The ARC Team

Our multi-disciplinary team leverages decades of experience within a collaborative framework to serve UBC’s research community. 

Executive Leadership

Gail Murphy, Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Gail C. Murphy (she/her) is a Professor of Computer Science and Vice-President, Research and Innovation at the University of British Columbia. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), as well as co-founder of Tasktop Technologies Incorporated.

After completing her B.Sc. at the University of Alberta in 1987, she worked for five years as a software engineer in the Lower Mainland. She later pursued graduate studies in computer science at the University of Washington, earning first an M.Sc. (1994) and then a Ph.D. (1996) before joining UBC. 

Dr. Murphy’s research focuses on improving the productivity of software developers and knowledge workers by providing the necessary tools to identify, manage and coordinate the information that matters most for their work. She also maintains an active research group with postdoctoral and graduate students.

Steve Cundy, Director, Advanced Research Computing

Steve Cundy is the Director of Advanced Research Computing at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and has been providing dedicated and specialized Research Computing support to the Higher Education research community since 2002, joining UBC in 2005.

In support of the UBC Vice-President, Research & Innovation and Associate Vice-President, Information Technology & Chief Information Officer, the Director of ARC provides strategic executive technology leadership for the UBC Advanced Research Computing team and leads UBC IT resources University-wide in enabling research computing support for UBC’s research community.

Prior to his current position, Steve has worked in various Higher Education Information Technology leadership and support roles since 1997 with specific interests in providing access to world-class digital research infrastructure that will enable researchers to accelerate time to discovery and innovation.



Research Platforms

The Research Platforms Team provides expertise and user support to the UBC research community on advanced research computing systems and consults on how to access and use digital research infrastructure (DRI). The team evaluates, develops, deploys, supports and continuously improves research data platforms and services to promote adherence to good data management practices in research projects.  In collaboration with pan-Canadian, regional, provincial and institutional partners, the team works to ensure that available DRI solutions align with the evolving academic research landscape. 

Jayson To, Manager, Research Platforms

bio to come. 

Chad Fletcher, Support Analyst

bio to come. 

Ben Lai, ARC Systems Analyst

Ben is a Systems Analyst with the Advanced Research Computing team. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. Ben has over a decade of IT experience at UBC supporting various departments such as the Faculty of Applied Science and the Museum of Anthropology. The start of his love affair with technology began when Ben received a computer as a birthday present at a young age. He used it to write many programs and tinkered with the hardware any chance he got. His passion for everything technology-related continues to this day. 

Tang Lee, Research Platforms Analyst

Tang Lee is the Research Platforms Analyst for Advanced Research Computing at UBC. Before joining ARC, she worked as a project manager with UBC IT and Library, focusing on enterprise-level data governance and research software development. She has extensive experience in health research, having worked in multiple international randomized controlled trials as the statistician/data process leader at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Tang holds a Master of Science degree in Bioinformatics from UBC.

Alyza Rosario, Support Analyst

Alyza is the ARC Support Analyst for Advanced Research Computing at UBC. Before joining ARC, she worked as a Remote Systems Administrator (RSA) in the healthcare industry. As an RSA, she served as the hardware technical resource for mission-critical radiology imaging systems, enterprise-class hardware, server, and storage systems. She eventually joined UBC IT Desktop Services where she supported the administrative, instructional and research technology needs of the Faculty of Applied Science. Alyza is committed to contributing to the research community by continuing to provide a top-notch support experience to UBC researchers.

Gabriel Smith, Systems Analyst

Gabriel has spent many years in academia and has a deep appreciation both for the role that the careful management and analysis of data plays in the research process; as well as the people who make such research and data management possible behind the scenes. Gabriel has experience with high-performance computing, research data management (RDM) software and programming languages such as R, Python, and JavaScript.  As a Teaching Assistant, he also taught statistics, methods, and software and data classes in the research context.

