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James Byrne

SSI fellow

British Antarctic Survey

Before joining the research community I gained extensive software development and DevOps experience working in industries as diverse as defence, professional services, finance and telecommunications. I joined the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in 2016 as a wintering Data Manager. My first role with BAS was working as a systems administrator and developer at the remote Halley (75°S) and Rothera (67°S) bases, wintering at the latter (which was an amazing experience!) I redeveloped the deployment infrastructures for scientific data management systems whilst in Antarctica, as well as undertaking development on numerous operational and scientific systems including meteorological, operational, space weather and glaciological experiments.

Moving then into the central BAS Linux team, I worked on core systems including identity management, storage area networks and high ­performance computing facilities as well as projects supporting operational systems, machine-learning and modelling pipelines. From this I became a Research Software Engineer in order to bolster the development of the AI Lab at BAS, and have since developed a small team of RSEs called the Digital Innovation Team who seek to build community and promote the development of sustainable environmental Digital Research Infrastructure.

These experiences have all built on my long standing fascination with developing modular system architectures, adopting best practice software design principles and open source adoption to avoid unnecessary replication and duplication of effort. I champion reproducible and sustainable software practices wherever I can, working on the fundamental principle that good engineering will lead to sustainable paths forward for technological adoption. I couple my industry experience to my polar and operational IT experience to drive innovative and positive change within the software development departments of the organisation, as well as hoping to champion the important role software plays in polar research.

ORCID: 0000-0003-3731-2377

Fields of expertise: Sustainable, self-service, reproducible data pipelines, Environmental Digital Research Infrastructure, Autonomous systems, Telecommunications, Modelling of the environment, Intelligent systems (not limited to but including machine learning)

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