CSCS GETS READY FOR THE FUTURE

September 15, 2000

SCIENCE & ENGINEERING NEWS

Zurich, SWITZERLAND — The Swiss Center for Scientific Computing (CSCS, Centro Svizzero di Calcolo Scientifico), an affiliation of ETH Zurich based in Manno, Lugano, steps up toward a more agile, effective and efficient organizational structure in order to cope with the ever growing and more sophisticated HPCN (High Performance Computing and Networking) needs and requirements of scientists, researchers and engineers, both at National and International levels, and to stay atop of the technology and market trends for HPCN solutions.

The evaluations conducted by ETH Council in 1999, and ETH Board of Directors in 2000, ended with the recommendation that on top of its traditional core activities of service and support, the role of CSCS be extended to include top level research in computational sciences, accompanied by strong competence in leading edge HPCN technologies and solutions, and emerging network solutions (such as Grid computing).

In line with such recommendations, the definitive CSCS organizational structure will be directed by the new CSCS Director, a chair in Computational Sciences at ETH Zurich (to be soon announced), and will comprise a Scientific body (to be built up by new CSCS Director), and a HPCN Technology Competence and Support body, led by CSCS Managing Director.

For the position of CSCS Managing Director Dr. D. Maric, Chief Technology Officer for National HPCN, has been appointed, in order to guarantee the best match between CSCS Competences and Support Capabilities and the user community needs and requirements, a coherent and pro-active National HPCN strategy, and the active leadership of CSCS in the emerging coordinated national HPCN solutions framework.

This agile and simplified organizational structure foresees therefore two bodies: the Scientific and Research body, led by the new CSCS Director, which thinks, conceives, designs and plans for the research themes to be carried out, and the HPCN Technology Competence and Support body, led by Dr. D. Maric, which evaluates the user community computational requirements, routes the applications into best architectural choices, implements, operates and supports the adequate solutions, plans for future national HPCN solutions and provides the necessary technology enabling framework for them.

Effective immediately, the “interim” management structure of CSCS is replaced in full by the new role of Dr. D. Maric. The former “interim” Directors (Dr. H.P. Wessels and Dr. K. Decker) are leaving CSCS to other positions. CSCS expresses to them gratitude for the good work done so far, and wishes them all the best in their new assignments.

In his new function, Dr. D. Maric is committed to guarantee that the Center is properly operated and that the National Scientific and Engineering user community is always served, supported and advised at a level of excellence. He will also monitor HPCN technological and architectural advances and advise accordingly, coordinate and harmonize CSCS strategies with the other Swiss Academic and Research Centers, and see that CSCS constantly strengthens its competence to become the leading site of the National HPCN networked and coordinated solution (GRID, the internationally known emerging interactive HPC paradigm), a key factor for CSCS expansion into the Third Millennium.

Dr. Maric’s appointment is based on his strong background in HPC and Networking and his outstanding management skills, well demonstrated by his accomplishments during his long (eight year) association with CSCS/ETH in his former positions of CSCS Technical Director and of the recently assigned Chief Technology Officer for National HPCN. Such an appointment has been the result of the broad country-wide consensus that Dr. Maric engineered to strengthening CSCS not only as the local HPCN provider, but also as the National Coordinator of the major HPC resources and strategy. In these efforts, Dr. Maric gained wide support from end-users (Academia, Research, Industry) and from governmental authorities. In addition, he acquired remarkable knowledge of the research priorities and computational needs of the end-users.

His achievements at CSCS have been recognized beyond Switzerland too, and he has served in a number of foreign committees, such as HPC Advisory Board of the German Council of Science, the German Ministry of Sciences Evaluation Committee for UNICORE (Grid computing project connecting German national HPC centers).

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