insideHPC Founder John West Moves to TACC to Head Strategic Initiatives

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articleHigh performance computing veteran and leader, John West has been named director of Strategic Initiatives for the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin. He will assume his new position in December.

We’re very excited to have John join TACC,” said Executive Director Dan Stanzione. “He has demonstrated immense leadership throughout the high performance computing community in many roles and brings a wealth of experience not just in HPC, but in how to achieve real impact in science through his experience at the Department of Defense.”

TACC is a national leader in providing high-end advanced computing resources and services to researchers, conducting leading research and development projects, and providing training and education for the local and national scientific community. The center provides a comprehensive portfolio for virtually every mode of computational research and runs some of the world’s largest computing and data systems, with thousands of users from hundreds of institutions investigating such issues as gene sequencing, biofuel production, and weather and climate modeling.

We want to develop new initiatives to apply HPC, visualization and data throughout government and industry,” Stanzione said. “John will be instrumental in helping us achieve this.”

John West founded insideHPC in 2006 and sold it to Rich Brueckner in 2010. He is currently the director of the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program, a $285M annual DoD-wide program that provides HPC expertise, supercomputers, storage, and a nation-wide research network for the 5,000 HPC users of the DoD’s science, engineering, and test community. He has held a number of positions in private industry and the federal government, and is active in the national supercomputing community, having served on a variety of national bodies including a two-year term as chair of the High End Computing interagency working group for NITRD. West is a founding officer of the ACM Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing, and has been selected for general chair of SC16.

I chose HPC as a career because of the role HPC plays in making the world a better place,” West said. “That same drive motivates the staff at TACC, and I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to apply the skills I have accumulated to a whole new community of supercomputing users, and to an exciting new range of challenges.”

West received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, and his master’s in Computational Engineering, both from Mississippi State University where he is a Distinguished Fellow of the Bagley College of Engineering.

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