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David Skinner Named NERSC Strategic Partnerships Lead

January 24, 2014

By Linda Vu
Contact: cscomms@lbl.gov

David Skinner

David Skinner

This month, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) created a new position—Strategic Partnerships Lead, to identify new science communities that can benefit from NERSC resources.  David Skinner, former head of NERSC’s Outreach Software and Programming Group (OSP), has been selected to fill the role.

In his new post, Skinner will also act as a liaison between NERSC and projects that span many Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) divisions. He will also head a new industrial partnerships initiative, and look for opportunities to collaborate with the Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division.

“Identifying new science communities that can benefit from NERSC resources with the potential for high impact science is directly tied to NERSC’s mission to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery through HPC and extreme data analysis,” says NERSC Director Sudip Dosanjh. “David has been acting informally in this role for a number of years and I’m happy that he will now be able to focus on this effort full-time.”

“This position is a natural fit for David’s background and talents,” says Katie Antypas, who heads NERSC’s Services Department. “David has cultivated a number of relationships with science teams that now use NERSC resources in an innovative way including the Materials Project, Integrated BioImaging Initiative and OpenMSI.”

Skinner holds a Ph.D. in theoretical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. His research focused on quantum and semi-classical approaches to chemical reaction dynamics and kinetics. He began working at NERSC/Berkeley Lab in 1999 as an HPC engineer and spent the last eight years leading the OSP group.

During his 15-year career at NERSC, Skinner was the lead technical advisor to first two rounds of INCITE projects, led the SciDAC Outreach Center, and is an author of the Integrated Performance Monitoring (IPM) framework. He also published a number of papers on the performance analysis of HPC science applications and broadening the impact of HPC through Science Gateways.

"NERSC's user-focused service model has grown an enormously productive user-base. I remember when we had 500 users, this has grown to over 5000 users who every year produce thousands of publications leveraging NERSC capabilities,” says Skinner. “The future of this model requires applying those same ideas to strategic partnerships with facilities, science teams, and the private sector. Partnering earlier and deeper with science communities is part of our approach to further grow the impact of computing in science."

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

High performance computing plays a critical role in scientific discovery. Researchers increasingly rely on advances in computer science, mathematics, computational science, data science, and large-scale computing and networking to increase our understanding of ourselves, our planet, and our universe. Berkeley Lab’s Computing Sciences Area researches, develops, and deploys new foundations, tools, and technologies to meet these needs and to advance research across a broad range of scientific disciplines.