Tania Allard

2011.11.15_building_software.pngBy Adam Tomkins (Chair), University of Sheffield, James Grant, University of Bath, Alexander Morley, University of Oxford, Stuart Grieve, University College London, Tania Allard, University of Sheffield.

There is a growing interest in the adoption of software best practices in research computing and allied fields. Best practices improve the quality of research software and efficiency in development and maintenance as well having the potential to deliver benefits outside software development.  However, this interest in these methods is not universal and there is a possibility that a drive for best practice could lead to a widening divide between those who embrace this change and those who do not. It is therefore vital that Research Software Engineers (RSEs) work closely with domain specialists, to bridge this divide and attempt to meet the challenges of efficiency and reproducibility:

  • How do we…

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Tania Allard

University of Sheffield


  • Computational modelling and applied computer simulation
  • Pathways to reproducible, replicable, open, and transparent computational research
  • Complex data analysis and simulation workflows
  • Scientific community and capacity building

My work

I am a Research Software Engineer at the University of Sheffield. Before this I had conducted research on control systems for implantable drug delivery devices and completed a PhD in computational materials science at the University of Manchester. During the course of my PhD I became aware of the importance of developing open and sustainable scientific software as well as of the needs for reproducibility guidelines and incentives in computationally intensive scientific areas. As such I became an advocate for software development best practices and open software and data.

As a RSE I work with a number of researchers working on computationally intensive research projects, either at the early stages (e.g. designing their data collection and curation strategies and software requirements) or during the later stages in their projects (e.g. code optimisation, packaging). Working as an RSE means that I am often involved in the creation of new software as well as developing novel techniques or approaches to improve or modify existing applications. In addition to developing, testing, and maintaining software I also advise researchers on ways to make the most of their code and to…

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