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Women’s History Month: Computing Sciences Trailblazers

CRD, ESnet and NERSC staff share their stories

March 24, 2017

March is Women’s History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the diverse and historic accomplishments of women around the world. The theme for 2017 is “Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business,” so we reached out to some “trailblazers” in Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences organization to find out what motivated them to go into this field, what challenges they have encountered along the way and what they consider to be their proudest achievements. You can read their responses by clicking on "Read More" following each bio.

Leen Alawieh

Leen Alawieh Leen Alawieh earned a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, followed by a one-year postdoc at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. She joined the Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering in Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division (CRD) in December 2016, where she is a postdoctoral research fellow. »Read more.

Sowmya Balasubramanian


Sowmya Balasubramanian, originally from Chennai, India, first joined ESnet as a summer student in 2009 to work on ESnet's weather map prototype, a map that showed real-time utilization of its links that has now developed into a full-fledged my.es.net portal project. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University with a master’s in information networking, she returned to ESnet in 2010 as a full-time computer science engineer. »Read more.


Deborah Bard

djbard headshot

Deborah Bard, who earned her Ph.D. in particle physics from the University of Edinburgh, is a Big Data Architect at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Before joining NERSC in 2015, she worked as a project scientist on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope at the SLAC National Accelerator Center and developed and taught a course at Stanford University on "Discovering the Cosmos." »Read more.


Tina Declerck


Tina Declerck is the system lead for NERSC’s newest supercomputer, Cori, and deputy group lead for the Computational Systems Group. She originally joined NERSC in 1997, managing the PDSF and Cray J90 SV1 clusters. From 2001 to 2007 she worked for two technology startups: Sistina Software, the company that developed the Global File System (GFS) and 3Ware, which manufactures SATA RAID controllers. »Read more.


Mariam Kiran

Mariam Mariam Kiran joined ESnet in 2016 as a research scientist working on intent-based networking and engineering intelligent networks for optimizing performance and user experience. Before coming to Berkeley Lab, she was an associate professor at University, focused on software engineering, cloud computing and infrastructure-related issues. She earned a Ph.D. in computer science in 2010 and a master's degree in software engineering in 2007, both from the University of Sheffield. »Read more.

Lavanya Ramakrishnan

Lavanya Lavanya Ramakrishnan first came to Berkeley Lab in 2009 as an Alvarez Fellow and today is a staff scientist in CRD’s Data Science and Technology department. She previously worked as a research staff member at Renaissance Computing Institute and MCNC in North Carolina. She has a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Indiana University and a bachelor degree in computer engineering from VJTI, University of Mumbai. »Read more

Jackie Scoggins

photograph of Jackie Scoggins Jacqueline (Jackie) Scoggins is the teamwork lead for operations at NERSC. She started at NERSC in 1996 in the Computational Systems Group as a system analyst/administrator. She moved to Berkeley Lab’s IT Division to work in the High Performance Computing Group and was a system analyst for several lab departments, and rejoined NERSC in 2015. She has a bachelor of science in computing science with a minor in mathematics from California State University, Hayward. »Read more.

Francesca Verdier

Francesca Francesca Verdier joined NERSC in 1996 after NERSC relocated from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to Berkeley Lab. When she retired in 2015 from her position as NERSC’s Services Department Head, she had been managing user services at high performance computing facilities since 1990. During her tenure at NERSC, Verdier defined and implemented the center’s user services, first as a group lead, then as a department head. »Read more.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 6,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are DOE Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.