Dr Chris Richardson


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Job title: RSE Fellow
Division: BP Institute
Organisation: University of Cambridge
Tags: Fellowship: RSE Fellowship, Researcher, University of Cambridge
Related theme: Engineering Mathematical sciences Physical Sciences


BA in Physics (University of Cambridge), PhD in Geophysics. Postdoctoral Fellow in Nagoya University, Japan. After returning to the UK, I joined the BP Insitute, where I have coordinated IT support and research software, including the FEniCS project.

My Fellowship

I am writing software for the FEniCS project (www.fenicsproject.org) which is used worldwide for scientific and engineering calculations, using the Finite Element Method. By adding new features to the software package, new scientific areas will be opened up, including acoustics, electromagnetics, stability analysis, surface tension, and multi-physics calculations. I hope to collaborate with as many scientists and engineers as possible to help them write application programs in these areas. Additionally, I want to engage with the newly emerging UK RSE community, and be involved with the training and dissemination of scientific software engineering best practice.

Motivation to Apply

I had already taken part in two EPSRC supported programmes, dCSE (administered by NAG) and eCSE (EPCC), which allowed me to do some software engineering projects for the FEniCS team, with co-investigator Dr Garth Wells (Engineering, Cambridge). The possibility of a full fellowship to continue and expand this work was very attractive, and would allow me to develop new capabilities, as well as provide more outreach to the wider community.

Career benefits of Fellowship

The career benefits of the fellowship could be quite wide. I will be able to diversify away from my current role, and have more freedom to meet other scientists, become involved in producing training material and running courses, as well as take some managerial responsibilities.

Advice for future applicants

When applying for a fellowship, it is important to pay attention to the detail of the call document. Reviewers want to see clear evidence that you meet the criteria, and can provide evidence to support it, in a clear and easily readable form.