Advanced Research Computing




ARC People
Director and Associate Directors


Prof James Hetherington - ARC Director


James Hetherington
I am Director of ARC, rejoining UCL in April 2021 where I was previously the founding head of the Research Software Development Group. In between, I was Director of Research Engineering at the Alan Turing Institute, along with a number of other roles, including Chief Data Science Advisor at the Joint Biosecurity Centre during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Director of Digital Research Infrastructure at UK Research and Innovation.


Associate Directors

Prof Peter Coveney - UCL Dept of Chemistry


Professor Peter Coveney is Director of the Centre for Computational Science (CCS) at UCL, holds a chair in Physical Chemistry, is an Honorary Professor in Computer Science at University College London, a Professor in Applied High Performance Computing within the Institute of Informatics at the University of Amsterdam (UVA), and Professor Adjunct at Yale University School of Medicine (USA).  He is a member of Academia Europaea. 

Coveney is active across a broad swathe of computational science and engineering, including condensed matter physics and chemistry, materials science, fluid dynamics, quantum computing, as well as life and medical sciences, in all of which high performance and distributed computing play a major role. He has led the development of a substantial body of open source software within his own team and in collaboration with national and international partners , including most recently the HemeLB code (HemeLB.org) for virtual human scale blood flow and the VECMA Toolkit (vecma-toolkit.eu) for validation, verification and uncertainty quantification.  

He has published over 450 scientific papers, co-authored two best-selling books (The Arrow of Time and Frontiers of Complexity, both with Roger Highfield) and is lead author of the first textbook on Computational Biomedicine (Oxford University Press, 2014). He currently holds a number of grants associated with the UK’s ExCALIBUR initiative, along with leading the EU funded HPC Centre of Excellence in Computational Biomedicine (compbiomed.eu). Coveney was Chair of the UK Collaborative Computational Projects Steering Panel,  a founding member of the UK Government’s E-Infrastructure Leadership Council and a Medical Academy Nominated Expert to the UK Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology on Data, Algorithms and Modelling which led to the creation of the London based Alan Turing Institute.

His latest book, Virtual You, also with Roger Highfield, is scheduled to be published shortly by Princeton University Press. 


Prof Serge Guillas - UCL Dept of Statistical Science


Professor Serge Guillas is investigating Environmental Statistics, and Uncertainty Quantification of complex computer models. Applications to tsunami and climate are carried out with his PhD students and postdocs.

As Chair of the UCL- Met Office Academic Partnership, he supports multiple collaborations with researchers at the Met Office, and is currently interested in particular in the extension of weather and climate models using Data Sciences and Machine Learning: Uncertainty Quantification, Bayesian Calibration, Data Assimilation, with e.g. applications to upper atmosphere and cloud modelling. S. Guillas also collaborates with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) on modelling nuclear fusion, the clean energy of the future.

He is currently leading a project with the Universities of Exeter, Oxford and Warwick on Uncertainty Quantification of multi-scale and multi-physics computer models at the Alan Turing Institute. He also founded and leads the Uncertainty Quantification interest group of the Alan Turing Institute.

He has been leading multiple projects on tsunami risk for India, Indonesia, USA and Canada.


Prof Timo Betcke - UCL Dept of Mathematics


Professor Timo Betcke's main research areas are Numerical Analysis and Scientific Computing. This branch of mathematics deals with the design, analysis and efficient implementation of algorithms for the numerical simulation of complicated models in the Natural Sciences, which are typically described by partial differential equations.







Operations and Strategic Development Group

Responsible for strategy, operations, and the ARC community.

Donna Swann - Chief of Staff


Donna Swann
Formerly interim Head of Research IT Services here at UCL, I am now Head of Operations and Strategic Development for ARC – taking up the role of Chief of Staff. Prior to that, I was the Head of Research Applications, service owner for all things research management; Grant costing, research publications, profiles and discovery whilst just about getting over being the technical lead for REF 2021. I have keen interest in how the UCL research communities will be supported in the management of research information and administration, ensuring we provide a research management information eco-system, enhancing UCL’s vision around openness and FAIR data through suitable and sustainable infrastructure and services.








