IGHI people: Meet Neil Clifford, Computer Systems and Security Administrator, Big Data and Analytical Unit

Computer motherboardIGHI is home to a team of staff who are skilled and passionate about their roles. Our talented people are the reason we’re able to tackle some of the most pressing global health challenges through cutting-edge innovation.

We’re giving you the chance to get to know our staff a little better and learn about what motivates them in their roles, who inspires them and what they like to get up to outside of IGHI.

Meet Neil Clifford, Computer Systems and Security Administrator at our Big Data and Analytical Unit. Find out more about Neil, why he chose to work at the BDAU and his valuable role in supporting IGHI’s research.

What does your role involve?

Computer systems administration, IT security, writing Python code (a programming language), understanding hardware and software. I make all the magic under the hood work – lots of technical gubbins which keep everyone else happy – while keeping an eye on security.

What attracted you to the role?

Working in an entirely new avenue of science. Previously I’ve worked in areas of radiation protection, diagnostic imaging, various fields of physics and computer science.

Man on a sand dune
Neil enjoying his travels

How would your colleagues describe you in three words?

We asked four colleagues “how would you describe Neil in three words?” Our survey said: “knowledgeable, dependable and supportive”.

What’s your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?

Running to the top of the tallest mountain in the world.

Who inspires you?

Great science communicators such as Richard Feynman and Carl Sagan, for their clarity of words and ideas.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Is teleportation a canonical superpower? Sometimes it would be handy to be able to drop in on people and places with the minimum of fuss and bureaucracy. Though overuse would spoil the enjoyment of travel which is, of course, all about the journey.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

My current guilty pleasure is not revealing my guilty pleasures in a public forum!

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