Three members elected to first board member class
Three members were elected to the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) User Group (OUG) User Executive Board (UEB) in July, and the board has already begun operations.
The establishment of the executive board is a logical progression of the OLCF User Council, whose members were appointed by the OLCF, which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility. With its creation users now have a formal body they elected to serve as an interface between them and the facility.
The board’s function is to advise and provide feedback to the OLCF with regard to policies, resources, and requirements. It also leads the OUG, whose charter newly establishes it as being composed of all current OLCF users and principal investigators and all such users up to 3 years after the completion of their OLCF projects. The group’s charter is also new.
“We wrote the OUG charter to be similar to those of other DOE user facilities, such as the Spallation Neutron Source and the Center for Nanoscale Sciences,” said Suzanne Parete-Koon, OLCF user assistance specialist and the new staff coordinator for the board. “We will run issues by the executive board such as upcoming training schedules, strategies for reducing the impact of scheduled outages on users, and other key pieces of information on policies and services.”
The board will meet on a monthly basis by teleconference for 30-45 minutes just before the regular monthly user call. Its members will then remain on the line to be available to users on the monthly call. In her role as coordinator, Parete-Koon will be a resource to the board—available to transmit information, assist the chair, and get any information for board members.
“Our vision is for the board to help generate interest and awareness of the issues that might concern users,” she said. “We’d like our conversations to be honest, active, and constructive. We want to help ensure that we are doing everything we can to make our center as useful for its users.”
The OLCF is represented on the calls by Jack Wells, the OLCF Director of Science and Parete-Koon and others as needed. Balint Joo, from Jefferson Lab, is the board chair.
“It has been my privilege to serve as the chair of the OLCF User Council—the predecessor to the User Executive Board—for some years with my fellow council members providing representation for OLCF users and providing feedback to the OLCF on policy and planning in the transition to the Titan system,” Joo said. “I would like to thank all who worked on the user council for their patient service. I believe our work has been very beneficial to both the OLCF and to the user community.”
Seven members were appointed to the first council and three new ones were elected in the class of 2017 in conjunction with the OLCF User Meeting earlier this summer. Over the course of the next 2 years, two additional three-member classes will be elected to replace the appointed board members. From that point forward, at least one class of board members will rotate off each year.
“With the User Executive Board, we will further improve on the previous user council. First, the board will be elected rather than appointed, making it transparent. Second, as membership of the board will turn over more frequently, it can be more representative of the very diverse project portfolio of the OLCF,” Joo said. “Finally, the role of the UEB has been expanded compared to that of the previous council with the expectation of greater input to the selection of training material for and the organization of user meetings.”
The three members elected to this year’s class are Rangan Sukumar and John Turner from ORNL and Mike Zingale from Stony Brook University. They will join current members CS Chang, David Dixon, Stephane Ethier, Katrin Heitmann, Joe Oefelein, Brian Wirth, and Joo.
This month, Zingale was voted to be vice chair.
“We had fantastic participation in the elections,” Parete-Koon said. “Five candidates were nominated and three were elected. More than 100 users voted in the election. Each candidate was required to develop a platform statement that focused on how he or she would share ideas and knowledge on the board. It was a great election.”
Joo said there has been a lot of preliminary discussion concerning activities for the board.
“Already in our first meeting we have had some lively discussion about topics such as data sharing and user training, some of which touch on programmatic aspects of the OLCF.
Ultimately the goal of the executive board is to help OLCF users maximize their scientific output from their work at the center, and I look forward to working with my fellow board members and the OLCF in this transition to the User Executive Board and the OLCF User Group.”
Meeting notices and minutes will be available on the OUG webpage at https://www.olcf.ornl.gov/about-olcf/oug/.