Background

Tom Beck is the Section Head for Science Engagement for the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The NCCS Science Engagement Section partners NCCS users with experts in scientific domains and computation to obtain optimal scientific results from the center’s leadership class computational resources and systems. The members of this section include experts in the chemical and materials sciences; in nuclear physics, such as nuclear structure and quantum chromodynamics; in high energy physics, such as particle physics; in astrophysics, such as stellar evolution and cosmology; and in climate science, geophysics, biology, biomedical sciences, and engineering. Additionally, this section works to improve algorithms and application performance. The section seeks to expand the scope of high-impact projects utilizing the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) in the continually evolving computational science landscape.

Prior to his arrival at ORNL in 2021, Tom was a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Cincinnati, and Department Head from 2017-2021. His research area is Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, with a focus on applying HPC resources to model complex chemical interfaces and biophysical systems. His research has included studies of phase transitions in nano-scale systems, liquid chromatographic interfaces, development of novel multigrid methods for electronic structure, and fundamental and applied work on specific ion solvation. Applications include nano-science, chemical separations, computational algorithms, catalysis, energy storage materials, and biological ion channels.

Tom earned his undergraduate degree in Biology and Physiology from the University of Minnesota, and his PhD in Chemical Physics from the University of Chicago. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he worked on Quantum Monte Carlo methods before starting his academic career at the University of Cincinnati.