HPC Career Notes: December 2021 Edition – HPCwire

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!


George Axberg

VAST Data appointed George Axberg to lead the company’s data protection strategy with its global customers. Prior to joining VAST Data, Axberg spent 16 years at Dell EMC where he led the company’s sales strategy for data protection, availability, backup and recovery.

“Data loss for any period of time is the worst thing that can happen to a business because it undermines customer trust. In the unlikely event of unplanned downtime, VAST Data’s all-flash storage architecture can help companies recover data up to 50 times faster than HDD-based systems,” said Axberg. “This is the biggest thing to happen to backup targets since they moved from tape to disk 20 years ago. Universal Storage is the architecture of the future because it delivers the performance, scalability, security and cost advantages that legacy storage just can’t match.”

Chethan Bachamada, Lynn Orlando and Anil Virmani

Chethan Bachamada joined Pavilion Data Systems, a provider of data storage solutions, as its vice president of operations. Bachamada brings more than 20 years of experience gained in the electronics industry, primarily at Jabil where he most recently served as a business unit director. After starting his career as an engineer at Lear Corporation, Bachamada developed into a director of business management, leading several cross-functional and multinational teams.

In addition, Lynn Orlando joined Pavilion Data Systems as its vice president of marketing. Orlando has over 20 years of experience in data storage and networking. She comes to Pavilion from WekaIO, a cloud data platform provider, where she was head of content marketing. She served in progressively senior management roles at Cisco Systems, Skyera, HGST, and Western Digital. Before moving to WekaIO, Orlando was head of marketing at Stellus Technologies.

Lastly, Pavilion Data Systems appointed Anil Virmani as its senior vice president of software engineering. Virmani recently served as vice president of engineering and product management for Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s GreenLake Cloud Services and has also served in executive roles at ADARA, Inc., VMware, and Juniper Networks.

Kevin Brown

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory awarded Kevin Brown its first Walter Massey Fellowship. Brown, who is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the lab, seeks to improve the configuration and design of next-generation supercomputer networks. As a Walter Massey Fellow, Brown will pursue independent research in computer science while working alongside Argonne’s other accomplished scientists to create breakthroughs in the next few years.

“It’s truly an honor to be awarded this fellowship, and it proves that it is not only possible but desirable for a scientist to devote themselves both to science and to their community,” Brown said.

Bret Costelow

Panasas appointed Bret Costelow as its executive vice president of global sales. Costelow will be responsible for overseeing sales and business development worldwide. He brings to Panasas more than 25 years of experience, including having worked at Intel and then DDN Storage. 

“I am excited to join Panasas at a time where customer opportunities are expanding in traditional and enterprise HPC storage, including where AI and ML/DL requirements are a great fit for Panasas,” said Costelow. “Panasas modernized its architecture to run PanFS® on COTS hardware, and has continued to rapidly innovate to make the benefits of a parallel file system more accessible to a broader set of customers.”

Adil Gangat, Sho Sugiura, Thibault Chervy, Edwin Ng, Gautam Reddy, and Yonghwi Kim

NTT Research, Inc., a division of NTT, welcomed Senior Research Scientists Adil Gangat and Sho Sugiura; Research Scientists Thibault Chervy, Edwin Ng, and Gautam Reddy; and Post-doctoral Fellow Yonghwi Kim to its Physics & Informatics Lab. For more information on each new hire, click here

“This internal growth reflects well on the Lab’s foundational research into topics ranging from quantum physics to neuroscience and promotes our long-term mission of re-thinking and redesigning computers,” said NTT Research President and CEO Kazuhiro Gomi. “We believe these impressive new appointments will help bring us closer to that goal.”

Justin Ging and Denise Ruffner 

Atom Computing, a quantum computing company, appointed Denise Ruffner as its chief business officer. Ruffner will be responsible for customer and partner ecosystem strategy and engagements. She previously led business development at IonQ and brings more than 20 years of experience in deep tech and sales leadership at start-ups and IBM Quantum.

In addition, Atom Computing appointed Justin Ging as its chief product officer. Ging will be responsible for product management and customer experience for Atom Computing’s quantum solutions portfolio. He comes to the company from Honeywell Quantum Solutions, where he spent the past few years leading commercialization and business development. 

Andrew Hall 

StrongBox Data Solutions, a provider of autonomous large-scale data management and archive solutions, appointed Andrew Hall as its chief executive officer. Hall has 30 years of leadership experience, most recently serving as managing director of Insider Technologies Ltd., a company developing and supporting monitoring, tracking, and alerting products for central banks and government agencies.

