2008 NCSA Private Sector Program Annual Meeting

Speaker Biographies

A printable version of the bios is available for download in PDF format.


Randal Butler, NCSA
Butler has been with NCSA since 1987. He is co-director of NCSA's Cybersecurity Directorate and a member of the NCSA Steering and Management committees. Butler has many years' experience in leading and/or collaborating on large, complex R&D and infrastructure projects, including the NSF George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering and Simulations NEESgrid, where he served as deputy director; he has also led several National Science Founation-funded cyberinfrastructure development projects. He currently serves as principal investigator and co-director for the Office of Naval Research-funded National Center for Applied Secure Systems Research as well as a number of smaller projects. Several years ago Butler formed both the production security team and the security research and development team at NCSA.

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Thom Dunning, NCSA/Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies
In addition to leading NCSA and Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dunning is also a Distinguished Chair for Research Excellence in Chemistry and professor of chemistry. As leader of IACAT and NCSA, Dunning leads a staff of approximately 300 technologists and scientists who provide and support high-performance computing, data-intensive computing, and networking resources; explore innovative computing architectures and techniques to achieve petascale and beyond science; develop cyberenvironments tailored to the needs of research communities and software and tools to improve cybersecurity; create artful visualizations of scientific phenomena; and help prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers. Dunning previously held leadership positions at the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of North Carolina System, the Office of Science at the U.S. Department of Energy, the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was instrumental in creating DOE's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program, the federal government's first comprehensive program aimed at developing the software infrastructure needed for leadership-class scientific computing. Dunning is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science as well as a member of the American Chemical Society. He received DOE's E.O. Lawrence Award in 1997 and its Distinguished Associate Award in 2001.

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Paul Fussell, Boeing Technology
Paul Fussell is the manager of the Mathematical Modeling group in Boeing Technology. This group comprises physicists, engineers, and mathematicians sharing an underlying mathematical philosophy while focusing on design, analysis and modeling, virtual-integration and optimal sensor fabrics. All of these topics are founded on computation, and Paul is leading an advanced computing strategic effort within Boeing's technology organization. The work requires frequent interaction with national labs, universities, other government personnel, and advanced companies. Paul completed his PhD at Carnegie Mellon University. He has been with Boeing since 2001, serving as senior manager. He has also served on the mechanical engineering faculty at Arizona State University, Alcoa Technical Center, and Advanced Robotics Corporation. He is a member of the AIAA, IEEE, and Sigma Xi.

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Timothy D. Gatzke, Boeing
Timothy is a Boeing Associate Technical Fellow working in the Advanced System Concepts & Exploration (ASC&E) group within the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems organization. This group applies design and analysis tools in aerodynamics, propulsion, and structures along with geometric modeling, mission simulation, and optimization tools to a variety of conceptual design problems. Tim has a M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis. Tim also has expertise in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), particularly geometric modeling and grid generation. He has developed tools for creating parametric geometry, visualization of geometry and data, and automating processes within the Unigraphics and CATIA V5 CAD environments. In ASC&E, he applies these skills to integrate components into the conceptual design process and to increase the fidelity of the analyses where appropriate.

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Merle Giles, NCSA
Merle Giles is director of NCSA's Private Sector Program, which enables industry to engage intellectually with applied and theoretical researchers, leverage today's technological innovations, and access NCSA's leadership-class computational systems. The world's leading companies have profited by decreasing time-to-solution and increasing the fidelity of their most complex science, engineering and mathematical problems. With petascale computing, PSP partners can soon leverage HPC resources at scales many times that of today's capabilities, seeking breakthrough solutions and sustainable competitive advantage in their industry domains. Giles previously led the University of Illinois' Executive MBA program to international stature, achieving a #1 ranking among US public university EMBA programs in London's 2002 FINANCIAL TIMES. As Executive MBA director, he and teams of executives and faculty consulted at major international companies, including BASF, Bertelsmann, Caterpillar, Deere, Disney, Deutsche Telekom, Lufthansa, Porsche, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, Volkswagen and others. Giles earlier served as president and CEO of Sheridan Bank of Peoria, Illinois, (later First of America Bank-Peoria), as CFO of Star Transport, Inc. (a Morton, Illinois-based transportation company serving the eastern half of the United States), and as a real estate broker/owner. Giles earned an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in accounting and business administration from Illinois State University. He is an alumnus of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Delaware and holds a CPA certificate.

