HPC Career Notes: October 2021 Edition

By Mariana Iriarte

October 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!


Sunita Chandrasekaran

Sunita Chandrasekaran of Brookhaven National Laboratory was named principal investigator of the SOLLVE project within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project. Chandrasekaran will be responsible for developing parallel programming models and tools in collaboration with the LLVM community and participating high-performance computing system vendors. A major aspect of the project is the development of new features for OpenMP on GPU architectures for the upcoming exascale platforms.

Chandrasekaran recently joined the BNL Computational Science Initiative as part of the programming models and compiler team. She is also an associate professor in the department of computer and information sciences at the University of Delaware.

Robert Cisar and Marwan Ajam Oghli

Robert Cisar and Marwan Ajam Oghli joined Tachyum as its business development managers for the EMEA region. Cisar and Oghli will be responsible for developing international business strategies and helping the company meet its production timeline goals for the release and volume production of its Prodigy Universal Processor Chip.

Cisar has more than 20 years of managerial experience, leading EMEA departments, projects, and businesses with financial responsibility in global corporations. Oghli comes to Tachyum from IBM, where he served multiple managerial positions, including alliances and business development for Lenovo and Cisco.

Lynn Comp

AMD appointed Lynn Comp as corporate vice president of the chip company’s cloud business group. Comp is a 22-year veteran of Intel, most recently having served as the vice president of the data platforms group and general manager of the visual infrastructure division and NPG strategy office.

Comp has held multiple leadership roles at Intel, including serving as senior director of industry and sales enabling for the datacenter communications unit, director of solutions and technologies for product marketing, and as director of strategic software planning for the IoT and communications unit. 

Diego Del-Castillo-Negrete

Diego Del-Castillo-Negrete, a distinguished staff member in the fusion energy division at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory received the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference award. It was presented by Great Minds in STEM, a nonprofit organization that focuses on STEM education awareness programs in underserved communities.

Del-Castillo-Negrete is ORNL’s principal investigator for the DOE Scientific Discovery through the Advanced Computing program’s Simulation Center for Runaway Electron Avoidance and Mitigation. The project seeks to combine advanced simulation and analysis capability with theoretical models and code development to advance our understanding of the physics of relativistic runaway electrons generated during magnetic disruptions in fusion plasmas.

Philip Duffy

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy appointed climate scientist Dr. Philip Duffy as a climate science advisor to its newly created climate and environment division. He comes to OSTP from the Woodwell Climate Research Center, where he served as president and executive director.

“The recent prominence of extreme weather events reminds us that the need for science-based policies to address climate change has never been greater or more urgent. I am excited to join the Biden-Harris administration at this critical moment,” said Duffy.

Cliff Grossner

The Open Compute Project Foundation appointed Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., as its vice president of market intelligence. Grossner has more than 25 years of telecommunications industry experience, including scientific research, market analysis, corporate and product strategy, product management, and marketing. 

Grossner will lead its market intelligence function and will be responsible for driving awareness of OCP, training and certification programs, and guiding inventors presenting their early-stage company ideas to potential investors. He is also a member of the OCP Future Symposium Program Committee and is active in the OCP Future Technologies Initiative.

Ruby Leung

Ruby Leung, an atmospheric scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, was named a Department of Energy Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellow. Leung was one of three DOE national laboratory scientists named as DOE Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellows. She was recognized for developing new approaches in climate modeling, the discovery of unexpected impacts of regional climate change, and understanding extreme weather events and their future changes.

“I am deeply honored to be named a Distinguished Scientist Fellow,” said Leung. “I am humbled by any award for work that I believe is essential. As I’ve said previously since I joined PNNL, I have been very fortunate to have the Department of Energy support my research interests, and for that I am very thankful.”

John Markovich

D-Wave Systems Inc., provider of quantum computing systems, software, and services, appointed John Markovich as its chief financial officer. Markovich will be responsible for the company’s financial operations and positioning the company for its next phase of growth.

“I’ve worked for decades helping companies with cutting-edge technologies build successful business models and immediately recognized the magnitude of the opportunity at D-Wave, given their leading-edge technology and focus on solving their customers’ highly complex problems,” said Markovich. “As more and more large-scale enterprises invest in quantum computing to solve mission-critical problems and drive bottom-line results, I look forward to playing a role in the next chapter of D-Wave’s growth.”

