Imperial College Research Software Community Newsletter - July 2022

Welcome to July’s research software community newsletter. Summer has most definitely arrived, although I suspect the recent very hot weather may have been a little too much for some of us (and our computers too!). While holiday time may be approaching, or even here already, we have a packed issue for you this month with lots going on in the world of research software. Whether you’re relaxing on a beach somewhere or just hiding out indoors to avoid the heat, we have a range of blog posts and articles to help you keep occupied and up to date with what’s going on in the research software community!

This month we’ve also opened another call for research software community committee members. Why not think about starting the new academic year by joining our committee and helping to run the Imperial research software community? With in-person events very much underway again, there will be several opportunties to help with organising and running research software events following the summer break. See the RSE Bytes section for more information on volunteering to join the committee.

Dates for your diary

Research Software of the Month

Our Research Software of the Month for July is SaBRe:

SaBRe is a selective binary rewriting system developed in the Software Reliability Group at Imperial College London that makes it easy to intercept system calls and function calls in program binaries in order to modify or enhance their operation.

We have used SaBRe to implement a fault injector, a fuzzer for networking applications, a fast system call tracer and a multi-version execution system. You can find out more about SaBRe from this talk at FOSDEM 2020 or a recent journal paper “SaBRe: Load-time Selective Binary Rewriting”.

SaBRe is open source and available on GitHub at

RSE Bytes


Call for Research Software Community Committee Members

Imperial’s Research Software Community relies on its community committee to help keep these monthly newsletters appearing in your inbox, to run events and to advocate for the importance of good research software development practices across the College.

Some longstanding members of our committee are moving on due to work committments and we’re looking for at least two new committee members to help with running the community.

Why join the committee? Joining the committee provides a great opportunity to get more involved with research software at Imperial, help to make new connections and to build your network across departments and faculties within the College. You’ll also have the chance to provide your thoughts and input on the type of events the community should be running, how we engage with the College’s research community and to get actively involved in event organisation and research software training.

What do we ask of you? As a voluntary role, we ask that you commit to help out with the running of the community on a best efforts basis, contributing time and input as and when you’re able to, around the constraints of your main role. We expect committee members to edit an edition of the newsletter at least twice a year and encourage you to enagage with discussions in our community Slack workspace to help keep the community active. Other activities you might like to get involved with include event planning and organsation and keeping the website up to date. We also ask that you confirm with your supervisor/line manager that they’re happy for you to take on this role.

If you’re interested to join the committee or have questions, get in touch with Jeremy Cohen.

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 AI/ML-related questions and discussion. 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 Research Software Community Mailing List.

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