Chris Langridge - Departmental Manager


Chris Langridge
I started working at UCL in 2009, providing admin support to Staff and Research Students at both CoMPLEX and CBER; I joined first RITS, then ARC, as Departmental Administrator to provide support to the Department. Prior to working in UCL I worked at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, helping to deliver non-clinical commissioning services for the NHS. My objective is to provide support to help deliver the academic vision of the Department.






Jo Lampard - Research Community Lead


Jo Lampard

I'm responsible for developing, delivering and reviewing the department’s internal and external community building and communications strategy. Previously, I was responsible for providing advisory, outreach and engagement services across Research IT Services, and for coordinating related user training programmes. I have a chemistry and crystallography background with many years of experience supporting national research computing services.


Research Software Development Group

Our goal is to help researchers to produce high quality research software, from the simplest scripts to complex simulations running on state-of-the-art supercomputers.


Jonathan Cooper - Head of Research Software Engineering


Jonathan Cooper
I am a research software developer with 12 years' experience as a researcher in computational biology at the University of Oxford. My work has included high performance simulation of cardiac electrophysiology, tool support for models defined using XML-based standards, and web interfaces for model analysis and comparison.







Raquel Alegre - Senior Research Software Developer


Raquel Alegre
I have been working as a Software Engineer for several years in both industry and academia in projects related to satellite remote sensing and visualisation of geospatial data. I have an MSc in Computer Engineering and further studies in Space Science and Technology.







David Pérez-Suárez - Senior Research Software Developer


David Pérez-Suárez
I've been part of this amazing team since 2016. Before that I was a researcher in Solar Physics and Space Weather at various institutions around the world. I have always been a big advocate of open science (involving open access, open data and open source software) which have taken me to be part of SunPy, an open source project for solar physics; Software Carpentry, a community for teaching good practices in research software development; and Sunspotter a citizen science project.






Asif Tamuri - Senior Research Software Developer


Asif Tamuri
I am a software engineer with a background in computational biology and bioinformatics. I joined the RSDG in 2017 and focus mostly on projects in the life sciences. You can read more about my work here.








Sanaz Jabbari - Data Science Specialist


I joined in 2018 to lead the AI Studio, working with our Research Software Development team.  I am an applied Computer Scientist with main interest and expertise in developing Machine Learning models for solving various Artificial Intelligence problems such as Natural Language Processing and Image Recognition.  Working on AI/ML/NLP applications in both academia and industry, I did my PhD in Statistical Natural Language Processing and worked as a Research Assistant in the University of Sheffield.  In industry, I worked as NLP head in a feedback analysis start-up and also Microsoft Bing as a software engineer.


Ilektra Christidi - Senior Research Software Developer


Ilektra Christidi
I am a particle physicist by calling, having worked on the ATLAS experiment of CERN's LHC for 5 years. My research focused on background processes to Higgs searches, as well as developing and improving Data Quality Monitoring and detector trigger packages. Immediately before joining the RSDG, I was working in industry as a software engineer for the gas and oil sector, in geophysical exploration data processing.






Anastasis Georgoulas - Senior Research Software Developer


Anastasis Georgoulas
I joined the team in September 2017 after completing my PhD at the University of Edinburgh. My previous experience includes both research and software support in the fields of formal methods and machine learning, especially applied to stochastic systems and systems biology.







Jeremy Stein - Research Software Developer


Jeremy Stein
I have a BSc in Computer Science and an MSc in Bioinformatics.  Before joining RSDG I worked in population genetics and on a pipeline analysing DNA sequencing data.









Mose Giordano - Research Software Developer


Mose Giordano
After completing my PhD in Physics studying exoplanets with gravitational microlensing, I got a postdoctoral position in Particle Physics as a member of the GERDA collaboration.  Before joining the RSDG in January 2019, I worked as software engineer in industry for a company in the defence sector.  I am an active supporter of free and open source and open science, and I am co-maintainer of GNU AUCTeX, as well as author of several packages for numerical computing in the Julia programming language.