Michael Tang, ARC Cloud Analyst

Michael Tang is the ARC Cloud Analyst for Advanced Research Computing at UBC. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computing Engineering from the University of British Columbia. Michael began his career supporting research at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation (C2E2). In 2018, he joined ARC as a Scientific Analyst supporting research across the university. Michael is excited to continue supporting researchers in the Cloud.


Research Specialists

ARC's Research Specialist Team is an external-facing group that assists UBC researchers in getting the right support for their computational research at a local and national level. The team works closely with faculty, staff and students across both UBC campuses who want to use digital research infrastructure in their work.  Through online training materials, workshops, events, and discipline-specific education, the team provides a range of support and consultation services.  Members have expertise across many aspects of computationally intensive research, data analysis, workflow development, data management, curation and cloud computing, as well as disciplinary expertise in bioinformatics, ocean sciences, humanities, and health sciences. The research specialist team members work closely with other units across campus to help researchers navigate the whole ecosystem of support available at UBC to accelerate their research. 

Elizabeth Kinney, Manager, Research Specialists

Elizabeth Kinney is the Manager of the Research Specialist Team for ARC.  She has a Juris Doctor from the University of Victoria, BC, and a Master in Law from the University of British Columbia.  With over 14 years of experience in clinical research and health research administration in both Canada and the United States, she has firsthand experience with telemedicine and health technology.  Elizabeth came to ARC because of her passion for training researchers and supporting innovation through high-performance computing.  She has experience sitting on the UBC Research Ethics Board and BCNET committees.

Jeff Gardner, Cloud Research Specialist

Jeff is a Cloud Research Specialist with the UBC Advanced Research Computing (ARC) team. Jeff was previously the Sensitive Research Specialist at ARC, collaborating with researchers and ARC team members to ensure timely access to data while meeting privacy, security and other regulatory requirements. Jeff has a background in clinical research, managing studies at Vancouver Coastal Health and Providence Health Care, before transitioning to research policy and administration at the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Jiarui (Jerry) Li, Life Sciences Specialist

Jiarui (Jerry) Li is the life science specialist for ARC at UBC. He also serves on the Bioinformatics National Team. Jerry holds a PhD in genetics from Fudan University, China and conducted postdoctoral research on bioinformatics and genomics in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University. Before joining the ARC team, he worked successively as an assistant professor at Shanghai University, a lecturer at SFU, and the head of the Next-Generation Sequencing Department at Applied Biological Materials Inc.

Michael Nesrallah, Research Computing Specialist

With a PhD in physics, Michael has experience as a researcher, teacher, and science writer. Before coming to ARC, he also worked in the quantum computing industry. Michael is a problem solver and researcher at heart who deeply enjoys helping other researchers achieve their goals.

George Parker, Research Data Integration Specialist

George has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and a Ph.D. in oceanography. Before joining ARC, he worked in academia as a data steward and data scientist, and also worked many years in the renewable energy industry as a project developer and project manager. At ARC he coordinates training, participates in consultations, does data analysis, reports metrics, and works on the front end and back end tools to enable data monitoring and visualization. On a national level, he develops databases and co-builds an ETL pipeline to assist with machine learning.

Nick Rochlin, Research Data Management Specialist 

Nick Rochlin is the Research Data Management Specialist in UBC’s Advanced Research Computing team.  He has a Masters of Library and Information Studies from UBC, and prior to joining UBC, he worked as a Business Librarian at Okanagan College where his focus was training students on data literacy and business research. He is active in the Portage Network of RDM professionals, co-chairing the Training Expert Group, and is an active member of the FRDR Discovery Redesign Working Group. 


Research Systems

Research Systems Team provides expertise, service delivery and operational support for digital research infrastructure (DRI), such as High Performance Computing (HPC), data storage, cloud computing and high-speed networks. As part of their role, they also help facilitate pan-Canadian, regional, provincial, and institutional partnerships to deliver DRI solutions and services that align with the evolving academic research landscape and requirements. The team works directly with researchers to optimize research computing workflows and design services to meet the specific requirements of the academic research community. 

