New director announced for UT-ORNL supercomputer center

New director announced for UT-ORNL supercomputer center

Dr. Tony Mezzacappa (Source: UT) Dr. Tony Mezzacappa (Source: UT)

OAK RIDGE (WATE) - The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences (JICS) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has a new director.

Tony Mezzacappa, a leader in the field of astrophysics and supernova science, has been named director of JICS, which operates Titan, the world's fastest supercomputer.

Mezzacappa is a world leader in computational astrophysics and a pioneer in the field of supernova science. He is a UT-Battelle Corporate Fellow and group leader for theoretical physics in the Physics Division at ORNL and joint professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UT.

At ORNL, Mezzacappa directed the Terascale Supernova Initiative for five years, leading the multi-million dollar, multi-year U.S. Department of Energy initiative involving several dozen researchers at a dozen institutions around the world.

He has also been involved in several community outreach efforts, including being a founding member of the Sequoyah Elementary Foundation and leading a major IT upgrade for Sequoyah Elementary School in West Knoxville. 

"Dr. Mezzacappa brings unique and extensive experience in computational astrophysics, supernova science and academic vision to the JICS director position," said UT Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. "We are excited for his leadership and the forward-moving direction of the center." 

Prior to UT and ORNL, Mezzacappa held positions at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned his doctorate in 1988 from the University of Texas.

Mezzacappa is a fellow of the American Physical Society and received a Department of Energy Young Scientist Award. He received the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from President Bill Clinton in 1999. 

Mezzacappa has been active in communicating science to the general public. He and his work have been featured on the National Geographic Channel and in Scientific American.

More information about JICS is available on UT's website.
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