Press Archive

SDSC Names Shawn Strande Deputy Director

Veteran SDSCer Returns from National Center for Atmospheric Research

Published August 3, 2015

Shawn Strande

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, has appointed Shawn Strande as deputy director for the Center, effective immediately. Strande, who worked for both SDSC and UC San Diego in various capacities since 1992, succeeds Richard L. Moore, who retired in June after 13 years with SDSC.

Strande returns from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), where since mid-2013 he was responsible for the center’s computational infrastructure. He led procurement efforts for NCAR’s next-generation supercomputer as well as playing key roles in several successful proposals, including one with UC San Diego to extend the VAPOR visualization toolkit and the Wavelet enabled progressive data Access and Storage Protocol (WASP) project to support biological data, and one that led to NCAR being named an Intel Parallel Computing Center. Strande also launched an advanced computational laboratory at NCAR, intended to explore emerging technology that may be used in future HPC systems.

“Shawn is well known here at SDSC and we are delighted that he is returning, this time as our second in command,” said SDSC Director Michael Norman. “He has a proven track record in coordinating large-scale procurement and proposal efforts, including coordinating the development of a proposal which led eventually to a National Science Foundation grant to recently deploy Comet, our newest supercomputer.

The proposal for Comet was a center-wide effort, with Norman as the project’s principal investigator in collaboration with Phil Papadopoulos, SDSC Chief Technical Officer and
Division Director, UC Systems; and Nancy Wilkins-Diehr, an SDSC Associate Director and Co-Principal Director of the NSF’s XSEDE (eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) program. Moore also was a co-PI on the project before retiring in June.

Prior to joining NCAR, Strande was project manager for SDSC’s data-intensive Gordon supercomputer, the result of a $20 million NSF grant awarded in late 2009. He also played a significant role in another successful NSF proposal that resulted in the deployment of SDSC’s Trestles supercomputer, which was recently replaced by Comet

“Shawn is not only well-versed in high-performance computing,” said Norman. “He has a keen sense of how to foster data-intensive collaborations across campus, the entire UC system, and among our industry partners. I’m confident that he will help keep SDSC laser-focused on its mission of being the ‘go-to’ resource for valuable computational and data expertise.”

“My career has always been about taking on new challenges and helping to move organizations forward to achieve lasting and strategically important outcomes,” said Strande. “I am thrilled and honored with the opportunity to rejoin SDSC and help Mike Norman and the terrific team continue a long tradition of HPC innovation and excellence.”

Strande first joined SDSC in 1992, when SDSC was operated by General Atomics. From that time until 2000 he served in a variety of capacities, including manager of user services, and project manager of the Protein Data Bank. After leaving UC San Diego briefly to join Prisa Networks, a San Diego-based start-up later acquired by EMC Storage, he returned to the university in 2001 as an assistant dean with the university’s Division of Extended Studies and Public Programs.  He ultimately rejoined SDSC in 2010, working as the Gordon Project Manager, before leaving for NCAR in 2013.

Strande holds an M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Cal Poly.

About SDSC

As an Organized Research Unit of UC San Diego, SDSC is considered a leader in data-intensive computing and cyberinfrastructure, providing resources, services, and expertise to the national research community, including industry and academia. Cyberinfrastructure refers to an accessible, integrated network of computer-based resources and expertise, focused on accelerating scientific inquiry and discovery. SDSC supports hundreds of multidisciplinary programs spanning a wide variety of domains, from earth sciences and biology to astrophysics, bioinformatics, and health IT. SDSC’s Comet joins the Center’s data-intensive Gordon cluster, and are both part of the National Science Foundation’s XSEDE (eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) program, the most advanced collection of integrated digital resources and services in the world.