“As a member of the PartnerOne family of data management products, we have the opportunity to apply a broad set of expertise and resources that will help us leverage StrongLink’s industry-leading technology while increasing the product’s appeal to a broader segment of the market,” said Hall. “We’re excited to make it easier for a broad range of customers to leverage StrongLink’s proven capabilities.”

Sean Hehir

BrainChip Holdings Ltd., a provider of ultra-low power, high performance artificial intelligence technology and a commercial producer of neuromorphic AI chips, appointed Sean Hehir as its chief executive officer. Hehir will guide the company towards full commercialization of its Akida neuromorphic computing platforms.

“I’m excited to join BrainChip at this pivotal time in their history. It is a time when the company is heavily invested in working with partners that will benefit from AI at the edge. I believe my experience in building strong relationships with top-tier global clients will prove beneficial to BrainChip as they enter this next phase of growth,” said Hehir. “Preparing for the broad commercial launch of Akida silicon and intellectual property will be my top priority, so BrainChip can begin its transformation from a company developing groundbreaking AI technology to a company supplying cutting-edge markets like automotive, transportation, consumer, aerospace, medical, and industrial IoT with the best AI technology available.”

Volodymyr Kindratenko 

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign appointed Dr. Volodymyr Kindratenko as director of the center for artificial intelligence innovation. Kindratenko will be responsible for providing the overall leadership, oversight and management of the center, including developing partnerships and projects at regional and national levels, and overseeing day-to-day operations. 

“I am very excited to become the CAII Director, and I am looking forward to growing the Center within NCSA and connecting it with the AI-related activities carried out by the UofI faculty,” Kindratenko sa9d. “Main goals for the Center include finding ways to bring together the U of I AI research community for a chance to collaborate while aligning academic research with industry challenges and opportunities and providing students with ways to learn and work in the AI domain. The Center will also partner with leading researchers and technology developers to bring state-of-the-art AI capabilities to the UofI research community.”

Dimitri Kusnezov

President Joe Biden will nominate Dr. Dimitri Kusnezov to serve as the next under secretary for Science and Technology, Department of Homeland Security. Kusnezov is a theoretical physicist working in the U.S. Department of Energy, currently focusing on emerging technologies. He has served in numerous positions at DOE, most recently as the deputy under secretary for artificial intelligence & technology, where he led the efforts to drive AI innovation and bring it into DOE missions, business, and operations, including through the creation of a new AI Office. 

Kusnezov has also served as senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Chief Scientist for the National Nuclear Security Administration, CIO, Director of Advanced Simulation and Computing, and the Director of the multi-billion-dollar National Security Science, Technology and Engineering programs.

Craig McLean

Craig McLean, assistant administrator of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Research, will retire from public service on April 1, 2022. As leader of NOAA Research, McLean has raised the public profile of NOAA’s ocean, weather, climate and Great Lakes research. He has strengthened collaboration with NOAA’s National Weather Service and across NOAA, and quickened the pace of using new research to improve NOAA’s forecasts and other products that serve the public.

“I have been proud to wear the NOAA jersey for 40 years and work with so many amazing people who perform tirelessly to understand and protect our planet, ” said McLean. “What I learned from my experiences early in my career is that leadership has the responsibility to do everything you can for your people, advocate for your people, and when you have chosen the right people, the mission will flow.”

Max Schireson 

Quantum Machines, creator of the quantum orchestration platform, appointed former chief executive officer of open-source database company MongoDB Max Schireson to its board of directors. Schireson has served the board of supercomputer manufacturer Cray until it was acquired by Hewlett Packard in 2019. Schireson currently serves as executive in residence at Battery Ventures.

“Quantum computing has the potential to fundamentally change all aspects of our technology,” said Schireson. “I’m excited to work with Quantum Machines to continue to advance its business and its products and help realize the potential of quantum computers.”

Dana Storms

Dana Storms has been named executive director for Performance Management and chief risk officer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Storms has 25 years of experience in government and commercial sectors, leading teams and programs and managing performance-based contracts with U.S. government agencies, universities, industry and nonprofit organizations.

As executive director, Storms will manage a team of 70 staff accountable for a broad scope of enterprise-level activities, including oversight of the Department of Energy prime contract for the management and operation of PNNL. 

Lisa Su

PeaceTech Lab, the award-winning non-profit founded by the United States Institute of Peace, named Dr. Lisa Su, president and chief executive officer at AMD, as one of the distinguished honorees during the 2022 International Peace Honors. Su is being honored for her achievements in revolutionizing high performance computing, the donation of supercomputing power for infectious disease research, and inspiring people from all backgrounds to pursue careers in STEM.

