HPC Career Notes: March 2022 Edition

By Mariana Iriarte

March 1, 2022

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!


John Caldwell, Lisa Su,  Jon Olson, and Elizabeth Vanderslice 

AMD’s board of directors elected its president and chief executive officer, Dr. Lisa Su, as chair of the board and John E. Caldwell as lead independent director. Outgoing chair Caldwell joined AMD’s board of directors in 2006 and became chair in 2016. In addition, former Xilinx board members Jon Olson and Elizabeth Vanderslice joined the AMD board. 

Olson joined the Xilinx board in May 2020 after previously serving as Xilinx’s chief financial officer. He currently serves on the boards of Kulicke & Soffa, a supplier of semiconductor and electronic assembly solutions, and Rocket Lab USA, Inc., a provider of launch and space systems.

Vanderslice joined the Xilinx board in December 2000. She has served as a partner at Trewstar Corporate Board Services since 2019 and was previously general manager of Lycos, Inc. through its acquisition. She also serves as a Trustee of Boston College.

Markus Donat and Rachel Lowe

Markus Donat and Rachel Lowe, researchers from the Department of Earth Sciences at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, were appointed as Catalan Institu­tion for Research and Advanced Stu­dies research professors. Lowe is the global health resilience team leader in the Earth System services group and Donat is co-leader of the climate prediction group. 

Lowe’s research involves modeling the impact of environmental change on infectious disease epidemics, to inform disease control and prevention strategies. Donat is a climate researcher with a focus on understanding and predicting how extreme climate events such as heatwaves, heavy rainfall and storms will change in the coming years and decades. To learn more about their research, click here

Rob Falgout

The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics announced Rob Falgout, a computational mathematician Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, as the recipient of the 2022 SIAM Activity Group on Supercomputing Career Prize.

“It’s highly gratifying to be recognized for my work in multigrid algorithms research and parallel computing, and beyond flattering to be in the company of the previous prize winners,” Falgout said. “My entire research career has been driven by the need to do high-fidelity simulations on new generations of high-performance computers, and I have been fortunate to work with a host of brilliant colleagues at LLNL and around the world.”

Steve Furber

Steve Furber, a Tachyum’s corporate advisory board member, was named one of the 2022 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering award winners “for contributions to the invention, development, and implementation of reduced instruction set computer chips” by the National Academy of Engineering.

“It is quite an honor to be recognized for my work in advancing RISC technology in general, and the ARM processor specifically, by the NAE in bestowing on me the prestigious Draper Prize for Engineering,” said Furber. “I believe that many of the advances we were able to make in forwarding this work are being carried on at innovative companies such as Tachyum, which is leveraging low-power, high-performance chips to enable human brain-scale AI to revolutionize the world.”

Rene Haas

Arm appointed Rene Haas as its chief executive officer and member of the board of directors. Haas has served as president of the Arm IP Products Group since 2017. Under his leadership, IPG increased investment in the industry’s largest software developer ecosystem as well as products for growth markets such as infrastructure and automotive. 

“It is an honor to lead the world’s most influential technology company at a time when Arm’s market opportunity has never been greater,” said Haas. “As the innovators of the industry’s most pervasive compute architecture, Arm changed lives around the globe by delivering the technology at the heart of the smartphone revolution. We are now uniquely positioned to address the diverse demands of AI, cloud, IoT, automotive and the Metaverse. And with the uncertainty of the past several months behind us, we are emboldened by a renewed energy to move into a growth strategy and change lives around the world―again.”

Michael Harburn

Rigetti Holdings, Inc., a hybrid quantum-classical computing systems solutions provider, appointed Michael Harburn as its chief technical officer. Harburn previously held the role of senior vice president of fabrication operations and QPU engineering at Rigetti.  Before joining Rigetti in 2018, Harburn served as VP of global operations at Kateeva. 

“I’m excited to continue being a part of the team as CTO. Our progress towards building scalable quantum computers has been a full team accomplishment, and I look forward to continuing to lead these great teams of engineers and physicists as we work towards quantum advantage,” said Harburn.

