HPC Career Notes: April 2021 Edition

By Mariana Iriarte

April 1, 2021

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!

Alfred Vaino Aho and Jeffrey David Ullman

Alfred Vaino Aho, the Lawrence Gussman Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Columbia University, and Jeffrey David Ullman, the Stanford W. Ascherman Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Stanford University, were named the recipients of the 2020 ACM A.M. Turing Award. They were recognized for fundamental algorithms and theory underlying programming language implementation and for synthesizing these results and those of others in their books.

Aho and Ullman co-authored nine influential books, including The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms published in 1974 and Principles of Compiler Design published in 1977. The A.M. Turing Award, named for Alan M. Turing, honors computer scientists and engineers who created the systems and underlying theoretical foundations that have propelled the information technology industry.

Shawn Brown

Shawn Brown has been appointed vice chancellor for research computing at the University of Pittsburgh. Brown will take on this leadership role in addition to his post as director of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC). PSC is a joint research center of Pitt and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where Brown has held that position since November 2019.

Brown will report to Rob A. Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research, with a dotted line to Pitt CIO Mark Henderson to emphasize the importance of having the research enterprise aligned with the broader Pitt IT enterprise. “We are delighted that Shawn is using his visionary talents to take Pitt’s data-driven research to the next level,” Rutenbar said.

Dan Caruso

ColdQuanta, a cold atom quantum technology solution provider, appointed Dan Caruso as its executive chairman and interim chief executive officer. Caruso will be responsible for the direction and growth of the company. Before joining ColdQuanta, Caruso was the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Zayo Group, an internet infrastructure provider.

“ColdQuanta has 90 fantastic employees, most of whom are quantum physicists, scientists, and engineers. I am excited to support amazing ColdQuanta colleagues,” said Caruso. “ColdQuanta will contribute to a fundamental transformation from humankind’s classical history to its quantum destiny. The company’s innovation in Cold Atom Quantum Technology will play a pivotal role in the most seismic revolution since the launch of the Internet.”

José Ricardo Correia

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) named José Ricardo Correia, a Ph.D. student in the group of Carlos Martins at the University of Porto and the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences, as the winner of the PRACE Best Poster Award at PRACEdays21 during the EuroHPC Summit Week 2021 Digital. Correia was selected for his poster presentation on “Coding the Cosmos: A New Generation of Superstring Simulations.”

“It feels fantastic to have won this award,” said Correia. “I am happy that I was able to make a contribution to improve string simulations and thus help in future discoveries, as well as honored and humbled that my efforts were recognized.”

Michael Cuthbert

Dr. Michael Cuthbert was appointed director of the National Quantum Computing Centre, a joint initiative of UK Research and Innovation’s  Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and Science and Technology Facilities Council, to help to deliver the UK’s mission to be a quantum-enabled economy.

“I am passionate about quantum computing and its potential to create a positive impact on some of society’s biggest challenges, such as climate science and clean energy,” Cuthbert said. “I am delighted to have been appointed as director, and immensely proud to lead the NQCC forward as we move from launch to center operations. I have no doubt the NQCC will have an important contribution to make to both the UK national program and with our colleagues internationally.”

Kelsey DeBriyn

Ansys welcomed Kelsey DeBriyn as head of its investor relations and government affairs division. DeBriyn will be responsible for the investment community’s understanding of Ansys’ strategy, competitive differentiation, and financial outlook. DeBriyn has 15 years of experience in investment banking, equity research and investor relations, most recently as vice president of investor relations with Raytheon Technologies.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join Ansys, a company leading the industry in engineering simulation innovation and quality,” DeBriyn said. “I am proud to be a part of this world-class community of talented people.”

Tim Dietrich

Professor of theoretical astrophysics at the University of Potsdam, Dr. Tim Dietrich, will receive the 2021 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize for supercomputing simulations, Germany’s award honoring early career researchers. Dietrich and his team won the award for their work modeling neutron star mergers and for putting together a database of gravitational wave signals from two merging neutron stars.

“Gravitational wave astronomy is a new and extremely exciting research topic. Without the support of the GCS centers and with the necessary HPC resources, we would not be able to perform the studies that we did over the last years “, Dietrich said. “Indeed, numerical-relativistic simulations have been essential to understand the dynamics of merging neutron stars and to learn more about the Universe. ”

Wayne Figurelle

Wayne Figurelle, assistant director of Penn State’s Institute for Computational and Data Sciences, was elected executive committee chair of the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation. Figurelle joined ICDS in 2013, and in 2016, he joined CASC’s programs. By 2018, he was appointed as chair for the CASC by-laws committee.

