Centre for Health and Bioinformatics


Dr Karen Bower

IT Consultant


Following the 'Evolution' restructuring of the IT Service, I will be a member of the Consultants pool.  My role will be to work out customers' requirements and then hand those over to technical colleagues.

I will leave the University at the end of June.

About me:

Until April 2021 I provided dedicated support for the Rocket high performance computing (HPC) service, including advice, issue diagnosis, interventions to help people achieve the 'HP' in HPC and improve effective use of the service, usage policies, reporting, general user support and training. I joined Newcastle shortly before the Rocket hardware was delivered in 2017, and designed aspects of the service including account administration, the scheduler configuration and the arrangements for the use of filespace.  I continued to have input on these and other aspects of the service until 2021.

In the past I have also:

  • Helped build a digital bank.
  • Led the central HPC team and support for Linux applications, scientific programming and Linux desktop in Durham University's IT Service, and held a liaison role between the IT Service and the Science faculty.  In Durham I was also responsible for end-to-end delivery of the large, bespoke service-management (ITSM) solution used by the IT Service to streamline and manage many of its functions.  I wrote most of this solution, which was recognised with an award from Remedy Corporation.  
  • Held a number of personal research fellowships in astronomy, where I worked mainly with the NASA-led team responsible for the 'EGRET' satellite telescope, and later focused on X-ray satellite data.   My scientific interests centred on high-energy emissions from neutron stars and identifying celestial gamma-ray sources: when I started in this area, the second brightest object in the gamma-ray sky was still unidentified.  I have co-authored over 70 research papers and other items (under my maiden name), including two Nature papers.