Bob Turner

Research Software Engineer

Bob is a research software engineer who started his career in software and databases after completing a degree in Applied Physics at the University of Durham. After four years in the private sector, he did a PhD in Biophysics at the University of Leeds, before working as a postdoc researcher at the University of Sheffield in several departments, including Physics and Astronomy, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Mechanical Engineering and the Dental School, reflecting an unusually broad range of research interests spanning microscopy, microbiology, engineering and healthcare.

An accomplished researcher with some important publications, as a software engineer Bob collaborates with researchers to develop and improve software. This of course involves writing code, but also lots of liaison, discussion, leadership and, most importantly, listening!

Bob codes in Python, R and Matlab using version control with git and applying good software engineering practices such as documentation, automated testing and continuous integration. He enjoys working with a diverse range of collaborators in different disciplines. Current and recent work includes:

  • Porting code for identification of the polar sea ice edge from Matlab to Python and deploying this using Docker.
  • Documenting and developing GPy, a Gaussian Process based machine learning framework for Python.
  • Reviewing research software and developing formal processes for this.
  • Leading a software engineering team building epidemiological modelling software (Python) as part of the Royal Society‚Äôs Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic initiative.
  • Supporting RedCAP database infrastructure (using Vagrant and Ansible) for clinical trials in collaboration with INSIGNEO, the Biomedical Research Centre and the Hallamshire Hospital.
  • Delivering training on reproducible research, version control, Python and R.