In Conversation with Kieran Ricardo

On this ACCESStory issue, we had a chat with Kieran Ricardo, a Research Software Engineer in ACCESS-NRI’s Atmospheric Modelling Team.

Where did you grow up and how did you come to be part of the ACCESS-NRI team? 

I was born and raised in Wagga Wagga in regional New South Wales, where most of my family has lived for a long time. I moved away from Wagga for the first time when I came to Canberra to study engineering and science at ANU. At ANU my favourite subjects were fluid physics and climate science, so when I found out that ACCESS-NRI was starting up, I just had to apply!  

Tell us a bit about your career before ACCESS-NRI 

My passion for solving complex problems in the physical sciences and working on scientific projects where I can see a tangible social impact has enabled me to have a career that I’ve really enjoyed so far, and I am excited to see where it takes me. After some scientific software development roles during and immediately following my undergraduate studies, I commenced a role at Geoscience Australia where I had the opportunity to apply my programming and maths skills to the Earth sciences, working on remote sensing and tropical cyclone modelling. It was there that I remembered how much I enjoyed atmospheric modelling and decided to go back to university to learn more! I am now enrolled in a PhD where I will focus on researching new methods for atmospheric modelling while working in the atmospheric modelling team at ACCESS-NRI – I just can’t get enough of atmospheric models! 

What do you do at ACCESS-NRI and what excites you about this work?  

I’m a research software engineer in the atmospheric modelling team at ACCESS-NRI where I develop software for coupling the atmospheric model (UM) to the other model components, with the aim of including this in Australia’s next climate model, ACCESS-CM3. The team at ACCESS-NRI is a great bunch, who I really enjoy collaboratively solving complex problems with. Other aspects I really enjoy include the technical challenges of developing climate models and running them at scale, getting to work with Australian researchers at the cutting edge of climate science, and playing a small part in the global effort to tackle climate change. 

What do you like to do outside work? 

Outside of work you’ll usually find me at a rock climbing gym or struggling up a real rock, reading some good (or not so good) sci-fi books, or getting beaten by my friends and family at board games. I’m also partial to having a big cafe lunch (my lunch food of choice is usually a veggie burger) and watching some TV while it rains.