Jenny’s first week as an RSE at BEAR

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Hi everyone, my name is Jenny and I joined BEAR as a Senior Research Software Engineer in December 2021. I studied at the University of Leeds and my background is in applied mathematics. I hold a PhD in fluid dynamics, and I spent three years as a postdoc in France investigating two phase flows in planetary interiors using numerical simulations.

My first impressions of Advanced Research Computing (ARC) at BEAR are very positive. Here’s a little diary of what I did each day:

  • Day 1: I was introduced to the team who were all very warm and welcoming. There were various induction processes to get myself setup onto the university system – I would advise bringing a comfortable pair of shoes as I was walking from one end of the campus to the other all day!
  • Day 2: Today was more focused on learning about the project work that I will be doing – 50% of my time will be dedicated to an exciting coding project with a team in the College of Medicine and Dental Sciences, and the other 50% will be training to become an NVIDIA certified instructor in Deep Learning to support services at the recently launched Tier 2 Baskerville, a state-of-the-art high performance computing platform. I also met the leader of the ARC team, Carol, and had a small one-to-one with my line manager Ed to talk about my goals for my first month.
  • Day 3: Wednesday was a little less hectic, and I was treated to a tour of one of the data centres in the morning. It was great to learn more about the Architecture, Infrastructure and Systems side of ARC.

  • Day 4: I met with Debbie and Aslam, from the Research Engagement Group, to talk about the training they provide to BEAR users. This includes workshops in languages such as Python, Matlab and Git. I was interested in helping, and I learnt there is an opportunity to train with the Software Carpentry to become a qualified instructor in order to do so.
  • Day 5: Unfortunately, at this point, government guidance was issued to work from home in response to the surging Omicron variant of the coronavirus. I am glad I had the chance to meet my new colleagues in person this week and discover the on-site facilities at the Edgbaston campus. The team seem to be capable and experienced at working from home, so I feel quite reassured that I will be able to work with them effectively in a virtual setting.

Thank you for getting this far and reading about my first impressions in my first week working at BEAR. If you would like to learn more about my role, BEAR or anything related to this post, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’d be happy to chat!