Empowering Researchers, Fueling Innovation: UC Berkeley’s Research IT Consulting Team Bridges the Gap Between Cutting-Edge Technology and Researchers

April 15, 2024

The UC Berkeley Research IT Consulting team bridges the gap between technology and people, serving as the first point of contact for UC Berkeley researchers seeking to leverage computing and data resources. This diverse group of experts includes Research IT and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab staff, librarians,  adjunct and graduate student domain specialists, and undergraduate students. With their diverse expertise across many domains and disciplines, the consulting team facilitates access to the most suitable computing and data resources, enabling researchers to drive their work forward seamlessly.

A core responsibility of the Research IT Consulting team is to understand how computational and data methodologies can aid different aspects of research. The team develops training materials and contributes to the program’s education and outreach efforts, ensuring researchers have the necessary knowledge and skills to do their work. Additionally, they document solutions to research challenges which are shared on the Research IT documentation website. By learning about the unique needs of researchers, the team tailors its services to provide the most effective support across campus.

Research IT Domain Consultants are experts embedded in departments across campus. Many of them are graduate students and as they are researchers themselves they understand the specific issues and needs in their domain. One such consultant we would like to spotlight is Christian White, a 6th year PhD student in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering involved in the Black Graduate Engineers Group.

Christian White (Domain Consultant)White earned his bachelor’s degree at Yale University in Mechanical Engineering, then earned a master’s in Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, and is currently pursuing a PhD. Becoming an expert in environmental engineering was a driving passion for him, leading him to pursue a doctorate. Currently, he is involved in research on biological nutrient nitrogen removal from wastewater. Studying the interactions between microbes fascinates him, and he is glad to bring an engineering perspective to his research.

As a domain consultant, White specializes in software solutions and bioinformatic software. A key part of his role is understanding researchers’ needs and matching them with the appropriate Research IT resources and tools. White finds this work gratifying, as it allows him to support the diverse research community on campus. One of his memorable experiences was helping with the Savio training, where he was able to teach researchers how to access and use helpful Research IT tools. White’s favorite part of being a consultant is the opportunity to collaborate with his talented colleagues at Research IT, appreciating the diverse perspectives they bring to problem-solving. 

Beyond his work as a consultant and PhD studies, White enjoys a variety of hobbies that help him maintain a work-life balance, including boxing, gardening, cooking, and biking.

Many recordings of past trainings can be found on the Research IT Youtube channel.You can work with the Research IT consultants by visiting our weekly  office hours or by getting in touch via email

Christian White (Domain Consultant)