Anika Cawthorn - Senior Research Software Developer


Anika Cawthorn
After graduating from a PhD in Bioinformatics, I worked as a postdoc, civil servant and consultant before coming back to academia as a Senior RSD. My interests include but are not limited to: phenomics, improved healthcare, knowledge discovery through data analysis, data pipelines for efficient handling, and mental well-being at work and in general.






Stefan Piatek - Senior Research Software Developer


Stefan Piatek
During my PhD in molecular biology I realised that I was happier spending my time on computational analyses instead of the wet lab work. Since then I have been trained as a Clinical Scientist in Bioinformatics; I developed and maintained Next Generation Sequencing pipelines and created simple applications to help genetic scientists do their jobs more effectively.






Steve Roderick - Research Software Developer


Steve Roderick
My background is in commercial programming (Java) and data analytics, with clients in the banking, defense and telecoms sectors. 
I have an MSc in Physics and more recently in Telecommunications from UCL. I have conducted research in the field of LPWANs and propagation modelling. 
I am a licensed radio amateur with a lifelong infatuation with all aspects of radio technology and RF signals. I joined the team in August 2019.





Tuomas Koskela - Senior Research Software Developer


Tuomas Koskela
After completing my PhD in plasma physics in 2015, I worked on the performance optimization of HPC physics applications at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. After that I worked as a researcher in space plasma physics at the University of Helsinki. I joined RSDG in September 2019.







Sarah Keating - Senior Research Software Developer


Sarah Keating
I have a degree in Physics and PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, but have spent a large part of my research life developing standards and the necessary software infrastructure for modelling in Biological Networks. I am passionate about using standards to facilitate the exchange and reuse of models in this arena and remain a member of the COMBINE (COmputational Modelling in BIological Networks) Coordination board.






Alessandro Felder - Research Software Developer


Alessandro Felder
Having originally trained as a Computational Scientist, I completed an interdisciplinary PhD spanning evolutionary biology, image processing and architecture after a brief stint modelling heart disease. Before I joined RSDG in 2019, I spent two years as a post-doc writing software to analyse medical images of healthy and diseased bones.






Peter Schmidt - Senior Research Software Developer


Peter Schmidt
I come from a physics (PhD Particle Physics, Crystal Barrel/CERN and medical physics at Royal Brompton NHS Trust) background with a brief excursion into Molecular Biology (BSc) afterwards. However, for the past 19 years I worked as software engineer/team lead and architect in the private sector. Before returning to academia in late 2019 I was with an international scientific publisher focussing on mobile app development and search engine and relevance optimisation.





Haroon Chughtai - Research Software Developer


Haroon Chughtai
I am a biomedical engineer by background having originally gained my MEng from Imperial College London where I worked on projects ranging from synthetic biology to computer vision-based navigation. Since then I've trained and worked in the NHS as a Clinical Scientist (Scientific Computing) at UCLH. There I developed and supported software systems to enable healthcare professionals in their work. I joined RSDG in February 2020.






Daniel Matthews - Research Software Developer


I have a PhD in Physics (semiconductor lasers) from Cardiff University, where I also spent some time as a post-doctoral researcher developing photonics for lab-on-a-chip devices. From there I moved to King’s College London where I worked as a researcher developing instrumentation for optical microscopy. I transitioned to facility management when I moved to the Queensland Brain Institute, in Brisbane Australia, where I also provided support for software development. Before joining the RSDG in January 2020, I managed the Nikon Imaging Centre at King’s College London.


Harry Moss - Research Software Developer


Harry Moss
I’m a particle physicist by background, having worked on data-driven background estimation in searches for supersymmetry on the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, CERN during my PhD. I then spent some time as a post-doc investigating the application of muon tomography in determining regions of low density in active volcanoes through simulation. Before joining the RSDG in 2020, I was a research software engineer at the British Library looking at image orientation detection with neural networks.