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Robert B. Graybill, University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute
Graybill, representing the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute (ISI) in cooperation with the Council of Competitiveness, is fostering the development of advanced national high-performance computing (HPC) collaborative environments that will help companies, universities and national laboratories share high-performance computing systems and computational science expertise. He has an extensive background in embedded and high-performance computing with over 30 years of experience in the defense, government and commercial industry. Prior to joining ISI, he spent six years at DARPA, where he designed, developed and implemented six new transformational programs in high-end computing architectures and responsive embedded computing hardware, software and network systems. These programs were coordinated with other government agencies, laboratories, federally funded research and development centers and non-profit organizations. He was a member of the Senior Science Team leading a number of government sponsored studies in high-end computing, including the Defense Science Board task force on DoD Supercomputing Needs and the High-End Computing Revitalization Task Force. Graybill received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service while at DARPA.

Before joining DARPA, Graybill worked in advanced research, development, flight testing, and production for radar, sonar, electronic warfare, space surveillance systems and commercial products in organizations such as Westinghouse, Motorola, Martin Marietta Naval Systems, Martin Marietta Corporate Laboratories, Sanders and Lockheed Martin Government Electronic Systems.

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Chris Ha, Caterpillar
Chris is a senior engineering project team leader and a research program manager in the virtual product development group at Caterpillar's Champaign simulation center offering 10 years of industry experiences in both mechanical and nu-clear industries. He holds a doctoral degree in Civil Engineering from University of Illinois specializing in computational mechanics. At Caterpillar, he has a corporate responsibility to implement advanced optimization and reliability-based analysis technology to achieve a long-term business goal by applying them to practical applications. He is a certified 6 sigma black belt and ran many corporate VPD projects. His expertise is in formulating a well posed practical optimization problems for structural and multi-disciplinary optimizations as well as Robust/Reliability Based Design Optimization. His previous experience includes nonlinear FEA (Material, Geometry and Boundary), durability analysis (Weld Fatigue and Machine Component Fatigue), dynamic analysis (Vibration, Transient and Frequency). He is currently working with three different professors at University of Illinois to develop new optimization and reliability-based analysis techniques. He has multiple ASME/AIAA/SMO publications, and his latest conference publication has been accepted for Journal of Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization.

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John Heller, Caterpillar
John Heller is vice president and chief information officer of Caterpillar Inc. He has responsibility for Caterpillar's Systems + Processes Division, which includes the corporation's information technology and dealer business systems. In addition, he has responsibility for global forestry operations. In his most recent position prior to being named a vice president by the Caterpillar Board of Directors in 2003, Heller directed Caterpillar's Global Information Technology (IT) Solutions group.

Heller joined Caterpillar in 1973, holding a variety of accounting, manufacturing and planning positions at the Decatur, Illinois, manufacturing facility. The majority of his more than 30-year career with the company has focused on information technology, including support for finance, manufacturing, marketing, and dealer systems. He spent three years as a division information systems manager in Geneva, Switzerland, before returning to the United States in technology management assignments with Caterpillar's Corporate Services and Engine Products divisions. In 2001, he was named director of Caterpillar's Global Information Technology Solutions, then the largest department of the company's Systems + Processes Division.

Heller earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois, and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also has completed the Caterpillar Advanced Management Program.

Heller is a past member of the University of Illinois Executive MBA Board. He is certified in production and inventory management and a member of the American Production and Inventory Control Society. He chairs Carter Machinery Company Board. Heller is also a member of the Research Board, the Pioneer Machinery Board, the Peoria Zoological Society and sits on the Heartland Water Resources Council.

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Keven Hofstetter, Caterpillar
Keven joined Caterpillar Inc. in 1988 after earning a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University. Keven completed a one-year training program and then joined the Performance Analysis section within Caterpillar's Technology and Solutions Division. He has spent most of the last 20 years in the area of virtual product development. Keven is currently a Research Program Manager responsible for the VPD-Research program. He develops technologies such as large-scale rigid and flexible multi-body dynamics, implement-earth interaction models, tire and track-soil interaction models and virtual operator models. His primary focus is the development of virtual tools that can be used to drive product development.

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Rick Huff, Caterpillar
Rick joined Caterpillar's Technical Center in August 1997 in the Advanced Materials Technology Division as a Research Engineer working primarily in the area of metal forming simulation. In June 1999, Rick transferred to the Champaign Simulation Center as the Team Leader of the Materials Processing Simulation Group. In 2006, Rick became the Engi-neering Supervisor of the CFD and Materials Simulation Teams. His groups use advanced computational tools to help provide optimal solutions for thermal and fluid flow applications and for metal forming, casting, and heat treatment processing applications. Rick earned a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Wright State University, Dayton OH.

