IT leader keeps KU research technology at the forefront

"Photo with caption "Unsung Hero Suzie Johannes. KU Information Technology.""

Suzie Johannes | Associate Director | KU Information Technology

Suzie Johannes ensures KU remains at the forefront of research by supporting its technology needs. 

Johannes started with KU Information Technology in 2012 and is now the unit’s associate director. In that time, she’s been an essential partner to the KU Office of Research. 

“Suzie has been a key team member in research technology projects taken on by the Office of Research and KU Information Technology,” said Julie Popiel, executive associate in the vice chancellor’s office. “Over the last couple of years, she has coordinated hours of working group meetings, data for review, all-campus surveys, reports and recommendations for the future of KU research.”

Investigators across every discipline and school within the university rely on specialized hardware and software to conduct their work. In 2021, KU IT and the Office of Research created the KU Research Technology Working Group to ensure the university remains at the leading edge of researchers’ IT needs. Johannes served as its main project manager. 

“Her excellent project management skills helped take on a complex and multi-pronged issue like research technology with efficiency and creativity. She often has recommendations for the latest platform for online brainstorming and collaborating,” Popiel said. 

Managing large projects like this are no small feat. The working group included 30 researchers and IT professionals and met regularly for a year. As part of their work, Johannes and others held town halls and interviewed practitioners at other universities. In February 2022, they produced a 20-page report outlining strategies for meeting researchers’ IT needs for the next decade. 

Johannes is also involved in other important projects related to KU’s research enterprise. In addition to her responsibilities in KU IT, she is currently coordinating the planned replacement of the Research File Storage (ResFS). 

“Suzie is thoughtful, patient, and thorough – all helpful skills when dealing across units and in every changing landscape,” Popiel said. “The Office of Research truly appreciates all she does to support us.”