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Bill Johnston Named to Lead ESnet

September 30, 2003


Bill Johnston

William E. “Bill,” Johnston, an LBNL senior scientist  who has worked in the fields of networking and high-speed distributed computing since the creation of the Internet, was appointed this week as the project manager for the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), effective immediately.

ESnet is a high-speed network serving thousands of Department of Energy scientists and collaborators worldwide. A pioneer in providing reliable high-bandwidth connections, ESnet provides researchers at national laboratories, universities and other institutions with the collaborative capabilities needed to address some of the world's most important scientific challenges. Managed and operated by the staff in the Lab’s Information Technologies and Services Division (ITSD), ESnet is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading high performance research networks.

Bill Johnston brings more than three decades of experience and service to this position. His experience in high-performance networking research and his worldwide recognition as a leader in Grid development uniquely qualify him to lead ESnet, Associate Laboratory Director Bill McCurdy said of Johnston’s appointment. Johnston most recently served as head of the Distributed Systems Department in the Computational Research Division and has also served as a task manager for the Prototype Data Services in the Grid Common Services project at NASA Ames Research Center. He has been a key leader in the development of DOE’s Science Grid as well as NASA’s Information Power Grid. He is frequently invited to speak at computational and data Grid meetings around the globe.

“Reliable, highly capable, and very high-speed networking is at the heart of today's data and information centric process of science, and ESnet is the country's premier network dedicated to the practice of large-scale science,” Johnston said. “I look forward with enthusiasm to working with the excellent ESnet staff. Together we will continue leading the way in making networking serve science, and in creating new scientific capabilities from advanced networking and network related services.”

Johnston’s longtime research interests include high-speed, wide area network-based distributed systems, widely distributed computational and data Grids, public-key infrastructure-based security and authorization systems, and use of the global Internet to enable remote access to scientific and analytical instrumentation. Other professional activities include principal investigator for several DOE Office of Science projects related to these topics, including the DOE Science Grid. In the Global Grid Forum, he is co-chair of the Architecture Area and co-chair of the Grid Protocol Architecture Research Group.

He has worked in the field of computing for more than 35 years, and has taught computer science at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has a master’s degree in mathematics and physics from San Francisco State University.

“We are truly fortunate that Bill Johnston is bringing his experience and expertise to the job of ensuring that ESnet continues to anticipate and address the needs of the DOE research community,” McCurdy said.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Computing Sciences Area at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory(Berkeley Lab) provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing Department of Energy Office of Science (DOE-SC) 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 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities. NERSC and ESnet are both Department of Energy Office of Science National User Facilities. The Computational Research Division (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.

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