Hakizumwami Birali Runesha appointed Director of Research Computing
Hakizumwami Birali Runesha has been appointed the Director of Research Computing, effective May 23.
In his new role, Runesha will provide leadership and vision for advancing all aspects of research computing strategies at the University. He will be responsible for the design, configuration and administration of centrally managed High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems and related services across the University. In order to accelerate the pace of discovery in disciplines that rely on high-end computing, he will provide access to advanced technical expertise, user support and training to the research community.
Runesha will work collaboratively with University leadership and research faculty to determine the appropriate site for a new University HPC facility. He will advise researchers on grant proposals that utilize HPC and consult with them on computational needs as well as data management issues to ensure research computing infrastructure meets current and future research needs.
The Director of Research Computing is a new position at UChicago. The new role was created in early 2010 as a result of a yearlong review process set in motion by President Robert J. Zimmer, and carried out by an ad hoc Committee on Research Computing Infrastructure chaired by Donald Levy, Vice President for Research and for National Laboratories, and supported by a team of outside experts.
Runesha has more than 17 years of experience in high-performance computing and scientific software development. He earned his MS and PhD in civil engineering at Old Dominion University. Prior to joining UChicago, he served as Director of Scientific Computing and Applications at the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute, managing the scientific computing, biological computing, visualization and application development groups. In addition to overseeing strategic planning of HPC resources and leading annual procurement of supercomputing resources at MSI, Runesha created the MSI Application software development group and the MSI Scientific Data Management Laboratory to meet the evolving data management and database development needs of university researchers.
Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, he was a research scholar at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology developing parallel computing algorithms for engineering applications, a research associate for the Multidisciplinary Parallel-Vector Computer Center atOld Dominion University and an assistant professor at the University of Kinshasa.
Runesha has developed open-source software programs and fast parallel solvers for large-scale, finite element applications. He served as principal investigator on a number of research grants and is the author of a number of journal articles, proceedings and conference papers. He has given many invited talks, seminars, courses and workshops on various HPC topics.
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