Matt Smith, Manager, Research Systems

Matt Smith is the Manager, Research Systems for Advanced Research Computing. Matt began his career providing technical services to the film and news industries in eastern Canada before joining MedIT at UBC in 2009. Matt eventually joined Psychology IT at UBC and led their mission to provide research-focused IT services. During this time, Matt developed a passion for helping scientists achieve their research goals through designing and supporting data collection tools, behaviour monitoring labs and research systems. After over 8 years with Psychology IT, Matt joins ARC’s world-class systems team to help provide infrastructure and resources to support research excellence across the university.

Roman Baranowski, Software Architect

Roman Baranowski has been involved in HPC since 1991 and has been working as the UBC Site Lead for Compute Canada/WestGrid since 2003. In addition, Roman is a member of the Compute Canada Storage National Team and serves on the National Team: Simon Fraser University. His background is in Theoretical and Computational Physics and Chemistry with a PhD from Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland.

Ken Bigelow, Systems Administrator

Ken Bigelow is a Systems Administrator with the Advanced Research Computing group at UBC. Ken has over 20 years of experience as a systems administrator, with the last 18 years with the Department of Medicine at UBC. Ken has a particular interest in high-performance computing and has seen the evolution from cluster CPU computing to highly specialized GPUs for machine learning and image processing. He also has a keen interest in augmented and virtual reality. Ken enjoys working with all researchers but particularly enjoys supporting students to achieve success.

Jacob Boschee, Systems Administrator

Jacob Boschee is a Systems Administrator with the Advanced Research Computing group at UBC. He began his background in systems administration at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where he maintained the research cluster on campus while completing his PhD in Physics. His research background is in quantum computing, phononics, and computational modelling. He is excited to assist the wider UBC research community with their work.

Wade Klaver, Systems Administrator

Wade Klaver is a Systems Administrator at UBC’s Okanagan campus serving researchers there as well as the greater research community at UBC.  Wade began his career in Canada’s oil and gas sector, finally coming to UBC after more than a decade spent with various high tech start-ups in the Okanagan Valley where he worked as a programmer, Linux and UNIX system administrator, network engineer and manager.  A science enthusiast from a young age, Wade’s varied interests and technology experience are well-suited to engaging with the research community, understanding their needs and recommending and implementing solutions.

Mykhailo Kutsenko, Systems Administrator

Mykhailo Kutsenko is a Systems Administrator for Advanced Research Computing at UBC. Mykhailo started his IT career in the 1990s, working as an engineer-developer for major corporations in Ukraine. He transitioned his career into system administration in the early 2000s, to follow his interests in information technology and automation systems. His passion for scientific research lead him to acquire a position with UBC IT in 2018. While Mykhailo spends some of his spare time following the latest technological innovations in the field, he enjoys spending time with his family, cycling, swimming, reading science fiction and Formula 1.

Venkat Mahadevan, Cloud Architect

Venkat Mahadevan is the Cloud Architect at UBC ARC. Prior to joining ARC, Venkat was heavily involved with e-mail security, anti-malware, and identity & access management initiatives at UBC Information Technology. Prior to joining UBC, he worked as a Systems Administrator/Developer for various organizations supporting research in transport information systems, scientific visualization, and data management. He is a world traveller and has lived in various cities including Lusaka, Zug, New York, New Orleans and Lethbridge before finally staying put in Vancouver. He is eager to help the UBC research community achieve its objectives.

Ryan Thomson, Systems Architect

Ryan is a career systems administrator with a passion for supporting academic research. Ryan began his journey at the University of Calgary but eventually traded the cold Calgary winters for the warm Vancouver rain, finding a new home with the Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre at the University of British Columbia. Ryan later joined MedIT at UBC to support the administrative, teaching and research technology needs of the Faculty of Medicine and Distributed Medical Program. Ryan eventually returned to his passion for research computing in 2016 when he joined the fast-growing UBC ARC team where he now holds the title of Systems Architect.

