James Grant

Research Software Engineer, University of Bath.
Email: r.j.grant@bath.ac.uk


In September 2017 I was appointed to a new role as the first centrally funded Research Software Engineer (RSE) position at the University of Bath. The objective of this position is twofold:
  1. support research software development at University of Bath
  2. provide RSE support to researchers using the regional Tier-2 HPC, Isambard
The reality of supporting research software development across an institution is a great challenge which promises to be a fantastic journey and hopefully interesting tale. The pleasure of contributing to research in disciplines old and new as well as supporting the careers of fellow RSEs is a massive motivation for me. While I can take confidence in the comfort blanket that is the UKRSE community and the nurturing and help it will provide along the way.

The role is rapidly growing in recognition and seeing investment from both institutions and funding bodies. As a central RSE (Group?) my job is to support your research. My aim is not to write your software or tell you what you should be doing. I will try to identify and provide or suggest training, advise and suggest tools that will help you to achieve your goals. If you have a larger project requiring software development then I am also keen to collaborate with you to develop your application (in both senses). If you would like to chat informally drop me an email.

Am I an RSE?

But you may well be asking what is an RSE and am I one? The best place to find out what an RSE is and how the movement to support them has developed, is to visit UKRSE. Briefly an RSE is anyone primarily or largely involved in developing software as part of their research. With the proliferation of technology across all fields of academia this description no longer refers to computer scientists, a few physicists, mathematicians, and hasn't really for years. The reality is that if you are not an RSE yourself, you probably know one and almost definitely rely on one in your research.

Finally if you self-identify as an RSE and would like to find out more about the role, or just want a chat about life please get in touch.

Research Interests

A great deal of effort went into coming up with the title Research Software Engineer, and the key point is that it includes the word research. As such we have a background in research and this remains a key part of our role. My own research interests, that led me to my current position remain active. I remain involved in the CCP5 Flagship project adding new functionality to the Monte Carlo code DL_MONTE. I am interested in problems of phase stability in organic and inorganic materials particularly in association with defects. I co-supervise William Saunders with Dr Eike Muller (Mathematical Sciences) developing a Domain Specific Language for Performance Portable Molecular Simulation and Analysis. I also work with Andrew McCluskey who is developing codes including falass for the reflectivity and scattering communities.



Links to...
DL_MONTE tutorials
... chemistry dept,
... physics dept,
... main university site

  • Dr. James Grant, Computing Services, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, United Kingdom.
  • Office:4ES 4.12
  • Phone: +44-1225-38-6940
  • Email: r.j.grant@bath.ac.uk

Last updated: September 2017