Former NSF official to head UI computing center

A former National Science Foundation official has been named as the new director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University.

Edward Seidel has been serving as the senior vice president of research and innovation at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology since October 2012. Previously, he was an assistant director for math and physical sciences at the NSF. He has also served as the director of NSF's cyberinfrastructure office.

"NCSA, backed by a world-class research university, is helping to lead the computing and big data revolution internationally," Seidel said in a press release. "I am excited to be joining NCSA as its new director, and with my previous experience, I will look forward to exploring opportunities for partnerships between Illinois and Russia’s Skoltech."

The Board of Trustees will vote on the hire at its meeting Thursday.

Seidel, who is expected to start Jan. 15, was one of the first investigators on the Blue Waters supercomputing project at the University.

He will replace Thomas Dunning, who announced his retirement last year. Dunning served in this role for eight years.

NCSA works with researchers who need computing resources, including Blue Waters, for their projects.