Ryan is a proud recipient of both the 2021 VPRI Staff Service Award and the 2021 President’s Staff Award for Creativity and Innovation.


Sensitive Research

Sensitive Research is a team of cybersecurity, and privacy experts dedicated to assisting researchers in establishing good privacy and security practices while meeting compliance requirements. Favouring an educational approach in conjunction with colleagues at ARC, the team engages with the UBC research community, as well as external partners including health authorities, indigenous community groups, and government to advocate for and promote the benefits of good cybersecurity and privacy practices for research data management and strong security posture in research environments. With a variety of services including awareness training, Security Threat Assessment, and consultation, the Sensitive Research team strives to ensure small to large research projects have access to accurate and timely guidance about security and privacy. 

Scott Baker, Manager, Sensitive Research

Scott Baker has a B.A.Sc in Electrical Engineering from UBC, holds CISSP, PMP, ITIL, and Lean 6-sigma Green Belt certifications. He is the leader of the CARA IT-SIG, represents WestGrid on the Compute Canada Security Council, and has over 20 years of experience managing people, projects, and systems across a broad range of industries including the private sector, non-profit, and government organizations. Scott has a passion for information security and enjoys the challenge of seeking effective non-limiting solutions in the ever-evolving research environment. 

Jessica Galo, Sensitive Research Security Analyst

Jessica Galo is a Sensitive Research Security Analyst with the UBC Advanced Research Computing (ARC).  She completed the Information Access and Protection of Privacy program from the University of Alberta and holds a CIAPP-Professional privacy designation. Jessica has extensive experience facilitating clinical and administrative data research and providing consultation to researchers across Canada to ensure that their projects meet privacy, data transfer, and governing body policy requirements.   In her time as the BC Data Access Support Hub (DASH) lead under the Health Data Research Network (HDRN), she collaborated with major data centres across Canada in harmonizing data access processes.  Jessica is looking forward to applying her passion for privacy, governance, and data security in her role at ARC.  

Luc Letarte, Sensitive Research Specialist

Luc Letarte is a Sensitive Research Specialist with the UBC Advanced Research Computing, Sensitive Research team. Since joining UBC, he has been involved with different groups to promote cybersecurity and privacy awareness, as well as good practices for research, and research data management. The diversity of his past experiences, in the public and private sector, allowed him to acquire expertise in information technology, business processes, and risk management. Luc also holds certificates from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Simon Fraser University, as well as a CIPP/C certification. Luc is thrilled to bring his governance, privacy and security skills to the ARC team, and to be at the service of the UBC research community.

Bobby Nikkhah, Sensitive Research Security Analyst

Bobby Nikkhah is a Security Analyst for Sensitive Research with the Advanced Research Computing Group at UBC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature & Philosophy from Simon Fraser University. He has a professional background in Telecom, Payment Processing, IoT & Managed Services information systems administration, support and security. Bobby is enthusiastic about ensuring the security of UBC's Advanced Research data and infrastructure.


Office Administration

The office administration team supports overall administrative, communications, and day-to-day operations and human resource activities for the ARC team. The team works closely with the ARC leadership to ensure administrative and operational policies meet the department’s evolving operating needs and also provides logistical support to projects and outreach activities undertaken by the team.

Kia Brus, Assistant to the Director

Kia Brus is the Assistant to the Director, ARC.  

Yau Bing Chong, Senior Project Manager

Yau Bing Chong is the Senior Project Manager at ARC.  A graduate of UBC’s MLIS program, Yau Bing is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 20 years’ experience in managing IT projects. Before joining ARC, Yau Bing was with the Infrastructure Program Office at UBC IT, managing projects that included the campus-wide encryption initiative, CWL integration for faculties and departments across UBC, and the Skype for Business pilot.  Prior to working at UBC, Yau Bing managed web development projects for client organizations that included the World Health Organization (WHO) and Nissan Europe.   

Andrew Fong, Administrative Coordinator

Andrew Fong is the Administrative Coordinator for ARC.