Joanna Leng champions the N8 network at Leeds

The N8 Centre of Excellence in Computationally Intensive Research, of which the University of Leeds is a partner, has officially been recognised as a chapter by Women in High Performance Computing.

The WHPC is at the vanguard of promoting the role of women in the HPC community across academia and industry. It does this by collecting and acting on data on the under-represented communities in HPC and providing profession training including mentoring. Men are included in the activities and encouraged to advocate for women and other under-represented groups.

Joanna Leng, who is Senior Research Software Engineer (RSE) in the University’s School of Computing, is an N8 CIR member. An advocate for women in computer science, Joanna runs 3 networks at the University of Leeds: RSE Leeds, Women in HPC Leeds and Visualisation.

Working in the area of Research Computing and Imaging, Joanna is an EPSRC funded RSE Fellow and is growing an RSE team, specialising in software for imaging and the use of imaging data in research. For her fellowship she is partnered with Professor Michelle Peckham a cell biologist, Professor Sven Schroeder an expert in crystallisation and Rik Drummond-Brydson an expert in nanotechnology.

Joanna has worked cross a wide variety of disciplines as an RSE and researcher for over 20 years both in academic departments and Research Computing groups based in IT Service departments delivering a local visualization service as well as local; regional and national HPC services.

Joanna enjoys the variety of her role and believes her success is in-part due to being part of a supportive team. She said: “I enjoy working in teams including people from roles that can be as diverse as academics who need new research software, RSEs and IT professionals. My successes have been down to support from the teams I have worked with, as well as perseverance and good luck. My advice to others is: if you do not feel supported move on, and pay it forward.”

My successes have been down to support from the teams I have worked with, as well as perseverance and good luck.

Joanna Leng, School of Computing

The WHPC and N8CIR network comprise of academics from the N8 Research Partnership, which represents the north’s eight research intensive universities, including the University of Leeds.