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Exascale Computing Project

CCSD staff launch computing toward exascale as members of DOE leadership team 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the largest US Department of Energy (DOE) science and energy research laboratory and home to critical DOE computing expertise and resources. ORNL’s Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate (CCSD) focuses on high-performance computing, data science, advanced modeling and simulation, mathematical and analysis techniques for enhanced software and scientific applications, and the procurement and operation of large-scale computer systems.  

For a quarter century the directorate’s National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) has stood up successive generations of the world’s leading supercomputers, which have demonstrated the unmatched advantage of simulation for securing and improving the nation’s energy infrastructure, revitalizing its manufacturing sector, and predicting the impact of twenty-first-century challenges like climate change. Summit, the world’s most powerful and smartest supercomputer, debuted at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), a DOE Office of Science User Facility within the NCCS, in 2018. The system delivers breakthrough science at the petascale and is a significant stepping stone to exascale.  The OLCF’s upcoming exascale system, Frontier, is scheduled for delivery in 2021. 

ECP Logo

On these merits ORNL is one of six DOE national laboratories with senior staff who serve on the leadership team of the Exascale Computing Project (ECP)—a monumental DOE initiative to advance scientific and computational capabilities to the exascale in less than a decade. Further, ORNL is the location of the ECP Project Office, and many CCSD researchers are heavily engaged in research and development activities for the project’s Application Development and Software Technology focus areas. As ECP leadership, CCSD staff serve in key roles: 

  • Lab Operations Task Force (LOTF) Member, Jeff Nichols: the LOTF is composed of Associate Laboratory Directors of computing from the partner DOE laboratories. LOTF members assist the ECP Board of Directors in overseeing operations and ensure the ECP Project Director has the resources and institutional support necessary to execute the technical, schedule, and cost requirements for the approved scope of work assigned to each laboratory. 

  • Project Director, Doug Kothe: the ECP Project Director provides the expertise and leadership required to successfully plan, execute, and manage the activities of the ECP.  

  • Chief Technical Officer, Al Geist: the Chief Technical Officer helps develop the overall project plan and budget, particularly as it pertains to technology challenges and gaps in applications, hardware, software, and the vendor’s development of systems.   

  • Technical Operations Manager, Julia White: the Technical Operations Director plans, coordinates, and facilitates the management of technical business, operational, and/or programmatic activities in order to promote the high-level vision of the project director while operating cross-functionally at multiple levels of the organization, identifying gaps and opportunities.  

  • Project Management Director, Phil Blair: the Project Management Director leads the Project Office and provides management for planning and executing large, complex science projects, including related communication products, financial management, project controls and reporting, risk assessment and quality assurance, procurement oversight, information technology support, and travel planning, among other services. 

  • Control Account Manager (CAM) of Developer Training and Productivity, Ashley Barker: the CAM works to disseminate and transfer application development knowledge, lessons learned, and best practices across application teams and provide training on key technologies. 

  • CAM of Software Technology Tools, Jeffrey Vetter: the CAM oversees and monitors the progress of research and development projects for performance portability, compilers, autotuning, and performance and debugging tools within the Software Technology focus area. 

  • Business Manager, Mike Hulsey 

  • Project Controls and Risk Manager, Shaun Fomby

  • Associate Project Management Director, Tom Cook

  • Procurement Manager, Justin Keck 

  • Finance Officer, Kim Milburn 

  • Co-Executive Director, ECP Industry Council, Suzy Tichenor 

  • Communications  Manager, Mike Bernhardt: the Communications Manager is responsible for communications strategy and project outreach activities to maintain a high level of public awareness for the ECP and works in close collaboration with the communications teams at the DOE partner labs on exascale-related messaging.  



Communications Manager, Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate
CCSD Communications Manager Scott Jones