James Hughes - Research Web Application Developer


James Hughes
I joined the group in August 2020 as a research applications web developer. My original background is in experimental psychology where I gained my PhD in 2019 from the University of Sussex. I then worked as a postdoctoral researcher where I studied the condition known as synaesthesia. During my time as a researcher, I developed a passion for software development and subsequently retrained as a web developer. Having the opportunity to combine my passion for both research and programming provides a deep sense of joy for me.





Jamie Quinn - Research Software Developer


Jamie Quinn
After a failed attempt to fund a (nighttime) field trip to the Sun, I joined RSDG in late 2020 and now apply my software development experience to a range of projects. Previously I've developed software modelling viscosity in the solar atmosphere (for my PhD), diffusion in cancer cells, and thermohaline staircases in the oceans. I've also worked in industry for a brief while as a freelance developer.






Orod Razeghi - Senior Research Software Developer


Orod Razeghi
I received my BSc in Computer Science with Robotics and my PhD in Information Technology from the University of Nottingham. My PhD research focused on developing "Human in the Loop" algorithms for understanding visual content, in particular interactive methods of object recognition for medical applications. Prior to starting at UCL, I worked at the Biomedical Engineering department of King's College London, developing interactive image processing, computer vision, and machine learning tools for analysis of cardiac scans. Working closely with clinicians at St Thomas' hospital, my research software was used for preprocedural planning in clinical trials. My research interests primarily lie at the intersection of computer vision, medical imaging, and machine learning.




Matt Graham - Research Software Developer


Matt Graham
My research background is in computational statistics, in particular developing algorithms for performing efficient approximate inference in probabilistic models. I completed my PhD in Informatics at the University of Edinburgh in 2017, before completing postdoctoral positions at the National University of Singapore and the Alan Turing Institute. I joined the group in April 2021.






Tom Couch - Research Software Developer


Tom Couch
After gaining my PhD in cognitive neuroscience I worked for a radiation protection service in Liverpool before joining UCL in 2013. After eight years supporting researchers with access, training, and problem solving related to IT and research I moved over to the Research Software Development Group in 2021. One of the things I really like about my role is that no request from a researcher or project is ever the same as the last. There's such a lot to learn in this role and so many interesting people to talk to.





Ed Lowther - Data Scientist, Data Safe Haven


Ed Lowther
I am a data scientist with a background in data journalism and software engineering, and joined the team in July 2021. I am fascinated by the power of statistics and machine learning to help make sense of the world, and in my previous role at the BBC analysed election results, the spread of Covid-19 and the impact of lockdowns, and other public health crises including drug misuse in Scotland. In my spare time I enjoy exploring the interface between music and technology and recently developed a way to convert analogue instruments, such as my violin, into midi-based synthesisers.




Sarah Jaffa - Research Software Developer


I joined ARC in August 2021 after completing a PhD and postdoc in astrophysics. My research focused on image analysis of infrared observations of our Galaxy and hydrodynamic simulations of star formation. I wrote and used a variety of academic software - data sharing platforms, image processing pipelines, simulation codes and statistical analysis tools - mainly written and maintained by self-taught coders. When trying to improve my own software skills I discovered the wonderful world of RSEs. I am passionate about improving the standards of coding and software practice in all disciplines, love learning new things and enjoy helping academics make their work faster, more reliable and easier to maintain, share and cite by using appropriate software and tools.

Research Data Group

The Research Data Group offers a growing suite of services, including storage for current projects and a long-term repository, to support effective data management from planning to re-use.


James Wilson - Head of Research Data Services


James Wilson
I joined UCL in 2016 having previously worked for many years in research IT at the University of Oxford. My academic background is in the humanities, making me a little unusual in the  team. Moving into the digital humanities after completing my doctorate, I have since led several software and service development projects and been involved in research data management planning and support since 2010.






Nel Swanepoel - Head of Trusted Research 


Nel Swanepoel
I spent over 15 years in software engineering in industry, primarily in media and finance, before joining UCL. In my role as Head of Trusted Research I’m deeply involved with the UCL Data Safe Haven as well as the trusted research ecosystems of our affiliated hospitals. I also work closely with HDR UK on collaborations with the national Trusted Research Environment community. At the same time, I remain actively involved in solving real-world research engineering problems and have a passion for translational research in Machine Learning in Healthcare for patient and health system benefit.





