James Barr von Oehsen named director of Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center


Image Via PittWire

James Barr von Oehsen has been named the director of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

By Alexandra Ross, Assistant News Editor

The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center found a new director in James Barr von Oehsen, who comes from Rutgers University, where he served as associate vice president for the Office of Advanced Research Computing. 

PSC is a joint research center of Pitt and next-door neighbor Carnegie Mellon University. Founded in 1986, the center’s mission is to “cultivate collaborative partnerships, empower the next generation of researchers, and provide cutting-edge cyberinfrastructure,” according to its website

Though PSC announced von Oehsen’s appointment last month, he will begin his position in May. While directing the center, he will also work on the research faculty of Pitt’s electrical and computer engineering and biomedical informatics departments. In addition, he will work for Carnegie Mellon in its electrical and computer engineering department. 

A press release announcing von Oehsen as the new director noted his previous leadership roles and his “extensive” experience in academic research communities. 

“Barr has a track record for establishing computing infrastructures that advance scientific research at the university and national level,” Rebecca Doerge, dean of Carnegie Mellon’s Mellon College of Science, said in the press release. “His leadership will ensure that PSC continues its legacy of high performance computing well into the future.”

Rob Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research at Pitt, also praised von Oehsen’s previous experiences and said the new director will propel both PSC and Pitt forward. 

“His breadth of experience with cyberinfrastructure that supports scientific research will make him an excellent leader to continue and advance PSC’s legacy in high performance computing and Pitt’s commitment to support research computing comprehensively across the full spectrum of scholarly activities,” Rutenbar told Pittwire in February. 

In the press release, von Oehsen said he felt honored to be named director of PSC. 

“As someone who has a strong connection to the Cyberinfrastructure (CI) Ecosystem, I am very familiar with PSC and its many achievements and reputation as a global leader. The thought of being involved with moving PSC to the next level in advancing science and research is extremely exciting and an honor,” von Oehsen said.