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Larry Koenen, State Farm
Larry Koenen is an IT architect at State Farm in the data arena. His career has taken him from coding in the Home and Commercial policy lines to technical support in our database organization to leading the overall data design for State Farm's policy and claims systems. During his career, he led the efforts for diversification of the database management systems used at State Farm. During that time, he was the technical lead and project manager for the implementation of what was then the 8th and 14th largest supercomputers used to segment markets and support risk management. He was the driving force in the creation of an organization in State Farm focused on delivering solutions for business intelligence and unifying State Farm's various data warehouse efforts.

Today Larry works on State Farm's development initiatives. He is responsible for the overall data direction within their Property and Casualty Systems and is leading the information management efforts for the deployment in State Farm's claims management area.

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Seid Koric, NCSA
Seid Koric has more than 11 years of experience at NCSA, conducting cutting-edge applied research and providing user support for the national academic and industrial computational mechanics communities on the center's high-performance computing platforms. His work has resulted in numerous journal and conference publications. He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Sarajevo, M.S. in aerospace engineering and PH.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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William J. Kosik, PE, CEM, LEED AP, EYP MCF Inc.
Bill Kosik is a managing principal at EYP Mission Critical Facilities (EYP MCF) and a member of the firm's Technology Council, EYP MCF's R&D organization. Kosik is a licensed professional mechanical engineer, LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) and a Certified Energy Manager (CEM). He is the leader of "Moving Towards Sustainability," one of eight corporate pillars at EYP MCF, which is focused on the research, development, and implementation of sustainable, energy-efficient, and environmentally responsible design strategies for data centers and other high-performance building types. As one of EYP MCF's resident experts on high-performance computing, Kosik is also collaborating with multiple SC500 clients, developing innovative design strategies for cooling high-density environments, and creating scalable cooling and power models for 10sTeraFlop to 100sTeraFlop to 10sPetaFlop scenarios. Kosik has presented on the topics of data center optimization and building performance simulation at venues including AFCOM, Data Centre Dynamics, and the Liebert Users Conference. Also among his 50+ articles and speaking engagements are presentations to AFCOM, the American Institute of Architects, ASHRAE, Data Center Dynamics, IFMA, Labs21, NeoCon, ULI and 7x24, as well as articles in the ASHRAE Journal, Energy & Power Management magazine, Building Operations Management, Engineered Systems, Consulting Specifying Engineer and R&D Magazine. Kosik worked as a consultant for the U.S. Green Building Council on the launch of the LEED Core & Shell Pilot Program and presented at multiple USGBC conferences, as well as at the World Forum for Building Innovation in the UK and the Sustainable Buildings Conference in Finland. He also worked with the city of Chicago in developing city-specific environmental criteria. Kosik's projects have earned 19 ASHRAE Awards. He has his degree in engineering mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Walter Lohmann, Caterpillar
Walt joined Caterpillar Inc. in 1974 as a college graduate trainee. In 1975 he transferred to the Research Department as an engineer in the Tribology Group located in Mossville IL. In 1986 he relocated to Caterpillar's Decatur IL facility as a project engineer in the structural/performance analysis team in product development. In 1994 he became the Analysis Team leader for Articulated Truck product group and coordinated simulation activities in Decatur and Peterlee, England. In 2000 he joined the Technology & Solutions Division as Project Team Leader of the Flexible Body Dynamics team at the Champaign Simulation Center located on the campus of the University of Illinois. In June 2001 he was promoted to Manager of the Champaign Simulation Center. Walt holds a B.S in Engineering Mechanics and an M.S. in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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Bill Magro, Intel
Bill Magro is Intel's director of Cluster Software & Technologies, a group devoted to the needs of high-performance computing market. He joined Intel as part of the acquisition of KAI Software, where he was product manager of parallel tools. Prior to that, he was on staff at the Cornell Theory Center. He holds a Ph.D. in computational physics, obtained at NCSA and the University of Illinois.

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John R. Melchi, NCSA
John R.Melchi leads the administration directorate at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He oversees the center's facilities planning and management, finance, human resources, internal infrastructure, and public communication units. He is also the NCSA lead on the design and construction of the new Petascale Computing Facility which will house the center's Blue Waters computing system and related infrastructure.

