Name: Dr Soo Ling Lim
Research institution: UCL Interaction Centre, University College London
Research career length: 5 years
Research Council: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Location: London, England
Brief summary of research: I look at different ways to make software easier to use
A-levels: Advanced Mathematics, Social Psychology, Chemistry, Physics
Bachelor of Software Engineering, Australian National University
Software engineer, CIC Secure, Australia
SAP Consultant, Computer Sciences Corporation, Australia
Research Associate, University College London
Assistant Professor, National Institute of Informatics, Tokyo, Japan
Please give us a description of your job / research, and tell us what inspired you to do what you're doing...
I look at effective ways to identify people who are affected by a software project (e.g. software users) and elicit their needs. One of the top causes of project failure is omitting the input of these people. When projects fail, money is wasted (sometimes millions of dollars), and users can be disappointed; in safety critical systems, lives can be lost.
How does your job or research contribute to the world we live in now?
StakeSource, which is the software I have created, uses social networks to identify the people affected by a software project and enable them voice their needs. It saves the time project team members spend on manually identifying the software users, and it enables the users' needs to be captured, so that the software can be developed to meet their needs.
Describe your typical day...
Today, I am testing out how well StakeSource works in real projects. Two projects have recently finished using StakeSource, and I am checking the usage statistics and results. Sometimes, I meet with people interested to use StakeSource, or give talks to other research labs about my work. Most days, I also spend time writing up my Thesis.
Do you have a 'pet project'?
Yes. I am getting StakeSource out in the market. A demo and free trial of the software is available at www.stakesource.co.uk.
What do you love most about science / engineering or maths?
The fact that science is based on evidence.
What do you remember most from school science?
I got curious during a chemistry experiment and mixed up some chemical compounds I was not supposed to. It resulted in a small explosion.
What do you think is the most significant scientific / engineering / mathematical development in the last century?
Name one quirky / crazy fact about your job...
I am enrolled in a PhD degree in Australia, but most of the time, I am funded to do research elsewhere. I spent six months in Japan and two years in the UK during my two year PhD degree.
Where I live...
Central London, near Kings Cross Station.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Handicraft and day dreaming (I day dream even when I am busy).
A software project using social networks
University College London