Alastair Smith - Senior Research Data Systems Engineer


Alastair Smith
My undergraduate background is in physics; I then completed a taught degree in HPC from Edinburgh and a PhD in computational materials chemistry from UCL. I started working for Research Data Services in its infancy and have been working to maintain and develop the service since. I'm interested in technology, hardware, programming and generally making things work.






Michael Holliday - Senior Research Data Storage Specialist


Michael Holliday
After Completing my masters in High Performance Computing in 2012, I have worked in HPC both building systems and supporting them. I most recently spent 3 years supporting HPC and storage at the Francis Crick institute, starting just as it moved into their new building. Outside of work I’m a Scuba Diving instructor and dive all around the UK. I joined the RDS team in 2019.






Murat Halit - Research Data Storage Engineer


I joined the RDS Team in 2018 after working as an IT Support Officer in another UCL department for many years. Working in a predominantly Linux environment, I am now able to specialise in what I enjoy and help support our service users with storage and repository queries, as well as support my colleagues with the hardware side of things.


Research Computing Group

Our team provides support for ARC's advanced platforms for computationally intensive research, and advice and consultancy for users of these platforms.


Owain Kenway - Head of Research Computing


Owain Kenway
After completing my PhD studying ways to efficiently run molecular dynamics simulations on a distributed computational grid, I spent a brief period writing software for research before joining ISD. I regularly deliver our High Performance Computing course.







Dan Bretherton - Research Computing Applications and Support Team Leader


Dan Bretherton
I joined the Research Computing Services team at the beginning of 2021 after 15 years at the University of Reading, where I started as a compute grid middleware developer before moving into research computing infrastructure and service management.  More recently I spent four years seconded to cloud-based, agri-food sector start-up Agrimetrics Limited, as Infrastructure Manager and Information Security Officer.






Brian Alston - Research Computing Analyst


Brian Alston
I've worked in UCL's central IT service for over 25 years, focusing on user account management and supporting academic applications software. I joined the Research Computing team a couple of years ago where I help staff the Helpdesk, support academic applications like R, Mathematica and Matlab and run software licence managers.






Ian Kirker - Research Computing Analyst


Ian Kirker
I joined the Research Computing team in 2012 after completing my PhD in computational chemistry (simulation of covalency and complexation in actinides) at UCL. I share responsibility for staffing the Research Computing helpdesk and also help deliver our High Performance Computing training.







Heather Kelly - Research Computing Analyst


I began working for the Research Computing Applications and Support team as a full time external contractor in 2014 until I was offered a direct position in 2017. I help staff the Research Computing support board, build software applications and am the main contact on our team for the Tier 2 MMM Hub.


Euthymios Kotsialos - Research Computing Analyst


Themis Kotsialos

I am a Physicist / Computational Physicist / Applied Informatics Software Engineer by training.
I joined UCL in January 2013 as an MSSL Software Engineer for the ESA Solar Orbiter Mission, to work on the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) Flight Software onboard SolO and later on the ESA Euclid Mission to develop the Instrument WorkStation Software for the VIS Instrument onboard Euclid. In September 2020 I joined UCL ISD, RITS, Research Computing Services as a Research Computing Analyst.

Enjoying reading as in the old paper-based way. Trying to turn spare time into quality friends-and-family-time, interleaved with mild workouts.




Werner van Niekerk - Senior Research Infrastructure Systems Administrator


Werner van Niekerk
I ensure the research clusters are available and operational at all times. This includes repairs, monitoring, installations and upgrades. The role comprises a broad mix of hardware and software skills for which my long background in IT Research and Development comes in handy.  Keeper of the magic smoke.







Helen Brimmer - Senior Systems Administrator


I have been providing computing services and support for researchers and engineers for the best part of two decades, working in fields as diverse as astrophysics, semiconductor design and genomics. I have a particular fondness for the big machinery and joined the Research Computing Team in November 2020 to get the chance to work on some of the biggest.