Monday, November 17, 2008

Bill Kramer Moves to NCSA from NERSC

After 12 years at NERSC, Bill Kramer will be leaving his post as general manager to undertake a new position as Deputy Project Director for Blue Waters Project at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), in Urbana, Ill.

"LBNL and NERSC are very special. I have been at both longer by far than any place I have worked because of the mission to impact diverse science, the fantastic staff and commitment to the highest quality systems and services," says Kramer. "What I will miss most are the NERSC people. People make NERSC work, and I was fortunate to work with innovative and highly dedicated people."

During his tenure at the Berkeley Lab, Kramer saw NERSC through many major transitions, including a move from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to Berkeley; a migration of the entire user community from vector supercomputers to highly parallel computing; and the design and implementation of both the NERSC system architecture and the NERSC service architecture.

This past year, Kramer played an integral role in managing the hardware upgrade of NERSC's Cray XT4 system, called Franklin, to quad-core processors, and setting up the procurement process for the NERSC-6 system, the next major supercomputer acquisition to support the Department of Energy Office of Science's computational challenges.

"I have always been attracted to places that are trying to do what no one else has. Over the past decade, NERSC has redefined what it means to be a supercomputer center," says Kramer.

"In his time at NERSC, Bill has successfully stood up some of the world's fastest machines and established the standard by which production computing centers are run," says Kathy Yelick, NERSC Division Director. "As I transitioned into the role of NERSC Director this past year, Bill's wealth of knowledge and experience was invaluable to me."

"I have worked together with Bill for almost 20 of the last 22 years, and have come to appreciate him as a great colleague: reliable, energetic, and always full of new ideas," says Horst Simon, Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab. "I am disappointed to see Bill leave, but I am grateful for the many years where he shared his expertise and contributions. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavor."

Originally from New York City, Kramer moved to Chicago, Ill. with his wife Laura, shortly after graduating from college. From his home in Illinois, Kramer commuted to Indiana every day to do computing work for a steel mill. He moved to California's Bay Area to put the world's first UNIX supercomputer into service as part of NASA Ames' Numerical Aerodynamic Simulation program.

"Laura and I have loved the Bay Area for a long time --- for the innovation, diversity, culture, and weather," says Kramer. "Since we lived in Illinois shortly after college, for our first jobs, we can't claim to be naive about the difference in weather. But every place we have lived, the Midwest, East and West, we have enjoyed and cherished for different reasons. We look forward to the university town life and making new friends, not to mention rooting for Purdue when they come to town."

Bill's an interesting guy and I am going to miss having him around. Very bright and a many that really, never sleeps. NCSA HPCers, be ready for someone that works as hard as he works you. We very frequently were getting messages at 3 am on what to do the next day...even when he was here in the Bay Area. The man just has boundless energy.

Bill: Good luck!

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