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New leader for Oak Ridge scientific computing group

The Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) has welcomed T.P. Straatsma as its new scientific computing group (SCG) leader.

Born and educated in the Netherlands, Straatsma previously worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for 18 years, where he served as laboratory fellow and the head of the computational biology and bioinformatics group, and before that as research faculty member in the department of chemistry at the University of Houston.

He is an internationally recognised scientist with more than 30 years of experience in the development, efficient implementation, and application of advanced modelling and simulation methods as key scientific tools in the study of chemical and biomolecular systems.

'I’m most fascinated by being able to describe physical systems with mathematical equations on big computers to interrogate these systems,' said Straatsma, adding that computing is quickly becoming a necessary component of research and a critical complement to experimental work which can be expensive, dangerous, or impractical.

During his tenure at PNNL, Straatsma has served on the development team for NWChem, a popular quantum and molecular dynamics code that is currently running on Titan, OLCF’s new Cray XK7. For the last five years he has also served as the director of PNNL’s Internal Investment in Extreme Scale Computing.

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