Nov. 6, 2018 — The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin today announced that Tim Cockerill is the center’s new director for User Services.
This role includes managing the User Services group, where he oversees the allocations process by which computing time and storage is awarded on TACC’s high performance computer (HPC) systems. The User Services team is also responsible for user account management, training, and user guides. Cockerill also serves as the DesignSafe deputy project director, and is involved in TACC’s cloud computing projects Chameleon and Jetstream.
Cockerill joined TACC in January 2014 as the director of Center Programs responsible for program and project management across the center’s portfolio of awards. Prior to joining TACC, he was the associate project director for the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, a single virtual system that scientists can use to interactively share computing resources, data, and expertise. Before entering the world of HPC in 2003, Cockerill spent 10 years working in startup companies aligned with his research interests in gallium arsenide materials and semiconductor lasers.
Chris Hempel, who previously served as the center’s director of User Services for 21 years, retired from UT Austin on August 31, 2018. Hempel is now working part-time as a user advocate for TACC.
“Chris has done an outstanding job as director of User Services during his many years in this role and is well-known and well-respected in the national HPC community,” Cockerill said.
“The challenges that lie ahead are quite similar to those of the past — to continue to provide a high level of user support to an ever-growing community of users,” he said. “The number of users accessing HPC resources via portal and science gateways is rapidly increasing, and we’re adapting our service model to meet this demand. With the addition of Frontera, we will be modifying allocation processes and our interactions with that user community as we anticipate much greater in-depth collaboration with this user community that is pushing the frontiers of science.”
Cockerill earned his doctorate, masters, and bachelor’s degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a visiting assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He has authored numerous papers and publications on large cyberinfrastructure projects, semiconductor lasers, and gallium arsenide materials, and has been a contributor to Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers.
“First, I have to thank Chris — thousands of users around the country can testify to all that he has done over the last decades to help them get their research done,” said Dan Stanzione, TACC’s executive director. “Chris has tirelessly handled tens of thousands of questions and problems in that time, and has been the ‘voice’ of TACC to countless people.”
“Tim has some big shoes to fill, and I have full confidence that he will do it. In Tim’s nearly five years with us so far, he’s done a great job of putting user’s needs first, and that’s the exact perspective we need to have to run our User Services area at TACC,” Stanzione said.
TACC is one of the leading supercomputing centers in the world. The center provides the most powerful advanced computing, data and visualization systems, expert services, and innovative software solutions to enable tens of thousands of researchers to answer complex questions. TACC’s mission is to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies.