HPC Career Notes: May 2021 Edition

By Mariana Iriarte

May 3, 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!


Scott Aaronson

The Association for Computing Machinery named Scott Aaronson, the David J. Bruton Jr. Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin, as the recipient of the 2020 ACM Prize in Computing for his contributions to quantum computing.

Aaronson helped develop the concept of quantum supremacy. He established many of the theoretical foundations of quantum supremacy experiments that enable scientists to give convincing evidence that quantum computers provide exponential speedups without having to first build a full fault-tolerant quantum computer.

John Bean

Green Revolution Cooling, provider of single-phase immersion cooling solutions for datacenters, appointed former Schneider Electric director of innovation and technology, John Bean, as its chief technology officer. Bean will be responsible for setting the technology strategy for GRC while providing guidance to the engineering and product teams to capture and meet the needs of immersion cooling customers.

“I am thrilled to be joining an innovative company like GRC to meet the current and future demands of end-users everywhere,” said Bean. “Having spent decades working with datacenter cooling infrastructure, it’s clear that liquid immersion is the answer to today’s cooling challenges as the industry continues to increase high-density environments and modular and edge deployments, not to mention the energy efficiency inherent with liquid immersion cooling.”

Brian Cabrera

Quantum Corp. appointed Brian Cabrera to its executive leadership team as general counsel and chief compliance officer. Cabrera brings more than 25 years of legal experience to Quantum. Before he was appointed Assistant United States Attorney, he was senior vice president and general counsel for NVIDIA.

“I am very excited to join Jamie and the rest of the executive leadership team at Quantum as they continue to build leading platforms supporting the large and growing video and unstructured data market,” said Cabrera. “I look forward to contributing to the company’s future growth and success.”

Stephen Clark

Cambridge Quantum Computing welcomed former DeepMind’s senior staff research scientist Stephen Clark as is head of artificial intelligence. Clark also holds an Honorary Professorship at the Queen Mary University of London. Before DeepMind, Clark was a member of faculty at the University of Cambridge Department of Computer Science and Technology.

“I am delighted to be joining Cambridge Quantum, a cutting-edge world-leading quantum computing company,” Clark said. “I am especially pleased to be reigniting my longstanding collaboration with Prof. Bob Coecke, now Chief Scientist at Cambridge Quantum, and excited about exploring the potential of quantum computers in AI generally with the company’s impressive scientific teams. I am also very excited that I will be continuing, indeed accelerating a research program in language processing that started 15 years ago when I presented at OASIS (The Oxford Advanced Seminar on Informatic Structures), setting out the problem of composing distributed representations in language, which seems especially well-suited to a solution based on quantum computation.”

Sharawn Connors

Micron Technology, Inc., appointed Sharawn Connors to the role of chief diversity and inclusion officer. Connors joined Micron in July 2019 as the vice president of diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI). Under Connors’ leadership, Micron established six key DEI commitments for fiscal year 2021, integrated global initiatives in the company’s business and operations, and set strategy-driven goals around diverse hiring, talent retention and advancement, and inclusion. Her success has been demonstrated by several accomplishments that are now embedded into Micron’s culture and business.

Paul DesJardin

Paul DesJardin, a professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, school of engineering and applied sciences at the University of Buffalo, was named a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. DesJardin was recognized for his contributions to the engineering profession. He is one of only 3,512 fellows out of 94,307 ASME members.

“Being elected fellow of ASME is truly an honor. I’m proud to be recognized by an organization that does so much for so many students and engineering professionals,” said DesJardin.

Gisle Eckhoff

Bulk Infrastructure appointed Gisle M. Eckhoff as its executive vice president for its Bulk Data Centers division. Eckhoff has held leadership positions at DigiPlex, where he held the role of chief executive officer, and at  CGI Group Inc.’s operation in Norway, where he held the role of senior VP and managing director.

“With so much untapped market potential in the Nordics, Bulk with its strong focus on sustainability, the significant investments in network fiber and a long track record of land banking will give me and the team a great platform for unlocking the power of the Nordics,” says Gisle M. Eckhoff. “This is an exciting place to be at an exciting time.”

Rob Falgout

Rob Falgout, a distinguished member of the technical staff in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s center for applied scientific computing, was named esteemed member of the 2021 Class of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics fellows. Falgout was recognized for his “contributions to the theory, practice and large-scale applications of multilevel solvers and for widely used parallel software.”

“It’s an incredible honor to be named a SIAM fellow and to be listed alongside such remarkably talented people,” Falgout said.

Michael Franz

Michael Franz was named the recipient of the Association for Computing Machinery Charles P. “Chuck” Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award. Franz was recognized for the development of just-in-time compilation techniques that enable fast and feature-rich web services on the internet. Web applications such as Gmail and Facebook would not have been possible without the groundbreaking compilation technique Franz developed in the mid-1990s.

Franz is a Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine where he also directs the Secure Systems and Software Laboratory. His current research focuses on software systems, particularly on compiler, virtual machine, and related system-level techniques for making software safer and/or faster.

Jeffrey Hittinger

The Krell Institute named Jeffrey A.F. Hittinger as the 2021 recipient of the James Corones Award in leadership, community building, and communication. Hittinger, a computational scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is director and division leader of the lab’s Center for Applied Scientific Computing. He leads almost 150 researchers in computational mathematics, computer science, and data science.

Hittinger was praised by a selection committee made up of representatives from the national laboratories, academia, and Krell stating that “his initiatives to guide the lab’s applied mathematics and computational science research, especially helping plot the course to exascale computing for the Department of Energy (DOE) applied math program; his service enhancing and supporting the DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship community and mentoring young researchers; and his outreach to varied audiences, informing them about and advocating for DOE and LLNL science.”

