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Robert Harrison Named Chief Architect of DOE National Project to Bolster High-Performance Computing for Energy Applications


Robert Harrison, Director of Stony Brook’s IACS

STONY BROOK, N.Y., October 11, 2016 – Robert Harrison, Director of Stony Brook University’s Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS), has been named the chief architect of a national effort funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to improve the scale, performance, accessibility and portability of high-performance computational chemistry. The project will center on improving the universal chemistry code NWChem by redesigning its architecture, with the goal to enhance applications in biomass-based energy production.

Partners on the project with the IACS include DOE laboratories Brookhaven, Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley, Pacific Northwest,  Ames and Oak Ridge, along with Virginia Tech.  The project, titled “NWChemEx: Tackling Chemical, Materials and Biomolecular Challenges in the Exascale Era” is funded by the DOE’s Exascale Computing Project. Exascale computing refers to systems that perform at least a billion-billion calculations per second, which is approximately 50 to 100 times faster than the nation’s most powerful supercomputers currently in use.

“As our team develops NWChemEx, we will be able to solve computational problems of increasing complexity,” said Harrison. “We will also redesign the architecture of NWChem so that it will be compatible with pre-exascale and exascale computers used by national labs. This will greatly improve computational analysis and sharing of high-performance computational chemistry that is necessary to advance new energy and energy-related research.”

Harrison will work with Project Director Thom Dunning of Pacific Northwest National Lab and Deputy Director Theresa Windus of Ames National Lab. The research team will include computer scientists, computational chemists, and applied mathematicians.


About Stony Brook University 

Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,450 acres. Since welcoming its first incoming class in 1957, the University has grown tremendously, now with more than 25,000 students and 2,500 faculty. Its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 100 universities in the nation and top 40 public universities, and Kiplinger names it one of the 35 best values in public colleges. One of four University Center campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory, putting it in an elite group of universities that run federal research and development laboratories. A global ranking by U.S. News & World Report places Stony Brook in the top 1 percent of institutions worldwide.  It is one of only 10 universities nationwide recognized by the National Science Foundation for combining research with undergraduate education. As the largest single-site employer on Long Island, Stony Brook is a driving force of the regional economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4 percent of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County. 


Greg Filiano
Media Relations Manager, School of Medicine, Stony Brook University
Office: 631.444.9343