The Research Software Engineering service at Imperial mirrors similar initiatives at other research-intensive universities and complements the College’s existing HPC provision with professional software development expertise. A centralised team of dedicated RSEs provide specialist support to research projects across the university on a flexible basis, ensuring software quality and sustainability.
Centre for Computational Methods in Science and Engineering (CMSE)
The increasing power of computers means that simulations can now help to understand and describe more complex processes than ever before. Computational science and engineering (CSE) is a cross disciplinary field with roots in mathematics and computer science and with an area of influence that spans the entire science and engineering spectrum.
In Academia and Industry, simulations enable the study of complex systems and phenomena that would be otherwise too expensive, dangerous, or impossible to study by direct experimentation. Imperial CMSE centre aims to fulfil the needs in this growing and evolving field that has become indispensable in modern science and engineering.
Imperial is home to a huge range of computational software and the individuals who write it. This is true not only within the areas covered by the College’s Centre for Computational Methods in Science and Engineering (CMSE) but across the full array of science, technology and medicine research within the College.
With the complexity of computing infrastructure increasing and new paradigms such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service clouds, massively multi-core CPUs and GPGPUs become widely used, managing software development and research can be very challenging. Individuals are increasingly making a choice to focus on either domain research or on computational software development. The term “Research Software Engineer” covers a number of different profiles including individuals whose long-term aim is to have an academic position and those who wish to focus on software development. Whatever their long-term aims, RSEs frequently form an important and valued element of a research group or team.
The Imperial RSE community
Despite their important role in modern computational research, there can be a lack of long-term opportunities or sustainability of roles for RSEs. The Imperial RSE community is open to anyone in Imperial who is interested in computational research and software development, including RSEs themselves and the computational scientists, researchers and academics who work with them.
The community will provide opportunities to meet colleagues from across Imperial’s faculties and departments, enhance existing skills or learn new ones, and share technical knowledge with researchers and developers from a wide range of scientific backgrounds.