Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Cole W. Camplese has named Dr. Spencer R. Pruitt as the first Associate Vice President of Research Computing for Northeastern University. The appointment is effective March 4, 2019.
As AVP of Research Computing, Pruitt will join the ITS Senior Leadership Team and work to develop the Northeastern research computing strategy and a plan to bring it to fruition within the Northeastern 2025 framework. He will lead the existing research computing team and add additional staff in the coming months to make Northeastern more competitive in its support of research computing. Pruitt will prioritize the building and sustaining of partnerships with faculty, staff, students, and IT providers to better understand and meet the community’s broad computing and training needs.
“We are excited to have Spencer join the ITS team in this new role,” notes Camplese. “He brings a passion and exceptional aptitude for research computing that will have a broad and positive impact on the university’s research activities. Spencer and I will work together to create a computing strategy to support Northeastern’s ambitious commitment to advancing knowledge.”
Pruitt has worked for Academic and Research Computing at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) since 2016 where he has helped to enable computational science and expand the WPI research enterprise. He has expanded and enhanced the high-performance computing (HPC) framework at WPI through hardware acquisition, software upgrades, and strong relationships with faculty and external vendors. Pruitt has also worked with the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), which Northeastern is a founding partner in, as a mentor with its NSF-funded Northeast Cyberteam, assisting researchers at small-to-midsized institutions in finding the right resources for their projects.
An accomplished scholar of physical chemistry with a Ph.D. from Iowa State University, Pruitt has 10 years of experience prior to WPI as a researcher at Iowa State and Argonne National Laboratory’s Leadership Computing Facility. He has over 15 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including Chemical Reviews and Accounts in Chemical Research, awards of computer time in excess of 400 million core hours, and is a reviewer for a number of scientific journals.
“Research computing lives on the bleeding edge of technology, where the data is bigger, the computers are faster, and the research is pushing boundaries. This convergence of science and cutting-edge technologies, and the potential that it holds at Northeastern, is exciting,” said Pruitt. “I look forward to helping the university leverage the MGHPCC and other resources to grow its research and teaching mission.”