CUG 2024 – Candidate Statements

Candidate for President

Ashley Barker – Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)

Ashley Barker photo

As the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) Program Manager and the recent Section Head for Operations at the National Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Lab, I’ve had the opportunity to assist with several large Cray system deployments, from acquisition to operations. I have been an active member of the Cray User Group (CUG) for many years and have attended several CUG conferences and served on the Program Committee, the PEAD Special Interest Group, the Election Committee, and most recently as the CUG President from 2022-2024. I have found my involvement with CUG to be extremely rewarding, as it has enriched both my knowledge and professional network. I tend to get more relevant information and ideas from the CUG Conferences than others that I attend, as it is useful to hear talks and learn from colleagues that have similar architectures, software, and tools. In addition, meeting others in this community has led to a number of important collaborations over the course of my career. I would like to continue in my role as CUG President with a focus in the next two years of bringing on new sites to open up additional opportunities for future collaborations and expand our community. Thank you for considering me for this role.
If elected, I will diligently fulfill the duties of the office or the position on the Board of Directors for which nominated during the term thereof.

Candidate for Vice President

Bilel Hadri – King Abdullah Science and Technology

Bilel Hadri photo

I am Bilel Hadri, and I have been working at the KAUST Supercomputing Lab since 2013. My role involves enhancing the impact of operations and services on HPC systems at KAUST. This includes coordinating operational support, strategic efforts for system procurements and providing advanced support to users. My experience with Cray systems dates since 2009, as a computational scientist at the National Institute for Computational Science at ORNL. Since 2010, I have actively participated in CUG, contributing to the technical program including receiving the Best Paper Award at CUG 2012. I volunteered by being regularly part of the program committee as a reviewer and I was elected PEAD-SIG chair in 2016 and 2018.

In 2020, I joined the CUG Board as an elected Director-at-Large and in 2022, I have been elected Vice President. I am running again this year as Vice President and I aim to:
• Strengthen connections with the HPE/Cray HPC community, reaching out to both large leadership customers and smaller sites.
• Continue my enthusiastic engagement with CUG, not only through scientific contributions but also as an active volunteer with the board.
• Leverage my experience in successfully organizing CUG conferences.
• Incorporate best practices from other HPC conferences to enhance the quality and quantity of submissions.

My dedication and experience make me well-prepared to continue serving the CUG community as Vice President. I look forward to collaborating with the board members and the CUG community and contributing to the growth and success of CUG.

Candidates for Director At Large (DAL)

One DAL positions is open this cycle. Candidates are listed alphabetically.

Maciej Cytowski – Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre

My name is Maciej (Ma-che-y) and I’ve been supporting science on Cray supercomputers since 2004, first in Warsaw, Poland and now in Perth, Western Australia. In my current role at the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre I lead the scientific services team which enables large-scale scientific discoveries through supercomputing, data and visualisation services provided by the centre. I strongly believe in the power of community building. Working as a volunteer in various scientific and technical organisations over the years allowed me to grow my career, build friendships and networks. This now benefits all my colleagues, team members, researchers and students I work with. Connecting them with international supercomputing network and watching how positively it impacts their careers is the most enjoyable part of my work. Cray User Group is a unique organisation in that respect and helping to bring CUG to Perth in 2024 was awesome. I’m keen to further share my community building passion as part of CUG Board.

Lena M. Lopatina, PhD – Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)

Lena M. Lopatina photo

I would like to nominate myself for the position of Director at Large (DaL) for the Cray User Group Board (CUG) of Directors. The CUG Board of Directors is a volunteer-based group of people who volunteer their time and are sponsored by their organization to serve to benefit CUG. Over many years I have greatly benefited from CUG conferences and the CUG community, and I would like the opportunity to “pay back” by volunteering my time to support CUG. The DaL position takes on duties as assigned by the board, which in simple words means that I am willing to do whatever needs to be done. In past years I have served as Nomination committee chair for CUG, and DaL over the past two years, where my responsibilities included engagement with sponsors and vendors, supporting the CUG VP through the technical review process, updates to the website, and various other responsibilities. I believe that my continuous demonstration of willingness to serve CUG in different roles and take on various assignments, my experience being part of the board already, as well as my commitment to support CUG to be equally beneficial to all its members make me an ideal candidate for a DaL position for the CUG board for the 2024-2026 period. If I am duly elected to the above position, I will diligently perform the duties of the position on the Board of Directors. I have the full support of my organization for my nomination and to serve if elected.

Kevin Stroup – Sandia National Laboratories

Kevin Stroup photoMy HPC career has included working for Cray, as well as being a customer of Cray. I’ve had significant technical and administrative experience with commercial, academic, and government (DoD and DoE) HPC sites and systems. I have worked in both large and small organizations, as well as private-sector businesses. Previously, while on the CUG Board I was responsible for member relationship management (our CRM) and acted as a vendor liaison, supporting the CUG conferences by soliciting sponsorships. Both I and my institution (SNL) strongly believe that CUG is a very valuable resource for us and the industry at large. I know that my organization’s backing will allow me to be active and effective in this position.