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead such a diverse group of institutions that are focused on delivering high-quality research computing services across the US,” Figurelle said. “I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with the executive committee, as well as the broader CASC community, to ensure that CASC continues to be an organization that supports and advances our members collectively.”

Jim Frankola

Ansys appointed Jim Frankola to its board of directors. Frankola brings more than 25 years of experience in corporate governance and finance to Ansys. Frankola currently serves as the chief financial officer of Cloudera, an enterprise data cloud company. He also served as CFO of Yodlee, Inc., a data aggregation and data analytics platform company.

Frankola has held various senior positions in finance and business management at industry-leading companies, including IBM and Avery Dennison Corp., and served on the board of ActivIDentity Corp., a credentials management and authentication company.

Keith Gray

Keith Gray retired from his long-time post at BP, where he led the high performance computing division. Gray has worked for BP and Amoco since 1985 (the two companies merged in 1998), and as director, he helped to grow BP’s computing power by a factor of 210,000, and significantly expanded the HPC team of systems/operations experts and scientists/developers.

Gray also spearheaded the planning and construction BP’s HPC datacenter and led the first petascale oil and gas HPC infrastructure, enabling researchers to achieve multiple scientific breakthroughs for BP and the industry. Gray plans to spend more time with family and to continue putting more miles on his bicycle than his car.

Raj Hazra

Micron Technology, Inc., a memory and storage solutions provider, appointed Raj Hazra as its senior vice president and general manager of Micron’s compute and networking business unit. Hazra, who joined Micron in June 2020, was promoted from his role as the senior vice president of the strategy and communications division.

Hazra brings over 20 years of technology leadership experience to Micron. Before joining the company, he served as corporate vice president and general manager of the enterprise and government group at Intel, where he also held multiple technical and business leadership roles.

Carol Houle

Atos named Carol Houle as its global head of consulting and marketing for its financial services and insurance division. 25-year industry veteran Houle will be responsible for the marketing, pre-sales engineering, and portfolio for the financial services and insurance industry division.

“I am delighted to be joining Atos to lead marketing and consulting for global financial services and insurance at this pivotal moment for the sector,” Carol said. “Over the past year, we’ve seen an unprecedented acceleration of digital transformation across banking, financial services, and insurance as businesses have responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Atos already has an extensive footprint in the sector, and I am looking forward to playing a key role in helping our clients seize the opportunities for growth that digital differentiation presents.”

Alan Icenhour

Alan Icenhour was named deputy for operations at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In 1990, Icenhour joined ORNL as an engineering and most recently held the role of laboratory director for the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate. He also led the Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate from 2014 until the isotopes directorate was formed in October 2020.

“Oak Ridge National Laboratory is one of the world’s premier research institutions,” Icenhour said. “It’s an honor to help steward its remarkable capabilities to fulfill our important national missions, support scientists from around the world, and give back to the communities we call home.”

Elly Keinan and Maria Bartolome Winans

IBM has named two leadership executives to lead the as-yet-unnamed new independent company that will be formed later this year when IBM’s Managed Infrastructure Services business unit is spun out. Elly Keinan was named the group president of the new company, while Maria Bartolome Winans was named as its chief marketing officer.

Keinan, a 30-year technology industry veteran, most recently served as a venture partner of Pitango Venture Capital, an Israeli venture capital group.  Winans has risen to top marketing roles in her 25-year career at IBM and has spent the last three years as the chief marketing officer for IBM Americas.

Zaid Kahn

The Open Compute Project Foundation appointed Microsoft’s Zaid Kahn to its board of directors. Kahn is a general manager in Microsoft’s Azure division, where he leads a team focusing on advanced architecture and engineering efforts for Microsoft’s AI infrastructure.

“When you want to go fast and solve a specific problem, you go alone, but when you want to go big you go together, and I realized that having a strong foundation sets up everyone for that success,” Kahn  said. “There will be many standards and projects in the future that will spring up causing some fragmentation in the open hardware/infrastructure space, and we as OCP can help bring people together with our vast community to solve problems together.”