Sudhanshu Jain

Pliops, a provider of data processors for cloud and enterprise data centers, appointed Sudhanshu Jain as its vice president of product management and strategic alliances. Jain will be responsible for leading the product strategy and roadmap. He comes to Pliops from VMware, where he led product management for the company’s software-defined data center solutions and converged infrastructure.

“We live in a time of an unprecedented surge in data, and organizations increasingly rely on computing and storage innovation to put that data to use,” Jain said. “The Pliops XDP and its data virtualization engine change the status quo and bring order of magnitude benefits to customers. I am looking forward to working with our incredibly talented team to execute our strategic product roadmap and further drive Pliops innovation and reach.”

Elizabeth Leake

The Boise State University Office of Information Technology welcomed Elizabeth Leake as its director of research computing services. Leake will be responsible for providing strategic oversight for Boise State’s research computing team in supporting high-performance computing clusters and research cyberinfrastructure, and will lead faculty, staff, and students in using locally-hosted, federated, and cloud-enabled resources. 

“I’m thrilled to be working alongside people whom I’ve known for years through professional cyberinfrastructure interest groups, and looking forward to learning more about the Boise State research community’s needs for the future,” said Leake.

Jeff Marraccini

Altair appointed Jeff Marraccini as its chief information security officer. Marraccini will be responsible for the strategy and the implementation of Altair’s global security programs across all functions, including Altair’s DevOps center of excellence, IT, legal, and services.

Prior to this role, Marraccini served as Altair’s senior vice president of cloud strategy and technology, where he focused on technical compliance, security controls, tools, cloud specialties, and security vendor operations. In his 25 years at Altair, he has also held other leadership roles focused on IT, computer systems, network systems, and technology security.

Matthew Mattina

Tenstorrent, a hardware start-up developing next-generation computers, appointed Matthew Mattina as its vice president of machine learning. Mattina will be responsible for leading  Tenstorrent’s efforts to enable industry-leading performance and scalability of modern neural networks and Software 2.0.

Before Mattina joined Tenstorrent, he was distinguished engineer and senior director of Arm’s Machine Learning Research Lab, where he led a team of researchers and engineers developing advanced hardware, software, and algorithms for high performance deep learning inference for the Arm ecosystem. 

Sean Milner

MemVerge announced Sean Milner as its vice president of sales. Milner brings to MemVerge more than 20 years of experience in selling SaaS, cloud, enterprise software, and IT infrastructure solutions. Most recently, he served as senior VP of sales for Avochato, where he led the company’s sales, business development and customer success teams.

“We are at the dawn of a new era of application proliferation and the only thing holding tomorrow’s applications back is memory,” said Milner. “MemVerge is taking the constraints modern applications have with today’s compute and storage technologies head on. I am thrilled to be a part of this new memory revolution and I’m eager to help the MemVerge leadership team capitalize on growing demand for Big Memory Computing in a multi-cloud world.”

Bogdan Nicolae and Michael Papka

This coming spring, the Illinois Institute of Technology will welcome Bogdan Nicolae and Michael E. Papka as research professors of its department of computer science.  Papka holds multiple leadership positions at Argonne National Laboratory, including as director of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility. Nicolae is a computer scientist in Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science Division, and he held research appointments in Germany and Ireland before joining Argonne in 2017.

Papka brings years of experience developing and supporting programs that help prepare undergraduate and graduate students for careers research positions, including high-performance computing training, fellowship programs, and postdoctoral programs. At Argonne, Nicolae is a technical lead of a project that develops a checkpoint-restart framework for HPC applications. He also was awarded an Early Career Research Project called DataStates.

Peter Pace

Rigetti Holdings, Inc. elected retired Marine General Peter Pace as its chairman of the board. Pace, who has served on Rigetti’s board of directors since June 2017, brings leadership experience gained through his decades-long military career and previous experience serving on the board of directors of several private and public companies.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed serving on the Rigetti Computing board of directors, and I’m honored to be appointed chairman. Quantum computing’s broad impact, from national security to finance and beyond, is moving from theory to real-world applications, and Rigetti is at the helm of moving the industry forward. I am delighted to help lead as Rigetti begins the next chapter,” said Pace.

