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New PACE Team Members and New Team Member Roles

This entry was posted by on Friday, 30 August, 2019 at

Dear Researchers,

PACE is pleased to announce our new additions to the PACE team and recognitions of our team members who started new roles at PACE.

In Spring, our Software and Collaboration Support team grew with an addition of Dr. Kevin Manalo.  Kevin is a proud Georgia Tech graduate who cannot hold back his excitement about joining PACE, whose clusters he had heavily relied on during his PhD research!  Kevin comes to PACE as an HPC veteran with experience in HPC support and training from Johns Hopkins University and state supercomputer centers at Ohio and Alabama.

Over the summer, our Outreach and Faculty Interaction team has grown by three new members, Drs. Aaron Jezghani, Michael Weiner, and Chris Blanton.  As you may have already noticed, they have all hit the ground running as they have been very active in responding to support inquiries and hosting multiple PACE classes and workshops.  To tell you a little bit about our Outreach team members:

Dr. Aaron Jezghani recently defended his PhD in Physics at the University of Kentucky.   His research focused on nuclear physics and  involved work at both Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Labs. Throughout Aaron’s multi-faceted dissertation work, he focused on development of detector readout electronics as well as techniques in acquiring, processing and analyzing data from the detectors, which is not an easy feat.

Dr. Michael Weiner received his undergraduate degree in physics from Yale University and his doctorate, also in physics, from Cornell University. He completed his doctoral research in computational biophysics in the laboratory of Gerald Feigenson, where he focused on Molecular Dynamics simulations of the biophysical chemistry of lipid bilayers as models of cell membranes.

Dr. Chris Blanton earned his Ph.D. from Syracuse University in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry. During his studies, he became deeply interested in computational research and HPC. After graduation, he joined the Pennsylvania State University’s Institute for CyberScience. He has worked with some of the most exciting and innovative computational researchers, and he looks forward to sharing and applying his experiences with Georgia Tech research community.

Also, over the summer, our Cyberinfrastructure team has added two members, and it’s our pleasure to reintroduce to you Trever Nightingale and Ken Suda.

Trever has returned to PACE to his position of Sr. Systems Support Engineer.  Trever has a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and experience in high performance and research computing centers including the Naval Research Lab, NERSC and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) among his 20 years of UNIX experience.


Ken has been in IT professionally for almost 35 years and have filled most roles found in an IT organization.  The past couple of years, Ken has been a consultant and run a game development company.  As a consultant, Ken has been a generalist, filling whatever role the team or organization needed.

Now, with great pleasure, PACE is pleased to announce the new roles for our team members, Dan (Ann) Zhou, Andre McNeill, and Ruben Lara.

Dan (Ann) Zhou’s new role is Research Technologist Storage Architect for PACE.  Ann has been a PACE team member since August 2014 and has been an integral part of the PACE cyberinfrastructure team contributing to the operation of the many PACE storage systems, backup and the management of the storage systems among her responsibilities.  Ann received her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in China and her master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Tennessee Technological University. She enjoys cooking, running, eating, and traveling.

Andre McNeill’s new role is Research Technologist Cloud Architect for PACE. Andre has been a member of PACE for nearly 10 years and continues to be a vital resource for both our PACE staff as well as our PACE customers to deliver a robust and reliable research computing environment including computing, networking and software systems.  A graduate of Purdue University, Andre has many interests within PACE and many outside the work place including being a DJ.

Ruben Lara’s new role is Systems Support Engineer Manager for PACE. Ruben has been a part of the PACE cyberinfrastructure team since February 2017. Ruben has many excellent managerial and organizational skills and is currently enrolled in the current MOR Leadership training.  Ruben enjoys baseball, ultimate frisbee, rock climbing and mountain biking. You can find him by the window at the Southwest end of the 10th floor of the Coda building.

Please join us in welcoming our new team members and congratulating our recently promoted team members!

Best,
The PACE Team

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