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NCSA Reorganizes User Services to Better Serve Research Community

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Director Bill Gropp announced a restructuring of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications’ (NCSA) User Services, including a number of units merging into the directorate and a rebranding of the group to Research Consulting.

User Services, which offers 24/7 technical support and collaborates with research teams all around the world, welcomes Industry Applications Domains (IAD) Modeling and Simulation, Data Analytics and Genomics into the fold while Event Services, Knowledge Management Framework and ITSM Systems join Business IT also under the new umbrella.

After months of exploration, these changes aim to provide industry and academic researchers with a full menu of services to enable research and connect staff expertise to project needs.

NCSA took a crucial step toward making the experience easier for both adept and new researchers. I am excited to announce that we have updated our User Services directorate to expand its offerings to our user community

Bill Gropp, NCSA Director

A reorganization of units that fall under user services and a name change to Research Consulting, which better reflects the enhanced collection of services provided, Gropp said “this move will allow us to provide a more comprehensive approach to providing our community of users with end-to-end guidance and expertise to researchers for the lifecycle of their supercomputing experience.”

Research Consulting is led by Associate Director Laura Herriott, who started at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1998 and has nine years of experience in the research computing and data field, the last two years as head of User Services at NCSA.

“A key distinguishing factor of the NCSA Research Consulting directorate is the breadth and depth of our staff experience to accelerate and optimize use of advanced computational methods and tools,” Herriott said. “I’m excited to bring together these teams and work with Seid Koric so that we can develop a flexible organization that can deploy staff nimbly based on project opportunities while fostering individual career development.”

Seid Koric, who is also a research faculty member at The Grainger College of Engineering, brings decades of industry high-performance computing (HPC) and academic research experience to the Research Consulting directorate as the newly appointed Technical Associate Director.

“Research Consulting is a unique directorate in the HPC world providing research solutions to all NCSA users and partners, from user support and consulting activities on our HPC systems to interdisciplinary research collaborations working on solutions for grand challenges in industry and academia,” Koric said.

Research Consulting is made up of seven teams that provide:

  • technology management, including help desk support
  • business IT and software support and solutions
  • research and programming expertise, including data analytics
  • biological sciences research, including workflow development and programming
  • training documentation, facilitation, allocations and research support
  • workflow optimization, porting and domain expertise

“Computing and data are central to research and NCSA is committed to providing world-class resources and helping researchers use them effectively,” added Gropp.

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