Bytes


Blog posts, tools & more

Some reminders…

RS Community coffee…

…continues weekly via Teams - normally on Friday afternoons at 3pm but check our Slack workspace for exact times and connection details.

RS Community Slack

The Imperial Research Software Community Slack workspace is a place for general community discussion as well as featuring channels for individuals interested in particular tools or topics. If you’re an OpenFOAM user, why not join the #OpenFOAM channel where regular code review sessions are announced (amongst other CFD-related discussions…). Users of the Nextflow workflow tool can find other Imperial Nextflow users in #nextflow. You can find other R developers in #r-users and there is the #DeepLearners channel for our new AI/ML group. Take a look at the other available channels by clicking the “+” next to “Channels” in the Slack app and selecting “Browse channels”. If you want to start your own group around a tool, programming language or topic not currently represented, feel free to create a new channel and advertise it in #general.

Research Computing Tips

See the Research Computing Service’s Research Computing Tips series for a variety of helpful tips for using RCS resources and related tools and services.

Research Software Directory

Imperial’s Research Software Directory provides details of a range of research software and tools developed by groups and individuals at the College. If you’d like to see your software included in the directory, you can open a pull request in the GitHub Repository or get in touch with the Research Software Community Committee.

Get in Touch, Get Involved!

Drop us a line with anything you’d like included in the newsletter, ideas about how it could be improved… or even offer to guest-edit a future edition!

If you’re reading this on the web and would like to receive the next newsletter directly to your inbox then please subscribe to our RSE Community Mailing List here.

This issue of the Research Software Community Newsletter was edited by Jeremy Cohen. All previous newsletters are available in our online archive.