Todd Levy

Netlist, Inc., high-performance SSDs and modular memory subsystems providers, appointed Todd Levy as its vice president of sales. Levy brings over 25 years of experience working in the memory and storage market.

Before Levy joined Netlist, he held several positions at SMART Modular Technologies, including senior director of worldwide sales and senior director of strategic accounts. Levy previously worked at Netlist in the early 2000s as a global account manager for Dell.

Alex Pothen

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics elected Alex Pothen, a Purdue University computer scientist and applied mathematician, as the recipient of the 2021 George Pólya Prize in Applied Combinatorics. Pothen specializes in combinatorial scientific computing, graph algorithms, high-performance computing and bioinformatics.

He was nominated for his research paper entitled “What Color is Your Jacobian? Graph Coloring for Computing Derivatives,” which appeared in SIAM Review in 2005. He is being honored with his co-authors, Assefaw Gebremedhin of Washington State University and Fredrik Manne of the University of Bergen in Norway.

Thierry Pellegrino

Green Revolution Cooling, single-phase liquid immersion cooling solution providers for datacenters, welcomed Thierry Pellegrino to its board of directors. Pellegrino, former vice president of workloads and solutions, and general manager high performance computing at Dell EMC, will be responsible for providing strategic direction that will help the company adapt to the ever-changing data center ecosystem.

SMART Global Holdings, Inc. — parent company of Penguin Computing — also welcomed Pellegrino earlier in the month of March as its senior vice president and president of SGH’s specialty computing business. He will be responsible for delivering more application-specific computing solutions for both on-premise and in the cloud demands.

“I see exciting opportunities for synergy and growth within the current SGH Specialty Computing businesses of Penguin Computing, SMART Embedded Computing and SMART Wireless Computing. By harnessing the power and ingenuity of these three businesses, we have the opportunity to drive innovation and expand into new customer segments,” stated Pellegrino.

Antti Pursula

Antti Pursula was appointed as head of the EUDAT Collaborative Data Infrastructure Secretariat. As EUDAT CDI Secretariat and chief executive, Pursula will be the primary executive body of EUDAT, one of the largest infrastructures of integrated data services and resources supporting research in Europe, and will manage the initiative’s day-to-day operations.

“The European research environment is in an exciting stage, especially in the development of the European Open Science Cloud,” Pursula said. “There are also developments such as EuroHPC, GAIA-X, and the new European Data Spaces, aside from the new Horizon Europe funding program. Data is central to these, and high-quality data management services will be needed. We see EUDAT playing an important role in these areas.”

Jeremy Werner

Memory and storage solutions provider Micron Technology, Inc. welcomed Jeremy Werner to the role of corporate vice president and general manager of its storage business unit. Werner brings over 20 years of experience, most recently serving as senior vice president and general manager of the SSD business unit at KIOXIA America Inc.

Werner also held sales and marketing roles at Tidal Systems, LSI, and SandForce. Werner holds 21 patents and a bachelor of science in electrical engineering at Cornell University. JEDEC, the organization that develops global standards for the microelectronics industry, awarded Werner with a Chairman Award for leading package on package industry standardization.

Andy Young

Immersion cooling vendor Asperitas promoted Andy Young to the role of chief technology officer. Young most recently served as the company’s director of research and development when he joined the company in November 2020. Before Asperitas, he held roles at Ansys and Iceotope.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to lead the engineering team at Asperitas, working at a more strategic level within the company,” Young said. “We are growing from strength to strength through delivering high performance solutions whilst addressing the challenges faced with performance, carbon emissions, and water-use reduction. I am proud to head up a team that provides such highly experienced service and support for our customers.”

The SCSI Trade Association 2021 Board of Directors

The SCSI Trade Association, a recognized authority on serial attached SCSI technology used in data storage interconnects, announced its 2021 board of directors. Four officers and two directors-at-large have been elected to serve a one-year term. They will be responsible for developing strategic marketing programs that support the INCITS T10 Technical Committee’s work and are designed to educate the industry on the value of SAS in the marketplace. For the 2021 board of directors list, click here.

2021 Class of SIAM Fellows

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, an international society of more than 14,500 individual, academic, and corporate members, announced the 2021 Class of SIAM Fellows comprised of 28 new members. These distinguished members were nominated for their notable research and service to the community. Through their contributions, SIAM Fellows help advance the fields of applied mathematics and computational science. For the full list, 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 mariana@taborcommunications.com. We look forward to hearing from you.


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