“As an engineer at heart, I believe that pushing the envelope in high-performance computing technology is critical to help solve many of the toughest problems humanity faces,” said Su. “AMD is committed to building advanced computing products that make a positive impact in the world by empowering people to research, connect, and collaborate in new and better ways.”

Martin Suchara

Quantum computer scientist Martin Suchara of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory was named to Crain’s Chicago Business’s ​“40 Under 40,” an annual list of Chicago-area leaders who have made unique and lasting contributions in their careers. Suchara currently serves as a research lead in the Argonne-hosted Q-NEXT research center, one of five National Quantum Information Science Research Centers funded by DOE to develop next-generation quantum technologies.

“The impact of quantum research on many aspects of science will only continue to grow, and I am excited to be a part of this revolution,” Suchara said. ​“The potential for new quantum technology discoveries is unlimited.”

Frank Würthwein

The San Diego Supercomputer Center appointed Frank Würthwein as its new director. Würthwein currently leads SDSC’s Distributed High-Throughput Computing Group. As SDSC director, Würthwein will be responsible for guiding the center in creating high-performance, innovative computing infrastructure, applications and services to support the ever-growing variety of research within and beyond the STEM fields at UC San Diego, across SDSC’s national collaborations and within the global community.

“It’s an honor and my great pleasure to be taking on this responsibility, especially now, when SDSC is at the forefront of so many exciting new technologies to accelerate science, and translate innovation into practice,” said Würthwein.

Rebecca Willett

Rebecca Willett, who is a current professor in the departments of computer science and statistics at the University of Chicago, was elevated to IEEE Fellow in the organization’s 2022 class. Willett was recognized by IEEE “for contributions to the foundations of computational imaging and large-scale data science.”

Willett joined the University of Chicago in 2018 and since then has extended her work on the applications and foundations of data science, working with climate scientists and leading a UChicago/Argonne project that will apply artificial intelligence to accelerate the scientific simulation of complex physical systems.

Bing Xie

Bing Xie, a high-performance computing systems engineer for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society’s Early Career Researchers Award for excellence in high-performance computing. Xie’s work encompasses research and techniques to accelerate network communication across deep-learning frameworks, design and development of HPC storage systems, and resource management and scheduling in HPC and cloud computing.

“These projects have been the challenge that I always wanted to pursue,” she said. “My peers and mentors at the OLCF have helped me step up and step out to gain a deeper understanding of the problems and keep thinking about the whole picture at the same time. It’s a daily practice. I love the new discoveries, and I love working with so many talented and supportive people here at Oak Ridge.”

OIF Leadership

OIF, a global industry forum accelerating market adoption of advanced interoperable optical networking solutions, announced the election results for its board of directors, officers and working group representatives. For a full list, click here

“As a member-driven organization, OIF’s accomplishments are the result of the dedication and innovative thinking of our members and the hard work of the leadership team,” said Liu. “We congratulate our new and returning members serving on the Board of Directors and in other leadership positions and thank them for their continued commitment to further OIF’s mission driving electrical, optical and control interoperability.”

2021 ACM Gordon Bell Prize Awarded for Real-Time Simulation of Random Quantum Circuit

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, named a 14-member team recipients of the 2021 ACM Gordon Bell Prize for their paper, Closing the “Quantum Supremacy” Gap: Achieving Real-Time Simulation of a Random Quantum Circuit Using a New Sunway Supercomputer.

With affiliations from a number of Chinese organizations, the team members are: Yong (Alexander) Liu, Xin (Lucy) Liu, Fang (Nancy) Li, Yuling Yang, Jiawei Song, Pengpeng Zhao, Zhen Wang, Dajia Peng, and Huarong Chen of Zhejiang Lab, Hangzhou and the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi; Haohuan Fu and Dexun Chen of Tsinghua University, Beijing, and the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi; Wenzhao Wu of the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi; and Heliang Huang and Chu Guo of the Shanghai Research Center for Quantum Sciences.

2021 ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research

The 2021 ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research was presented to a six-member team [Kazuto Ando, Rahul Bale, and Keiji Onishi, RIKEN Center for Computational Science (Japan); ChungGang Li and Makoto Tsubokura, RIKEN Center for Computational Science and Kobe University (Japan); and Satoshi Matsuoka, RIKEN Center for Computational Science and Tokyo Institute of Technology] for their project entitled “Digital transformation of droplet/aerosol infection risk assessment realized on ‘Fugaku’ for the fight against COVID-19.” 

The team developed a novel aerosol simulation methodology. Their methodology allowed the simulations to scale massively with the high resolution required for micrometer virus-containing aerosol particles, while also achieving an extremely rapid time-to-solution. These simulations included real-world settings of public areas such as classrooms, concert halls, restaurants, commuter trains, and airports.


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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