Research Software Engineer - Rose Dickinson
09 Sep 2021
- Pollyanna Burnet-Harris



​Since primary school, science has 'just made sense' to Rose.

Image of Rose Dickinson



cropped-blackbackground.pngShe was fascinated by dinosaurs and stars, nurturing her curiosity by visiting museums and watching documentaries, as well as exploring the night sky with her father's telescope. As she progressed through school, she chose STEM subjects at both GCSE and A-level. Originally, Rose wanted to pursue a career in medicine, later deciding to follow her interest in physics.

The passion for astronomy that was founded in her early years developed into a fascination for particle physics, so she sought a university course that would combine the two. Rose began an MSc in Physics with Particle Physics and Cosmology at the University of Birmingham in 2012. As an undergraduate ​she discovered a love of programming so, when the opportunity arose, she changed to a BSc course with an Intercalated Year in Computer Science.

Rose first heard about STFC from a friend who had secured a place on the graduate program. She was enthralled by the prospect of producing software solely for the advancement of science, as opposed to helping a company reap financial rewards. She has now been working in STFC's Scientific Computing Department for 2 years, as a software engineer and Scrum Master for the DAFNI (Data and Analytics for National Infrastructure) computational facility.

In this role, Rose makes streamlined software and websites to support scientists in their research projects. She designs and produces front-end technology for new features in DAFNI, working on the user-facing functions of the computer system.

Rose's favourite part of her job is "being able to instantly see the results of  your work, and thinking about the best way to present something to users whilst considering layouts and accessibility". During her time with STFC she has learnt the programming language Python, which has proved invaluable for fulfilling her role and expanding her computing knowledge.

Outside of work, Rose enjoys reading and listening to audiobooks, especially LGBTQ fantasy and romance novels. When asked what luxury item she would take if stranded on a desert island, she unsurprisingly answered, “a device with an Audible subscription". Rose is also a keen gamer, playing a variety of games on her PC and Nintendo Switch, and running a Dungeons and Dragons campaign for her University friends.

A healthy work life balance is an elusive goal. Rose says prioritising your personal life over work is the key, but it is not always easy. As we all do, occasionally she finds herself working late to complete a task, but ensures these occurrences are rare. Though finding the right ratio is not easy to elucidate, Rose captured it so eloquently, saying, “work to live, don't live to work", which is something we should all consider in our professional lives.​

Contact: Simpson, Orlagh (STFC,RAL,SC)