After more than 10 years serving as Berkeley Lab’s Deputy Director for Research and Chief Research Officer, Horst Simon has informed me of his intent to step down from this role. His decision to leave what some believe is the best job in the entire UC system comes at a time when, despite recent challenges – including a pandemic – the Lab’s research programs are in excellent shape. This week and last week, we heard very positive news about major new projects that Horst has been supporting over the last two years, and the Office of the Deputy Director for Research is also in excellent shape with several new staff coming on board.
A broad national search for a replacement will begin immediately. Horst will continue in his present role until a successor is identified; typically a search such as this will require 9-12 months. Once the search is completed, Horst will continue his service to the Lab as a scientific advisor.
Horst has enjoyed an accomplished career, much of it at Berkeley Lab. He joined the Lab in 1996 as director of the newly formed National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) and was one of the key architects in establishing NERSC at the Lab. He was also the founding director of the Lab’s Computational Research Division, which conducts applied research and development in computer science, computational science, and applied mathematics.
Before being named Deputy Lab Director, Horst served as Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences, helping establish Berkeley Lab as a world leader in providing supercomputing resources to support research across a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines. He has long served as co-editor of the biannual TOP500 list that tracks the most powerful supercomputers worldwide, as well as related architecture and technology trends, and he is often called on by professional societies and the news media as a leading expert in these fields.
Please join me in thanking Horst for his extraordinary stewardship of Berkeley Lab’s research, and of its scientific vision and mission.