Dr Joanna Leng

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Job title: Fellow in Research Software Engineering
Division: School of Computing and IT Services
Organisation: University of Leeds
Tags: Fellowship: RSE Fellowship, Researcher, University of Leeds

Biography

Joanna has a background in imaging and has worked in High Performance Computing (HPC) and visualization for over 20 years. She has moved between academic services for visualization and HPC as well as academic research departments; Joanna has edited a book and published a range of papers and technical materials.

Your Fellowship

Joanna's fellowship focuses on developing software and computational expertise to support the data pipeline of data imaging, image analysis and the passage of image data into computer models, thereby increasing the adoption of imaging methods by the sciences. The long term aim is to develop capabilities in the UK similar to those of the SCI Institute (Scientific Computing and Imaging) in Utah. This will create a multi-disciplinary international centre of excellence with a broad portfolio of software covering problem solving environments (integrated modelling, simulation, and visualization), image analysis, geometric and shape modelling, simulation and visualization.

The fellowship partners with Diamond Light Source, SuperSTEM, the Continuous Manufacturing Group in the Research Complex at Harwell which is funded under the CMAC Future Manufacturing, the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute and the Software Sustainability Institute (SSI). Joanna will work on a number of strategic case studies; four of these on spectroscopic X-ray imaging, three on spectroscopic electron imaging and one on high-resolution and super-resolution light microscopy to establish Leeds as a centre of excellence in spectral imaging methods. For the case studies Joanna has picked three types of imaging that go across the electromagnetic spectrum as this means she will be working at a variety of scale lengths and allows for knowledge and software transfer between these imaging modalities.

Joanna also run three networks and is a core member of an Arts, Science and Maker collaborative. Communicating science and campaigning for the role of the Research Software Engineer are important to Joanna.

Motivation to Apply

This was an exciting opportunity that allowed me to gain recognition as a scientific software developer. My plan builds on a model taken from the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute in Utah that has been very successful. It is a model that Joanna has considered for a considerable length of time.

Career benefit of Fellowship

This fellowship will hugely benefit Joanna's career. It will allow her to:
• develop software in an area that interests her;
• accelerate the development and adoption of spectral imaging methods;
• work on a selection of exciting case studies;
• develop training and educational materials;
• support and equip a variety of researchers so that their research is accelerated and made more consistent;
• build a team of RSEs;
• campaign for a recognised career path for RSEs and the associated job family;
• engage with artists to improve the aesthetic quality of visualization and science communication.

Advice for future applicants

If at first you don't succeed, reflect, get help developing your ideas, get support for your needs, make new contacts and try and try and try again.  This is Joanna's advice generally for life, for a research career and for a fellowship.