Dr. Frances Hutchings has worked as a Research Software Engineer for the Digital Institute since June 2019. She first joined Newcastle University in 2013 to study for a Masters in Neuroinformatics, which led to a PhD and then RA positions based in the School of Computing with a focus on applying computational solutions to neuroscience questions.

During her tenure as a Research Software Engineer Frances has qualified as a Software Carpentries Instructor and has been able to develop computational solutions to a wide variety of projects from across all three faculties, picking up skills in machine learning, data science and user interface design.


  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation Modelling / CNNP Lab, School of Computing

    • Data gathering
    • Creating and coding a mathematical model of Subcortical circuits
    • Analysis of time series results
  • CANDO (Controlling Abnormal Network Dynamics using Optogenetics) / School of Engineering, Biosciences Institute

    • Using control theory, kalman filters and optimisation to design novel algorithmic approaches for brain stimulation
    • Neural Mass Modelling to create a testbed for stimulation approaches
    • GUI design and development for a microcontroller based portable stimulation device
  • Epichange / CNNP Lab, School of Computing

    • Creating a VM with a python processing pipeline for electrode marking on CT scans
    • MRI scan resection mask marking with FSL
    • Matlab scripting for automated data processing of time series data from intercranial electrode recordings.
  • Climate Modelling / School of Georgraphy

    • Creating automated processing pipelines for large cloud hosted data
    • OOP Python approach for extracting and storing data
  • Machine Sense of Place / School of Arts and Cultures

    • Using and comparing commercial image recognition algorithms
    • Data cleaning and analysis of results with R
  • Cell Counting / Institute of Cellular And Molecular Biology

    • Microscopy data processing with python
    • Applying Tensorflow machine learning approaches for automating cell counting
    • Student supervision for follow on student projects to improve on initial results


PhD Computational Neuroscience / Newcastle University


Conducted original research using computational modelling to explore the impact of brain stimulation on neural tissue.


  • Programming:
    • Matlab
    • Python
    • R
    • bash
    • NEURON
    • C
  • Software:
    • Unity
    • FSL
    • Docker
    • Blender
    • Inkscape
    • LaTeX
    • Adobe Creative Cloud
    • GitHub Workflows
    • Virtual Box
  • Topics:
    • Data Analysis
    • Mathematical Modelling
    • Network Analysis
    • Dynamical Systems
    • Machine Learning
    • Spiking Neural Networks
    • Neuroimaging
    • UI
    • Finite Element Modelling
    • HPC


  • I enjoy:
    • Reading/Writing
    • Tabletop gaming
    • Video games
    • Jewellery making