Jon Masters

Computer architect Jon Masters joined Google’s Hardware and Software Codesign team. He comes from Red Hat, where he rejoined the company in October 2020 as its distinguished engineer. From November 2019, he held the role of vice president of software at NUVIA. Before NUVIA, he held the role of computer architect and distinguished engineer at Red Hat for over 13 years.

“I started a new job at Google working on hardware/software codesign this week,” Masters said in a tweet. “I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome!”

Elissa Murphy 

GlobalFoundries appointed Elissa Murphy, vice president of engineering at Google, to its board of directors as an independent director. Before Google, Murphy served as the chief technology officer and executive vice president of the cloud platforms unit at GoDaddy.

Murphy brings more than 25 years of technology leadership experience to GlobalFoundries. Before GoDaddy, she was vice president of engineering at Yahoo!, where she oversaw the Hadoop cluster, a technology essential to the massive-scale computing that forms the basis of big data.

Judith Olson

ColdQuanta, a leader in cold atom quantum technology, announced that Judith Olson, head of the Atomic Clock Division and senior physicist, was named Next Generation Leader of the Year by the Women in IT Awards held in New York on September 21, 2021.

“Judith’s work continues to be of vital importance to ColdQuanta and the industry at large,” said Scott Faris, CEO of ColdQuanta. “Her leadership has been instrumental in guiding the team to reach new milestones, including taking existing atomic and optical techniques from the laboratory into the field.”

Nita Patel

The IEEE Computer Society (IEEE CS) announced that Nita Patel, has been voted IEEE CS 2022 president-elect (2023 president). Patel is senior director, Engineering Lead Design Center-Farmington at Otis; an IEEE Foundation director; and a mentor for several IEEE Women in Engineering summits.

Patel will serve as the 2023 IEEE CS president for a one-year term beginning 1 January 2023. The president oversees IEEE CS programs and operations and is a nonvoting member of most IEEE CS program boards and committees.

Laure Perfetti

SiPearl, the designer of the microprocessor that will equip the European exascale supercomputer, appointed Laure Perfetti as its human resources director. Perfetti comes to SiPearl from the STMicroelectronics group, where she was head of human resources. 

Perfetti brings to SiPearl more than 20 years of experience in all human resources functions in the semiconductor sector. She will be responsible for SiPearl’s human resources strategy in line with the rapid rise of SiPearl in Europe and its future business challenges.

Eliezer Rabinovici 

The CERN Council elected Eliezer Rabinovici as its 24th president. Rabinovici is a professor at the Racah Institute of Physics of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Louis Michel visiting chair at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques.

“CERN is a special place where science and collaboration meet to answer some of the most fundamental questions about the world we live in,” said Rabinovici. “Throughout my 16 years as a member of the CERN Council, I have time after time been captivated by the commitment, collaboration, and knowledge of people who work together towards the same mission. I am honored that the Council chose me as their next President, and thankful that I get the opportunity to serve CERN’s scientific community, Member States and the Associate Member States.” 

Fidelma Russo

Hewlett Packard Enterprise appointed Fidelma Russo as its chief technology officer. Russo will lead the innovation agenda and technology roadmap for HPE. She will also manage the design and development of the HPE Greenlake edge-to-cloud platform.

“I am thrilled to be joining Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a company with a deep heritage of innovation that is now at another transformational moment in the industry,” said Russo. “I look forward to working with our leadership, engineers, developers, customers, and partners as we focus on delivering solutions that provide a unified as a service experience, from edge to cloud.”

Adam Schader

CoolIT Systems, a provider of scalable liquid cooling technology for desktop and datacenters systems, appointed Adam Schader as its chief financial officer. Before joining CoolIT Systems, Schader held the role of CFO at AC Photonics and brings over 20 years of experience managing technology companies, implementing effective financial policies, and developing go-to-market strategies.

“Joining CoolIT during this phase of development is a nice fit with my experience and I’m thrilled to add to the company’s momentum,” said Schader. “Ensuring our growth is sustainable as we scale is a challenge all of our staff are ready for.”

Matt Taylor and Poonacha Kongetira 

Matt Taylor joined SambaNova Systems, a company building advanced software, hardware, and services to run AI applications, as its vice president of strategic sales and partnerships. Taylor joined SambaNova from Ampere, where he led worldwide sales and business development. He previously served as VP of sales and business development at Qualcomm, and held several sales positions at Intel.

