The SIGHPC Systems Professionals Website

Election Slate 2018


Jenett Tillotson

I would like to be considered for President of the SIGHPC SYSPROS ACM Chapter. I have been an HPC System Administrator for 15 years, have been active in both IBMXXL and the CUG in the past, and currently serve as a Senior Cluster System Administrator at Purdue University. I have been active in HPCSYSPROS since the days when we just had a BoF at SC, and recently I have served as the Membership Chair of this Chapter. As for my involvement in the rest of the HPCSYSPROS community, I have helped organize the past HPCSYSPROS Workshop serving as the Program Chair for our inaugural workshop, and I helped organize the first meeting of the Midwest Regional HPCSYSPROS meeting at Purdue University last year.

HPC Systems Professionals have needed a professional organization for a long time, and I’m excited to see our organization grow. I would like to see our chapter develop a corpus of knowledge based on presentations and publications from our SC Workshop. I would like to increase our membership and find ways for all of us to better share information. And lastly, I would like to find more ways for us to meet face to face whether that be through developing more regional meetings or by finding opportunities to meet at established conferences.

I appreciate your consideration for this position.

Jenett Tillotson Senior Cluster System Administrator Research Computing Purdue University

Vice Chair

David Clifton

David Clifton is the Technical Lead for High Performance Computing in the IT group at Ansys, a leading developer of CAE simulation software. He holds a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from The Johns Hopkins University, and has been a Unix sysadmin for over 25 years. His current work involves implementation of a new generation of internal HPC resources and developing analysis tools and scheduler configurations to support appropriate allocation of the resources to business units. He is also active in the HPCSYSPROS Workshop committee for SC18.


Adam Hough

Adam Hough is a Senior HPC Engineer at the University of Washington. He has been a long-time participant in the community and is excited to take a leadership role in our community.


Stephen Lien Harrell

I would like to enter my name as a candidate for SIGHPC SYSPROS Secretary role. I have been a system administrator for over 15 years, with the last 12 years focused on large scale and HPC system administration. I currently serve in an HPC/Research Computing(RC) faculty support role and regularly develop HPC/RC architecture and systems solutions for faculty at Purdue University. Additionally, I am very engaged with the HPC and HPC System Professionals community. I was on the committee for the HPCSYSPROS workshop at SC16, authored two papers at the HPCSYSPROS17 workshop, and I am the program chair for the HPCSYSPROS18 workshop. I also help organize the HPCSYSPROS BoF at PEARC18. In the broader HPC community, I acted first as deputy chair for the Student Cluster Competition at SC15, and then chair at SC16 and SC17. There is a large opportunity for this SIGVC to make a difference in the HPCSYSPROS community, and I would like to be a part of building and improving our reach. My background in HPC System Administration and HPC community engagement has given me the experience to excel in a role like this.

Membership Chair

William Scullin

I am standing for the office of membership chair to meet the needs of our community. I am the founding chair of this chapter and a long-time contributor to the SC workshops and the BoFs that preceded them. I am excited to work with our board to grow the chapter and our community as a whole.

I have been employed at Argonne National Laboratory since 2007 where I have been a HPC systems administrator at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility. My professional interests include tomography, workflows, control systems, and improving user productivity.

Member(s) At Large (Choose Two)

John Blaas

My name is John Blaas and I would like to be considered for the position of Member-At-Large for SIGHPC-SYSPROS. I have been working as a HPC System Administrator since 2010 having worked at Purdue University, Argonne National Lab, and the University of Colorado of Colorado in Boulder. In each position I have sought to enable, support, and educate researchers through management of high performance computational clusters and develop in house system administrators to effectively manage high performance computational clusters. I am excited to help out and contribute any effort needed to expand the HPCSYSPROS SIG.

Prentice Bisbal

Prentice Bisbal has been an HPC Systems Professional for almost 20 years. He first became interested in HPC when learning about mathematical modelling while earning his BS in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University. After a brief stint as a Process Controls Engineer, Prentice took the leap and switched careers from Engineering to System Administration when he became a Unix Software Engineer (system administrator, really) and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), a US Department of Energy national laboratory in September of 1998.

Since then, Prentice has worked for several different employers in public and private academic research and the oil & gas, and pharmaceuticals industries. He has come full circle and is now woking at PPPL again.

He has experience with every aspect of HPC system administration: racking servers, diagnosing hardware issues, installing and configuring the operating system, compiling and installing numerous open-source and commercial computational packages, providing support and instruction to end-users, writing documentation, maintaining datacenters, designing clusters, working with architecture and engineering firms on the design of modular data centers, and writing RFPs and managing the RFP process for large purchases for the aforementioned clusters and modular data centers.

Prentice also has experience with multiple Unix variants, and a large variety of different hardware. He has worked with SunOS, Solaris, Digital Unix/Tru64, Irix, AIX, and, of course, Linux (mostly RHEL and its derivatives). He has worked with wide range of hardware including old Sun SPARCStations, large Sun Enterprise Servers, SGI O2 and Octane workstations, multi-processor SGI Origin NUMA systems (they were a big deal at the time!), an IBM Blue Gene /P, and all sorts of x86 systems.

Prentice is also a fixture in the HPC community, subscribing and regularly contributing to a variety of HPC-related mailing lists over the years, and attending the SC conferences and any other HPC workshops and conferences he can convince his employer to send him to. He participates local professional system admin groups such as LOPSA’s NJ and NYC chapters, the NYC Linux Users Group, and Unigroup of NYC. Prentice has also been involved with HPCSysPros from early on. He was on the organizing committee of the first HPCSysPros workshop at SC16.

Stephen Fralich

Ever since I learned of supercomputing systems while in high school, I was fascinated by both the technical aspects of them as well as the research that they enable. I’ve been working with Linux HPC systems since the early 2000s and with UNIX/Linux systems since I was in high school. I’m currently an HPC System Administrator at the University of Chicago. Prior to that I lead the technical side of University of Washington’s central HPC effort for almost ten years. SC is one of the few opportunities for people working in the HPC systems field to get together and learn about what everyone is doing. I always get a lot of new ideas when I attend SC. I think it’s important to build more of a community, so we can provide even better experiences for people at SC and throughout the year. I attended the workshop two years ago and I thought that was great. I hope to attend this year again. If you’d like more detail, you can find me on LinkedIn: