Leadership Team

Buddy Bland

Buddy Bland is the director for the OLCF. He previously served as director of operations for the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) from 1996 until June 2006. Bland has worked in high-performance computing his entire career. He joined the staff at ORNL in 1984 as the system programmer/administrator for the Cray X-MP system. He managed the Supercomputing Systems Section, which later became the UNIX System Section, until 1992, when he moved to the newly formed Center for Computational Sciences as the computing resources manager. In that position he installed the Kendall Square KSR-1 and Intel Paragons and oversaw the development and installation of the file storage systems and networks to support the NCCS. In 1996, Bland was appointed director of operations of the NCCS. In that role he has managed the operation of the computer center through the life of a series of computers, including the IBM Power3, IBM Power4, Compaq AlphaServer SC, SGI Altix, Cray XD1, Cray X1, Cray X1E, Cray XT3, and Cray XT4. He is the ORNL representative on the High Performance Storage System Executive Committee.

Prior to joining ORNL, Bland was a captain in the U.S. Air Force, serving at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico and at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi. He has B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Jim Hack

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James J. Hack directs the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS), a leadership computing complex at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) providing high performance computing resources for tackling scientific grand challenges. His responsibilities include the identification of major high performance computing needs from scientific and hardware perspectives, and the implementation of strategies to meet those needs as machine architectures continue to evolve. He also served as a founder and first Director of the Oak Ridge Climate Change Science Institute, which integrates scientific projects in modeling, observations, and experimentation with ORNL’s powerful computational and informatics capabilities to answer some of the most pressing global change science questions.

After receiving his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Dynamics from Colorado State University in 1980, Hack became a research staff member at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where he worked on the design of high-performance scientific computing architectures. He moved to the National Center for Atmospheric Research in 1984, an NSF-sponsored laboratory, in Boulder Colorado. He went on to lead in the development of NCAR’s global atmospheric model, known as the Community Climate Model. His primary scientific interests include physical parameterization techniques, numerical methods, and diagnostic methods for evaluating simulation quality. Before coming to Oak Ridge at the end of 2007, he was serving in the roles of senior scientist, head of the Climate Modeling Section, and deputy director of the NCAR Climate and Global Dynamics Division.

Hack has previously held an Adjoint Professor position at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and is an Inaugural Faculty Member in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education (CIRE) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is author or co-author of over 100 scientific or technical publications with a Web of Science h-index of 36. He has served as an editor for the Journal of Climate, given testimony to congress on the topic of climate change, and recently completed participation as a member of a National Research Council Study on A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling. He is also actively involved on a number of national and international advisory and steering committees among which include the Department of Energy Office of Science and National Science Foundation appointments.

Stephen McNally

Stephen McNally is the NCCS Operations Manager. As the Operations Manager, he manages the day-to-day operations of the OLCF compute and data systems while ensuring high efficiency and reliability. He has served in operational IT roles in manufacturing and healthcare environments, and most recently comes to the center from the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences, a University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory partnership, where he served on the leadership and management teams for the NICS and XSEDE projects funded by the National Science Foundation. He has experience managing a diverse set of system administrators, security analysts, network engineers, and system programmers in an HPC environment. He earned his B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Carson-Newman University and an M.B.A. from Tennessee Technological University.

Jim Rogers

As the Director for Computing and Facilities for the NCCS, Jim Rogers is responsible for the execution of an effective strategy that supports multiple high performance computing, storage, and data analytics programs for multiple US Government agencies including the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Defense (DoD). Responsibilities include the acquisition of computer systems and facilities; the identification of credible performance gaps between the current capabilities and capacities of NCCS programs and those articulated in their strategic plans; execution of competitive acquisition activities for high performance computing products; management of design-build facilities subcontracts; defining and implementing programmatic needs related to improvements in facilities, data centers, and infrastructure; and defining and implementing operational policies that improve resource metrics, reduce operational costs, and strategically benefit the NCCS, its customers, and users.

The NCCS provides full facility and operations support for multiple petaFLOP-scale systems including Titan, a 27PF Cray XK7. In 2017, the NCCS will begin delivery of their next significant supercomputer, a 150PF hybrid CPU/GPU system from IBM. Mr. Rogers is fully responsible for the acquisition and delivery of this system.

Jim Rogers earned a B.S. In Computer Engineering from the University of Alabama in 1987 and and has provided strategic-planning, technology-insertion, and integration support for multiple Federal and State customers including the DoD, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Air Force, and NASA for more than 25 years. He is active across many HPC communities, including the SC and SCinet Conference committees, the Cray User Group, the IBM SPXXL User Group, and a number of Executive and Steering Committees.

Jack Wells

Jack Wells is the director of science for the NCCS at ORNL. He is responsible for devising a strategy to ensure cost-effective, state-of-the-art scientific computing at the NCCS, which houses the Department of Energy’s OLCF, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Computing Research Center, and the National Science Foundation’s National Institute for Computational Sciences.

Most recently, Wells directed institutional planning at ORNL, developing a strategic plan for the lab, overseeing its discretionary research and development investments, and managing its Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy programs. As the principal investigator for an Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment project investigating lithium/air batteries, he has used leadership computing systems to tackle complex energy storage issues crucial to the Department of Energy mission.

In ORNL’s Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate, Wells has worked as group leader of both the Computational Materials Sciences group in the Computer Science and Mathematics Division and the Nanomaterials Theory Institute in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences. During a sabbatical, he served as a legislative fellow for Senator Lamar Alexander, providing information about high-performance computing; energy technology; and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education issues.

Wells began his ORNL career as a graduate researcher in 1990, then spent 3 years at Harvard University in an Institute for Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics fellowship, returning to ORNL as a 1997 Wigner postdoctoral fellow.

Justin Whitt

Justin Whitt is the Deputy Project Director for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF). In this role he supports the OLCF Director–Buddy Bland–in planning for and coordinating the delivery of leadership-class computing resources at the OLCF and by helping to effectively communicate the challenges and successes of OLCF projects to the DOE Office of Science’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program.

Whitt received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he later taught engineering, and a master’s degree in computational engineering through the National Center for Computational Engineering at the same institution. Whitt’s research included computational modeling of transonic aircraft in conjunction with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s AVT-113 technical team and the optimization of wind turbine designs. Whitt previously held various positions related to computational science and executive management at the National Institute for Computational Sciences and served successively as Deputy Director of Operations and the Head of Project Management for NSF’s eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project. Whitt also brings over 11 years of experience from the logistics industry to the role, where he held various technical and managerial positions.

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