Nilesh Patel

Storage company WEKA announced that Nilesh Patel has joined as its first chief product officer. Reporting to CEO and co-founder Liran Zvibel, Patel will be responsible for developing WEKA’s mid-to-long term product and solutions roadmap and driving associated technology alliances and services delivery as the company enters hypergrowth. Patel hase served in product management and marketing leadership roles with Intel, NetApp, and Palo Alto Networks, among others. He joins WEKA from Digital14, where he was executive vice president of the company’s Secure Solutions business unit.

“We are thrilled to welcome Nilesh Patel to WEKA at this pivotal moment in our trajectory,” said Zvibel. “Nilesh brings a wealth of experience in addressing underserved and emerging use cases for key enterprise verticals, understands how to build platforms and ecosystems, and has deep domain expertise in data infrastructure and information security. He will be an invaluable asset as we continue advancing the WEKA platform to help our customers take their enterprise AI and data science initiatives to the next level.”

Philip Roth

Philip Roth, a group leader in the National Center for Computational Sciences at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was named the general chair of SC24, the 2024 edition of the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis. As general chair, Roth will set the overall vision for SC24 and work with the sponsoring societies, the conference’s volunteer committee members, and the conference’s contractors to plan and carry out the event.

“I think getting people together so they can form new connections or strengthen existing connections really pays off going forward,” Roth said. “If I can help make that environment possible, whether it’s by providing interesting content that’s going to draw people or by providing a nice environment for them to socialize in, I think I’ll be able to look back and say, ‘Yeah, that’s what I was really proud of.’”

Christoph Siegert 

QC Ware, the developer of quantum algorithms running on near-term quantum computing hardware, appointed Christoph Siegert as its head of product. Siegert will be responsible for leading the company’s software strategy and development globally. Before joining QC Ware, he was senior director at Microsoft, where he led Azure Engineering’s worldwide expansion in new cloud regions. 

“QC Ware’s mission to ensure companies are prepared for the coming quantum computing disruption is truly inspiring,” said Siegert. “I’m thrilled to join QC Ware’s world-class team of quantum computing experts and to partner with QC Ware’s growing list of customers to help shape the future of quantum computing at such a decisive time.”

Manoj R. Shah

Manoj R. Shah, former professor of practice at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his “technical advancements in design, analysis, and applications of electric machines.” 

“Putting theoretical ideas to work in important practical applications has been a passion of mine throughout my career at GE,” said Shah. “Being a teacher and mentor at Rensselaer presented a special opportunity for me to share my ideas with bright young minds and collaborate with outstanding faculty in the department. I look forward to my continued engagement with the next generation of students and faculty.”

George Tchaparian 

The Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) and board of directors has named George Tchaparian to the role of CEO. Tchaparian has more than 30 years of industry experience and was the longstanding President and CEO of Edgecore Networks Corporation. Most recently, Tchaparian was a corporate executive focusing on transformative next generation strategies for the Accton Group (Accton Technologies and Edgecore Networks Corporation), and previously a senior vice president of worldwide research & development (R&D).

“I am honored and incredibly excited to be assuming the role of the CEO for OCP. As an active member, contributor and volunteer leader for most of OCP’s history, my passion continues to be fueled by enabling OCP members and its industry ecosystem to continue to accelerate innovation to meet the long-term opportunities of both technology and business challenges of our Community,” stated Mr. Tchaparian.

Marija Vranic

Dr. Marija Vranic, invited professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico of the University of Lisbon, is the recipient of the 2022 PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC for her outstanding impact on HPC in Europe. Vranic has pioneered techniques for representing quantum effects in extreme plasmas and has been actively involved in improving the visibility of women in physics and HPC. 

“I am really happy that my activities have now been honored with the PRACE Ada Lovelace Award,” Vranic said. “With this award, PRACE raises awareness for women in HPC and science, which is extremely important. I am personally painfully aware of the gender imbalance in HPC and physics — in plasma physics especially. I grew up and studied in Serbia, where women are more represented in science. So, for me, it was a shock to learn that there are much fewer female physicists in most other European countries.”


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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