Think dataflow to accelerate research, mobilize information, and master complex projects.


  • High-throughput pipelines
  • Custom workflows and components
  • Specialized dataflow systems
  • Instrument integration


  • Application of scientific workflow systems
  • Workflow lifecycle management


  • Project chartering
  • Requirements exploration
  • Tool selection


  • Scientific data management
  • Data provenance
  • Software parallelization
  • Hardware accelerators


About AbsoluteFlow

Welcome to AbsoluteFlow, a software development and consulting firm applying dataflow approaches to scientific research. AbsoluteFlow offers services to academic, government, and industrial labs seeking to automate and streamline their research and development processes.

I'm Tim McPhillips, and I founded AbsoluteFlow in 2011. Educated as a chemist and structural biologist, I have 25 years of experience developing production-quality software for scientists. This software has included distributed instrument control systems, intuitive graphical user interfaces, network-based collaborative research tools, automated data analysis pipelines, and novel dataflow languages and engines.

For the last 10 years I have been active in the scientific workflow research community. I have published peer-reviewed articles on this topic in collaboration with leading researchers, and have made public presentations on the topic. AbsoluteFlow applies the results of this research to solve real-world problems.

Flexible workflows

AbsoluteFlow can help organizations design, develop, and deploy large-scale scientific workflows that incorporate computational and experimental stages. These flexible pipelines can interface with existing instrumentation, sample handling systems, and information management infrastructure.

Services include developing new components for widely available scientific workflow automation frameworks, integrating automated workflows with existing computing hardware and software, and extending and customizing workflow systems as needed. For the most demanding requirements, I can develop new dataflow-oriented software frameworks to meet specific needs.

Developer Training

AbsoluteFlow aims to enable research organizations to fully exploit dataflow-oriented approaches. I offer training on how to effectively use scientific workflow systems, develop new components for them, and maintain multiple, rapidly evolving versions of workflows. AbsoluteFlow also provides training on tools and methodologies that greatly facilitate complex development projects involving distributed research and development teams.

Project Support

AbsoluteFlow can help organize projects for success by ensuring the flow of information between project stakeholders, researchers, and developers at each stage. I can help you define your projects through project chartering and get your project moving in the right direction through explorations of your actual requirements.

AbsoluteFlow also can advise research groups writing grant proposals that include data-intensive computing and software development components. I can help investigators plan, organize, and execute projects to maximize productivity once funds are awarded.

Research Collaboration

AbsoluteFlow investigates the cutting edge of dataflow approaches and their applications to science. Consider collaborating on novel research in structural biology, genomics, and computer science. Research topics of interest to me include dataflow languages and provenance management.

Recently my interest has turned to achieving high performance at low cost in the scientific computing realm. Currently I'm investigating how dataflow approaches can be used to best exploit heterogeneous computing resources including multicore systems, cloud-based processors, GPUs, and custom hardware accelerators based on FPGAs.

If you have a problem that could take advantage of such approaches, please contact me! When it comes to exciting research opportunites, I carry a sign that says, "Will work for papers."

Timothy McPhillips

Photo of Tim McPhillips. LinkedIn profile




© 2015 AbsoluteFlow