ONIee of the week - Senior Software Engineer

Posted by Chris Best on 26 Jul 2019
Chris Best

We're excited to reveal more about a day in the life here at ONI. This week we're talking to one of our Senior Software Engineers - Bill Gallafent 

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Introducing ONIee of the week

Name: Bill Gallafent
Born: Luton
Title: Senior Software Engineer
Joined: March 2019



Introduce yourself, what do you enjoy doing outside of work?

When you spend a lot of time inside an office, it’s great to get outside as much as possible in the evenings and at weekends! In addition to growing vegetables and looking after my garden, I am currently learning to sail! I have been a vegetarian all of my life and I am now experimenting with vegan cooking which is great fun!

Physics and computation, where did that interest derive from?

Well, I was given a computer by my dad when I was five and never really looked back (this was in 1981 by the way!). I then went on to study physics because I have always been fascinated about how things work!

Tell us about your role here at ONI?

I am a Senior Software Developer working on the front-end/user interface. I gather requirements from users of the Nanoimager to find out what functions they need and then design solutions that meet their requirements. There is a real emphasis on creating solutions that are fun to use, we want software to get out of the way. A scientist should be able to use a microscope as a microscope; to perform experiments and make scientific discoveries; not to have to spend valuable time learning all about a complex piece of software instead! We're aiming to provide an immersive imaging experience in which you can forget about the technology and concentrate instead on what's going on at nano-metre scale inside your experiment.

I see that you were working as a freelancer before joining, can you tell us about any of those projects?

I was involved in the Mini Countryman launch which was interesting. I was writing video processing algorithms which allowed people to go into a video booth and then a few seconds later see themselves compressed into the back of a mini! I also worked in other areas of image processing, in particular on creating tools for digital photographers and artists to get the best from their images.

What are you most proud of in your short time with ONI?

When I came in we had a totally blank canvas, we are now building the next generation of the Nanoimager's user interface, which will be intuitive, beautiful, magical, and functional!

What do you enjoy the most about being here?

I really enjoy working with people from such a variety of technical, scientific and cultural backgrounds, it really is fascinating and I learn something new every day!

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Topics: People