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Madhavan Narayanan, Caterpillar
Madhavan is currently an Engineering Manager in Technology and Solutions Division of Caterpillar Inc. He is responsible for providing all CAT Diesel Engine and After treatment Simulation support for current and new product development. He is passionate about deploying his simulation team with the product design groups at the start of concept designs and integration of Simulation-Design-Test as a way to improve the product validation efficiency. Madhavan holds a Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Prior to CAT, Madhavan had 11 years of Simulation/Test engineering and technical leadership position in Detroit automotive industries.

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Rob Pennington, NCSA
Rob Pennington oversees the activities in all of NCSA's directorates to ensure that the scientists and engineers using NCSA's resources and services see a unified, seamless environment that brings the most advanced technologies to bear on their problems. He is also responsible for coordinating major campus- and region-wide efforts to build an integrated cyberinfrastructure, and he continues to lead the center's Innovative Systems Laboratory.

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Steve Reagan, L&L Products
Steve Reagan has B.S., M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University and a PhD in mechanical engineering from University of Virginia. He previously led modeling efforts for blast propagation, human lethality assessments, and structural reliability at Applied Research Associates of Raleigh, N.C. In 2000, he joined Ford Motor Company, where he contributed in their Advanced Vehicle Engineering, Office of General Counsel, and Scientific Research communities.

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Jon Riley, L&L Products, Inc.
Jon brings nearly 20 years of experience in the area of structural design for crashworthiness and NVH. Prior to L&L he worked as a dynamics technical specialist in the aerospace industry and in the vehicle safety group at Ford Motor Company. He earned his B.S and M.S. degrees in aeronautical & astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Klaus Schulten, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Schulten received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1974. He is a full-time faculty member in the Beckman Institute and directs the Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group. His research focuses on the structure and function of supramolecular systems in the living cell, and on the development of non-equilibrium statistical mechanical descriptions and efficient computing tools for structural biology. His work uses advances in physical theory and computing to model organisms across many levels of organization, from molecules to cells to networks. The research has been driven by problems in biomedicine, such as understanding neural development and processing, solving the mechanisms of bioenergetic proteins like bacteriorhodopsin or light harvesting complexes, the recognition and regulation of DNA by proteins, unraveling the molecular basis of the body's lipid metabolism and of the mechanical properties of cells. He also is affiliated with the Department of Chemistry as well as with the Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology. Schulten's awards include the Humboldt Award of the German Humboldt Foundation (2004); University of Illinois Scholar (1996); Fellow of the American Physical Society (1993); Nernst Prize of the Physical Chemistry Society of Germany (1981).

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Khaldoon Tahhan, Caterpillar
Khaldoon began his career with Caterpillar in 1998 as on site design engineer in Track Type Tractor group, in 1999 he moved to Caterpillar's Decatur IL facility to work in structural analysis group. In 2001 he accepted a full-time Caterpillar engineering position in structural analysis team. He transferred to the Technology & Solutions Division in 2003 where he established a Rollover Protective Structure analysis team at the Champaign Simulation Center. Later on he accepted the responsibility of leading the system component team as well. Khaldoon holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Damascus, Syria and a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bradley University, Peoria IL.

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John Towns, NCSA
John Towns is director of the Persistent Infrastructure Directorate at NCSA. He is the principal investigator on the NCSA Resource Provider/HPCOPS award for the TeraGrid and is the co-PI on the Computational Chemistry Grid Project, led by the University of Kentucky. His background is in computational astrophysics, making use of a variety of computational architectures with a focus on application performance analysis. At NCSA, he provides leadership and direction in the support of an array of computational science and engineering research projects making use of advanced computing resources. He is a co-founding member of the Steering Committee of the LCI. Towns plays significant roles in the deployment and operation of computational data and visualization resources, and grid-related projects. These projects embody the deployment of technologies and services to support the establishment of a grid computing infrastructure. He is a frequently invited presenter on high-perfrmance computing and enabling science and engineering through the use of computational, data, and grid-based resources. He earned M.S. degrees in physics and astronomy from the University of Illinois in 1990 and 1991 respectively and a B.S in physics from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1987.

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Von Welch, NCSA
Von is co-director of the Cybersecurity Directorate at NCSA. In this role, he leads development and application of security technology for clientele spanning the science, engineering, law enforcement and corporate communities. Welch has worked in cybersecurity for the past decade, developing new standards and methodologies for distributed and federated security architectures. Prior to working in cybersecurity, Welch worked on high-performance networking and networking applications. He is a 1992 graduate of the University of Illinois with a degree in computer engineering.

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