Research Software Group Staff

BEAR Software services are provided by the Research Software Group in Advanced Research Computing.

Andrew Edmondson (Ed)

Research Software Group Leader

edEd started his career as a software engineer and team leader at QinetiQ, after completing an MMath at the University of Oxford. He left QinetiQ to complete a BA in Theology at Birmingham Christian College and is now nearing the end of a part-time PhD in New Testament Textual Criticism at the University of Birmingham. His PhD is an analysis of the Coherence-Based Genealogical Method (a computer-aided method from the Institut für Neutestamentliche Textforschung in Münster designed to handle complete sets of textual evidence and to identify their initial text and textual history) using Phylogenetics. Ed is also the Programme Chair of the 2019 UK RSE Conference.


Simon Branford

Senior Research Software Engineer

simon-bSimon's experience is in computational research and he has provided high performance computing and mathematical expertise on several research projects. Prior to moving to Birmingham, Simon was a postdoc at the University of Reading in two different areas: evolutionary biology and meteorology. Previously to this he gained a PhD researching the use of hybrid Monte Carlo algorithm for linear algebra problems, and a MSc, in Network Centred Computing (specialising in high performance computing), from the same university. Prior to this he obtained a MMath from the University of Oxford. Simon is a certified Carpentries Instructor.


Laurence Hurst

Senior Research Software Engineer

laurenceLaurence has 10 years experience as a high performance computing (HPC) system administrator, at both Birmingham and Loughborough universities where he spent a substantial amount of time helping users with their HPC jobs and troubleshooting HPC software problems.  He was heavily involved in the procurement of the latest iteration of BlueBEAR, as well as two clusters at Loughborough, and is a RedHat Certified Engineer.  Prior to this he was a software developer writing stock management systems for car and tractor dealerships. He has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Warwick.


Cerys Lewis

Research Software Engineer (Web)


Cerys has over 17 years of full stack web development experience, using a variety of languages. Prior to becoming a Web RSE for University of Birmingham, she worked for the University of Warwick on their internal student administration application software, "Tabula". Previously to that she had a background in Retail Software developing web applications and websites. She is a graduate from Royal Holloway, University of London with a BA(Hons) in English Literature.


Mike Allaway

Senior Research Software Engineer (College of Arts and Law)

mikeMike has over 5 years of experience working in IT within the HE sector. He started in a user support role at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2012 and moved to Birmingham in 2015 to transition into a software development role at the Birmingham Clinical Trials Unit. He holds a BSc with First-class honours in Business Management and Information Systems from Swansea University, as well as an MSc with Distinction in Computing from Cardiff University. He developed a software product as his MSc dissertation for designing medical forms and sold this to the University of Birmingham in 2016.


James Carpenter

Research Applications Specialist

jamesJames studied and worked in the Department of Music at the University of Birmingham for 18 years before moving to the Research Software Group in autumn 2018. He completed a PhD in electroacoustic composition in 2013 and has variously worked as a teacher of composition, computer music and studio-related disciplines in the music departments at the University of Birmingham and University of Bristol. Immediately prior to joining the RSG he was Studio Technician in the Birmingham Dept of Music where part of his role involved the administration of the Mac systems, as well as the development of bespoke solutions for the technical management of large-scale and idiosyncratic multichannel loudspeaker concert systems.


Simon Hartley

Research Software Engineer (Centre for Computational Biology)


Simon has a degree in theoretical physics and a PhD in Physics and AI. He joined the Research Software Group in October 2018. His previous position was working at Clinical School at Cambridge University, producing tools for breast and ovarian cancer risk prediction.




Keith Evans

Senior Research Software Engineer (HPC)

keith-squareKeith started his career as an Astrophysicist at the University of Glasgow in 2009 following a Masters in Astrophysics at the University of York. Keith’s PhD, entitled “Semi Empirical Modelling of Amorphous mirror coatings for Advanced Gravitational wave detectors”, investigated the cause of Brownian and thermoelastic noise in interferometric Gravitational Wave detectors such as Advanced LIGO and GEO600. During his PhD and subsequent Post Doc at the University of Warwick, Keith became more focused on scientific software development for HPC environments. Keith later became formally employed as a Research Software Engineer at the University of Nottingham and aided in the creation of the Nottingham Digital Research Service before taking up the role as “The Fortran Guy” as part of ARC at Birmingham.


Last updated: 22 March 2019