SambaNova Systems also appointed Poonacha Kongetira as its vice president of hardware. Kongetira joined the existing hardware development team bringing more than 25 years of experience in developing and applying microprocessor technologies, including working at Google. 

Jordan Thomas

Jordan Thomas joined the Department of Energy Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research as the new ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge program manager. For the past year, Thomas worked in ASCR as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, assisting with ALCC, science communication, and the launch of the Office of Science’s Public Reusable Research Data Resources initiative.

Before joining DOE, Thomas was a data analyst for a small consulting company, where she specialized in data visualization, database architecture, and machine learning. She was also an adjunct professor at George Mason University.

Kathy Yelick

Kathy Yelick, executive associate dean for UC Berkeley’s Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS), has been named the university’s next vice chancellor for research, effective January 1. In her new role, Yelick hopes to foster innovative and impactful interdisciplinary collaborations across the university, update and expand research facilities on and off campus and increase diversity in Berkeley’s research community.

“UC Berkeley’s research community is uniquely positioned to tackle some of the world’s most important social and scientific problems, from climate change and public health to equity and social justice,” Yelick said. “It’s important to bring together diverse expertise and perspectives, and I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues across academic disciplines.”

Jeff Whitaker

Excelero, a provider of solutions for public and private cloud workloads, welcomed Jeff Whitaker as its vice president of product.  Whitaker brings to Excelero over 20 years of experience in developing storage, semiconductor, and networking solutions. He comes to Excelero from NetApp, where he was a founding member of the NetApp cloud team. 

Whitaker also served as a product manager at NetApp helping to develop the company’s virtual storage appliance technology. He also held senior roles in sales engineering and product marketing at Tzero Technologies, National Semiconductor, and Mellanox.

Bernie Wu

MemVerge appointed Bernie Wu as its vice president of business development. Wu brings over 30 years of business development experience across enterprise software, storage, and cloud industries to the company. He will be in charge of MemVerge’s global alliance, software partnerships, and industry ecosystem efforts.

“Memory is the last critical infrastructure component that needs to become virtualized and composable to better enable the data-intensive processing demands of modern applications,” said Wu. “MemVerge is at the epicenter of this exciting infrastructure shift, and I look forward to helping drive the adoption of this new virtualized memory abstraction layer. Big Memory is a game-changing, disruptive technology which not only delivers immediate value to data-intensive applications but will become a key part of the new fabric for tomorrow’s high performing data center solutions.” 

Al Zollar

The IBM board of directors has elected Al Zollar to the board, effective October 25, 2021. Zollar is a former director of Red Hat, who since 2014, has applied his expertise as a technology investor working with cloud-based technology providers, leading providers of enterprise security solutions and other technology and software-as-a-service companies. Prior to that he had a 34-year tenure at IBM, with leadership positions in IBM’s software and systems groups. Zollar is also a member of the board of directors of Nasdaq, Bank of New York Mellon and Public Service Enterprise Group.

“I’m incredibly pleased that Al Zollar has joined the board at this pivotal point in IBM’s growth trajectory,” said Arvind Krishna, IBM chairman and chief executive officer. “Al brings decades of experience as a technology manager and global investor. His deep knowledge of the technology landscape including cloud, security and software will be of immense value to IBM’s board of directors.”

2021 DOE Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellows

The Department of Energy announced three DOE National Laboratory scientists as DOE Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellows. This honor is bestowed on National Laboratory scientists with outstanding records of achievement and provides each Fellow with $1 million over three years to support activities that develop, sustain, and promote scientific and academic excellence in DOE Office of Science research. For the 2021 DOE Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellows list, click here.

President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) New Members

On Sept. 22, 2021, President Biden announced 30 of America’s most distinguished leaders in science and technology as members of his President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Additions to the PCAST roster include William “Bill” Dally (Nvidia), Saul Perlmutter (Berkeley Lab) and Lisa Su (AMD).

A direct descendant of the scientific advisory committee established by President Eisenhower in 1957 in the weeks after the launch of Sputnik, PCAST is the sole body of external advisors charged with making science, technology, and innovation policy recommendations to the President and the White House.


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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