Matthew Ireland

NTT Research, Inc., a division of NTT, appointed Matthew Ireland as its chief information security officer. He was promoted from his role as a consulting practice manager and executive security strategist at NTT Ltd. Ireland joined NTT in 2016 and served as a virtual CISO for NTT Research since September 2019.

“It has been exciting to have NTT Research as an important part of my work over the past year and a half, and I am thrilled to now transition into the company full time,” Ireland said. “Like all organizations today, we face ever-changing technology challenges and threats, but I am committed to keeping NTT Research aligned with global security expectations as it fulfills its agenda at Sunnyvale, across remote workplaces and with key collaborators around the world.”

Earl Lawrence and James Wendelberger

The American Statistical Association named Earl Lawrence and James Wendelberger, both are researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Statistical Sciences group.  Lawrence was selected “for innovative methodological development, promotion of statistical methods in high consequence challenges in science and national security, outstanding service to the statistical profession, and mentorship of the next generation of statisticians.”

Wendelberger was selected “for sustained impact to statistical applications in business, industry, and government, dissemination of statistical knowledge to diverse audiences, and service to the American Statistical Association as a leader of multiple sections and chapters.”

Vic Kulkarni

Silicon Integration Initiative appointed former vice president of strategy of Ansys, Vic Kulkarni, as its chief strategy officer. Prior to Ansys, Kulkarni served as co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Sequence Design, which focused on EDA solutions for power and energy-efficient chip designs.

“The duality of Moore’s Law and the More-than-Moore trend in scaling below 10 nanometers is creating a renaissance in the semiconductor industry,” Kulkarni said. “I am honored to join John and the Si2 ecosystem in addressing crucial interoperability challenges facing the next generation of semiconductor-to-electronic system designs.”

Anne Kuykendall, Jean McDaniel, and Valerie Sassani

SMART Global Holdings, Inc., manufacturers of electronic products focused on computing, memory and LED lighting technologies, appointed three executives to its leadership team. Anne Kuykendall was appointed general counsel of SMART Global Holdings. She will be responsible for leading the company’s legal, compliance, and risk management functions.

Jean McDaniel was appointed as its vice president of the office of transformation for SMART Global Holdings. McDaniel will lead integration efforts and drive standardization of operating processes across the company. Lastly, Valerie Sassani joined SMART Global Holdings as its VP of marketing and communications. Sassani will be responsible for growing the SMART family of brands and SGH’s overall strategy.

Thomas Lippert

The Gauss Center for Supercomputing appointed Thomas Lippert, a Professor at the Jülich Supercomputing Center, as the new chairman of the GCS board of directors. Lippert also serves as the chair of modular supercomputing and quantum computing at Goethe University Frankfurt.

“As GCS continues to expand its capabilities and resources to leverage emerging and disruptive technologies, I look forward to serving as chairman of the board,” said Lippert.” Together with my vice-chairs and colleagues, I look forward to further strengthening Germany’s position as an international leader in both traditional high-performance computing and quantum computing, artificial intelligence workflows, and modular supercomputing, among other exciting advances at the forefront of computing technologies.”

Dave Morris and Rebel Brown

Quantum Computing Inc. welcomed Dave Morris as its chief revenue officer and Rebel Brown as its vice president of marketing. Morris brings over 20 years of experience leading sales strategy, business development, and execution, including taking key roles with Cisco Systems and Intel.

Brown brings an extensive background in strategy, product marketing/management, and positioning. She helped raise more than $500 million in startup funding, launched innovative technologies in software systems, development and HPC, and supported successful exits to companies like Apple, IBM, EMC, SGI and BEA.

Beth Plale

The IU Pervasive Technology Institute appointed Beth Plale, the Michael A. and Laurie Burns McRobbie Bicentennial Professor of Computer Engineering in the Indiana University Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, as its new executive director. At PTI, Plale will manage 10 affiliated research centers, which focus on using technology to tackle problems such as human health, cybersecurity, and the impact of global climate change.

“It’s an honor to be named executive director of the Pervasive Technology Institute, and I’m excited by the opportunities this new role presents,” Plale said. “IU’s expertise and capacity in cyberinfrastructure have contributed substantially to the university’s strong national reputation, attracting scores of talented faculty, staff and students. I intend to capitalize on these strengths to nurture new growth in both research and workforce development, benefiting both our state and the world, with priority given to artificial intelligence and data services.”

Bill Richardson, Mike Rogers, Alan Baratz, and Jennifer Houston

D-Wave Government Inc., a subsidiary of D-Wave System Inc., appointed four executive leaders to the newly created independent board. Former governor of New Mexico and former Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson and former Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers were appointed to the independent board. Richardson and Rogers bring the background of advising organizations on how to leverage and position emerging technologies within the U.S. government and how to engage with U.S. policymakers.

In addition to Richardson and Rogers, Alan Baratz, chief executive officer of D-Wave, joined the board as a member, while Jennifer S. Houston, the company’s senior vice president global marketing and public affairs, took on the role of secretary. Baratz became the CEO of D-Wave Systems Inc. in 2020 where he oversaw the development and general availability of the company’s Advantage quantum system. Houston brings 20 years of marketing and communications experience in the technology and software industries.

Martin Weides

Martin Weides, a professor at the James Watt School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, was named consultant technical director at Oxford Instruments NanoScience. Weides will retain his role at the university and will help drive Oxford Instruments NanoScience’s product roadmap in both quantum computing and physical sciences.

“I’m really pleased to be joining Oxford Instruments and to be at the cutting edge of quantum computing commercialization,” said Weides. “NanoScience is gearing up for an exciting future, with an ever-growing roster of prestigious institutions and clients.”

Amir Yacoby


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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