Keynote speakers

Michelle Barker

Dr Michelle Barker is passionate about facilitating the achievement of international research priorities through collaborative research infrastructure, particularly digital infrastructure. With a particular interest in research software infrastructure, Michelle led the Australian Virtual Laboratory program at Nectar, and has a wider interest in science gateways and Virtual Research Environment programs internationally, including the International Coalition on Science Gateways. Michelle also has expertise in demonstrating the impact of research infrastructures, and is a member of the OECD Global Science Forum Socio-Economic Impact of Research Infrastructures Expert Group. With a phd in sociology, Michelle contributes particular expertise in building strategic partnerships, and has a Master of Business Administration in educational leadership.

Title: What is the next evolutionary stage for science gateways?

Abstract: Science gateways have succeeded in changing the landscape of data-driven research, by tailoring online environments to meet community needs. It is now widely recognised that science gateways perform a key role in integrating elements of the e-infrastructure landscape. The question thus arises, what next? What is the next challenge for science gateways? Is it to increase usage numbers or the range of communities utilising them? Or is it a widening of focus, such as has already occurred with the emphasis on interdisciplinarity and incorporation of a wider range of collaboration tools. To answer this, is helpful to consider the focus of current initiatives in the science gateways, VRE and virtual laboratories community, broader sectoral changes such as EOSC and the NIH Data Commons, and possible future scenarios for digital research.

Neil Chue Hong

Neil is the founding Director of the Software Sustainability Institute, and is based at the University of Edinburgh. He enables research software users and developers to drive the continued improvement and impact of research software, following the Institute's motto "better software, better research". He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Open Research Software, the past Advisory Council chair of the Software Carpentry Foundation, co-editor of "Software Engineering for Science", co-author of "Best Practices for Scientific Computing" and "An Open Science Peer Review Oath", and chair of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team on e-Infrastructure. His current research interests include barriers and incentives in research software ecosystems and the role of software as a research object. He is also the Jury Coordinator for the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Jacques Fleuriot

Dr Jacques Fleuriot is the Director of the Centre for Intelligent Systems and their Applications and a reader in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. His main field of research lies in automated reasoning and its use in areas such as formalized mathematics and formal verification. He is currently involved in multidisciplinary research centred on the application of formal methods to healthcare processes and, as part of this work, collaborates with a range of clinicians on the development of provably-safe, real-world healthcare workflows. He received a PhD in Automated Reasoning from the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge and his thesis won the BCS Distinguished PhD Dissertation.

Jano van Hemert
Research Director at Optos plc (a Nikon Company)
Dr Jano van Hemert FRSE joined Optos in October 2010. Optos is a medical device company that aims to become the global leader in retinal imaging. Previously, he obtained an MSc in Computer Science in 1998 and was
awarded a PhD in 2002, both from Leiden University. His main area of research and commercialisation is in clinical applications of retinal imaging technology. Recently, he has led the development of a novel diagnostic medical device for measuring functional vision loss in partnership with the NHS and two UK universities, which is now undergoing clinical trials; this development was co-funded by Innovate UK.
In 2013, he was elevated to Senior Member of the IEEE. Since 2010, he is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh in recognition of his leadership in the research programme of the UK National e-Science Centre supported by a prestigious EPSRC Platform Grant. Before that he held research associate and fellow posts at the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI) of the Netherlands, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Vienna University of Technology. From 2005 until 2011 he was a visiting researcher at the Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh of the UK's Medical Research Council.

David Robertson

Dr David Robertson FRSE is Chair of Applied Logic, Vice Principal and Head of College of Science & Engineering at the University of Edinburgh.  Prior to this he was Head of School of Informatics at Edinburgh. His computing research is on formal methods for coordination and data sharing in distributed, open systems using ubiquitous internet and mobile infrastructures - the goal being to develop theories, languages and tools that out-perform conventional software engineering approaches in these arenas.  He was coordinator of the OpenKnowledge project and was a principal investigator on the Advanced Knowledge Technologies research consortium, which were major EU and UK projects in this area.  His work on the SociaM EPSRC Programme ( Smart Societies European IP ( and SocialIST coordinating action ( developed these ideas for social computation. Methods from his group have also been applied to other areas such as astronomy, simulation of consumer behaviour and emergency response but his main application focus is on medicine and healthcare. To this end, he is a member of the UK Farr Institute for data sharing in healthcare and medicine and was co-director of the Centre for Medical Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. He chaired the executive of the UK Computing Research Committee (the expert panel of BCS and IET); was a member of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team for ICT and of the MRC Population Health Sciences advisory group; is on the advisory board for Innovate UK’s Complex Systems programme and is a member of the management board for the Scottish Innovation Centre in Data Science.

David De Roure

Professor David De Roure is Professor of e-Research at University of Oxford. He works closely with multiple disciplines including social sciences (studying social machines), humanities (computational musicology and experimental humanities), engineering and computer science (large scale distributed systems and social computing). He has extensive experience in  hypertext, Web Science, Linked Data, and Internet of Things. Drawing on this broad interdisciplinary background he is a frequent speaker and writer on digital scholarship and the future of scholarly communications. His previous roles include Director of the Oxford e-Research Centre and he has had a long engagement with e-Science. From 2009-2013 held the position of UK National Strategic Director for Digital Social Research for the Economic and Social Research Council, and subsequently Strategic Advisor for new and emerging forms of data and real time analytics. He is currently attached to the Turing Institute, working at the intersection of data science and Digital Humanities.

Title: A Social Machines Perspective on the Research Environment Landscape
Abstract: Today we are witnessing several shifts in scholarly practice, in and across multiple disciplines, as researchers embrace digital techniques to tackle established questions in new ways, and address entirely new questions, thanks to the increasing availability of computational methods and digital content. This talk addresses current activity in digital scholarship, framing it in its interdisciplinary setting, and introduces the concept of Social Machines as a lens with which to observe and describe this landscape. As well as proposing that science gateways are themselves social machines, the talk reflects on the trends towards an increasingly automated future, and the implications for the future of scholarly communication.

Nancy Wilkins-Diehr

Nancy Wilkins-Diehr is an associate director at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and has been active in the science gateway community for years, founding the US TeraGrid science gateway program in 2004. She is currently the Principal Investigator for the Science Gateways Community Institute, a large-scale center of excellence awarded by the US National Science Foundation in 2016. She is a co-founder of the International Coalition on Science Gateways She is also a co-PI on the XSEDE program where she co-directs a group of over 70 distributed staff members in the Extended Collaborative Support Services program, which includes science gateway support. national academic research community. Nancy received her Bachelor's degree from Boston College in Mathematics and Philosophy and her Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering from San Diego State University. She has served the national and international academic research community through a variety of leadership positions with SDSC, where she’s been since 1993.

Title: Science Gateway Ecosystems: Local, National, International

Abstract: A robust community is developing among the creators of science gateways, virtual laboratories, virtual research environments and research platforms. The importance and continued development of these cannot be understated. Local ecosystems contribute to stimulating and stable career paths and student opportunities. National and international ecosystems contribute to shared best practices and the exchange of cutting edge ideas for development across disciplines. I will share experiences during the first two years of the Science Gateways Community Institute as they relate to this ecosystem support and development.