HPC Career Notes: April 2020 Edition

By Mariana Iriarte

April 2, 2020

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it’s a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we’ve got the details. Check in each month for an updated list and you may even come across someone you know, or better yet, yourself!


Edwin Catmull and Patrick Hanrahan

ACM announced that Patrick M. Hanrahan and Edwin E. Catmull are the recipients of the 2019 ACM A.M. Turing Award. They received the award for their vital contributions to 3D computer graphics, and the effect these techniques have had in filmmaking and other applications.  Catmull is a computer scientist and former president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. Hanrahan is a professor in the Computer Graphics Laboratory at Stanford University and a founding employee at Pixar. Catmull and Hanrahan have influenced the field of computer graphics through conceptual novelty and contributions to both software and hardware.

The ACM A.M. Turing Award, named for Alan M. Turing, carries a $1 million prize. Google provides financial support for the award. Hanrahan and Catmull will tentatively accept the award at the annual ACM awards banquet on Saturday, June 20, 2020, in San Francisco, California.

Kelvin Droegemeier

Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier has been named acting director of the National Science Foundation. Under his new role as director, he will supervise the daily operations of the National Science Foundation. Droegemeier has two six-year terms under his belt serving on the National Foundation’s board. Under the role at OSTP, he is responsible for the coordination of science and technology initiatives across the government. 

“I am honored to serve in this acting capacity for NSF, and it is a homecoming of sorts as a former member of the National Science Board and longtime recipient of grants from NSF,” Droegemeier said. “I thank President Trump for his confidence as well as his appreciation that maintaining continuity of science leadership is more important now than ever. Dr. France Córdova has been a tireless advocate for science the past six years and is leaving NSF with a solid leadership team in place. My role at NSF is a temporary one as we all excitedly await the swift Senate confirmation of Dr. Panchanathan. I had the privilege of serving on the National Science Board with both Dr. Córdova and Dr. Panchanathan and both are exceptional leaders. The future is bright, and the United States will continue to lead the world in science and technology as we transition from one NSF Director to the next.” 

Dave Johnson 

Green Revolution Cooling (GRC) tapped Dave Johnson to serve on its board of directors. Johnson is the former executive vice president of the Secure Power division at Schneider Electric, where he was in charge of the global functions, including commercial operations, marketing, R&D, supply chain, and human resources. Johnson also managed teams across Asia and Europe. 

“As densities continue to increase, GRC’s innovative approach to liquid immersion cooling will help solve the space, power, and cooling challenges for data center and edge deployments across the globe,” Johnson said. “GRC’s solutions allow customers to adapt to a variety of environments and building specifications for both data centers and the edge. I look forward to helping GRC drive its next phase of growth.”

Larry Kosch

Green Revolution Cooling appointed Larry Kosch to the role of director of product marketing. For 15 years, Kosch held different engineering and product management roles at Dell EMC. He was responsible for strategy, development, and sustainment of rails and cable management solutions for high and low volume enterprise-class products at Dell EMC.

“I look forward to bringing my experience with enterprise data center architecture and global product management to contribute to GRC’s rapid growth and development while expanding its immersion-cooling product lines, ICEraQ, ICEtank, HashRaQ, and HashTank,” Kosch said. “I am excited to join the GRC team at this pivotal time when enterprise data centers bring new computing platforms online which focus on high-density computing, AI, 5G, Edge Computing and more.”

Brett Miller

Formulus Black tapped Brett Miller for the role of field CTO. He is responsible for expanding the company’s persistent in-memory computing solutions. Before Formulas Black, he has held the position of senior solutions architect at MemVerge. Miller was also the field CTO and Solutions Architect at Violin Systems. He currently serves as a strategy advisor for me:now, and was an advisory board member for Aicumen Technologies Inc. for five years.

“This is the right opportunity at the right time for the right company,” Miller said.  “Formulus Black is perfectly positioned to change the storage game, and I’m looking forward to contributing to the company’s success.  In my experience, customers are looking for any performance gain they can get, and FORSA is a solution that addresses this need by providing in-memory performance of any workload while reducing cost and complexity.  I’m excited about joining this great team.”

David Silver

David Silver is the recipient of the 2019 ACM Prize in Computing. He was selected for breakthrough advances in computer game-playing. At DeepMind, a Google company that focuses on artificial intelligence, he is the principal research scientist.  Silver’s most recognized accomplishment was leading the team that created AlphaGo, a computer program that defeated the world champion of the game Go.

The ACM Prize in Computing carries a prize of $250,000, with funding supported by Infosys Ltd. Silver will tentatively receive the award at the annual ACM’s banquet on June 20, 2020, in San Francisco.

Steve Walton

Steve Walton joined CoolIT Systems as chief executive officer. He has over 20 years of experience scaling technology companies and helping them to restructure their operations. Walton is credited with the growth of AC Photonics while also introducing solutions to increase operational efficiency. Walton has also held several executive roles at MicroTechnologies, Huntington Capital PE Group, and WFM.

“Joining CoolIT at this stage of the company’s growth was an easy decision for me,” Walton said. “CoolIT is already trusted by the industry’s largest players and I will be investing in increasing our expertise and further strengthening these relationships.”

Ying-Chih Yang

SiPearl announced the appointment of Ying-Chih Yang as the company’s chief technical officer. Yang will be the lead architect for the microprocessor developed by SiPearl within the EPI consortium. Ying-Chih Yang has a strong background working with Philippe Notton, SiPearl’s founder. They have worked in several projects, including with MStar Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics’ Consumer division, and Atos for the European microprocessor project.

Before SiPearl, Yang was at Atos under the role of global architect. For STMicroelectronics’ Consumer division, he worked as the advanced systems and advanced security chief Officer. He has a Master’s in Electronics Engineering from the National Chiao-Tung University.

FCIA 2019-2020 Board of Directors

The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) announced its board of directors for 2019-2020. The board serves advisory and fiduciary roles to market fibre channel technology to the industry. The new board includes four officers and three members-at-large. For the full list, click here.

“It’s a great pleasure to work with these outstanding industry leaders in 2020,” said Mark Jones, president, FCIA. “Together, their skills and experience are a tremendous asset to FCIA as we move the ball forward on promoting the growth and innovation of the Fibre Channel market as 64GFC and Gen 7 solutions begin to appear in the marketplace.”

2020 Class of SIAM Fellows

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) announced the 2020 Class of SIAM Fellows. SIAM Fellows help advance the fields of applied mathematics and computational science. Twenty-eight members were nominated because of their excellent research and notable contributions to their communities.  For the full list of members, click here.

To read last month’s edition of Career Notes, click here.

Do you know someone that should be included in next month’s list? If so, send us an email at [email protected] We look forward to hearing from you.

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