Niall Gaffney

Niall Gaffney

Director of Data Intensive Computing

Data Management & Collections; Data Mining & Statistics

Niall Gaffney's background largely revolves around the management and utilization of large inhomogeneous scientific datasets. Niall, who earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in astronomy from The University of Texas at Austin, joined TACC in May 2013. Prior to that he worked for 13 years in the role of designer and developer for the archives housed at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which hold the data from the Hubble Space Telescope, Kepler, and James Webb Space Telescope missions. He was also a leader in the development of the Hubble Legacy Archive, projects that harvested the 20+ years of Hubble Space Telescope data to create some of the most sensitive astronomical data products available for open research. Prior to his work at STScI, Niall was worked as "the friend of the telescope" for the Hobby Eberly Telescope (HET) project at the McDonald Observatory in west Texas where he started working to create systems to acquire and handle the storage and distribution of the data the HET produced.

Areas of Research

Design of data workflows in parallel computing systems

Data Discovery systems

Data Preservation

Astronomical data reduction and analysis


B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Astronomy
University of Texas at Austin

Memberships/Professional Affiliations

American Astronomical Society (AAS)

Selected Publications

Gaffney, N. I.; Casertano, S.; Ferguson, B., "The Next Generation of HLA Image Products", Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXI. Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2012., p.673
Gaffney, N.; Kidwell, R.; Kyprianou, M.; Abney, F., "The History and Future of STScI DADS", Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XIX., Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2010., p.264
Gaffney, N. I. & Miller, W. W., "Automated Data Tagging in the HLA", Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems ASP Conference Series, Vol. 394 p.131