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Executive Committee

The WestGrid Executive Committee members are appointed by their respective Member Council representatives (Vice President, Research or designate) to represent the user community and be an advocate of advanced research computing users on their campuses. The Executive plays an important advisory role to the WestGrid Senior Management Team.


  • One member appointed by each of the seven Member institutions
  • WestGrid Senior Management Team (non-voting)


  • Discuss and approve all appointments or dismissals that carry salaries arising in full or in part from WestGrid funds
  • Vote on all financial decisions exceeding $40,000
  • Approve the operations budget annually
  • Deal with issues presented by the Executive Director
  • Provide strategic direction to the Executive Director and Senior Management Team
  • Participate in strategic goal setting and future planning
  • Secure funding and sustainability planning
  • Represent the user community and be an advocate of advanced research computing, WestGrid and Compute Canada
  • Keep their respective VP(R)s informed of all major WestGrid and Compute Canada activities
  • Regularly consult with community and membership on matters of importance
  • Act as the signatory of WestGrid funds held at their institutions
  • Hire or fire the Executive Director
Dugan O'Neil
Simon Fraser University

Dugan O’Neil is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at Simon Fraser University. His research is in particle physics at the energy frontier. He has an MSc from the University of Alberta and a PhD from the University of Victoria. In 2003, O’Neil founded a Canadian consortium on the D0 Experiment, a worldwide collaboration of scientists conducting research on the fundamental nature of matter. His group used WestGrid resources at the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University to process hundreds of terabytes of raw data from the experiment. The output was utilized to find the first evidence of single top quark production in 2006, and to observe the process in 2009. His research now focuses on finding new physics using the ATLAS experiment at CERN. He currently serves as Deputy Spokesperson for the ATLAS-Canada collaboration.

Falk Herwig
Falk Herwig
University of Victoria

Falk Herwig is a professor in the Dept. of Physics of Astronomy at the University of Victoria, BC. He obtained is PhD at the Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam and University Kiel in Germany and held post-doctoral positions in Potsdam (Universtiy), Victoria, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM. Before coming back to BC in 2008 he held a Lecturer faculty position at Keele University, England.

Helen Burt WestGrid Executive Committee
Helen Burt
University of British Columbia

Dr. Burt was born in Manchester, England and obtained her BPharm (honours) from the University of Bath and her PhD in pharmaceutics from UBC. She is the Angiotech professor of drug delivery in the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and began her term as associate vice-president, research & international in 2011. Dr. Burt's major research efforts are supported by grants from CIHR and NSERC and involve the development of polymer-based drug delivery systems for controlled and localized drug delivery. She has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers and holds eight patents. She is a founding scientist in the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), a member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and has served on the board of directors of the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Jesko Sirker University of Manitoba Executive Member
Jesko Sirker
University of Manitoba

Jesko Sirker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manitoba. He received his PhD in Theoretical Physics from Dortmund University. After four years as an Assistant Professor at the Technical University Kaiserslautern he joined the faculty at the University of Manitoba in 2014. His research is in the area of strongly correlated quantum systems including nonequilibrium dynamics in quantum wires and cold atomic gases, magnetic materials, as well as quantum information measures in condensed matter. 

Paul Lu
University of Alberta

Paul Lu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computing Science at the University of Alberta. His research is in the area of high-performance computing (HPC), including algorithms, bioinformatics, virtual machines and cloud computing. In 2004, Paul’s research group created a pan-Canadian metacomputer across 19 universities and 22 administrative domains, known as the Canadian Internetworked Scientific Supercomputer. He also co-coached the University of Alberta team that won the first annual Cluster Computing Challenge at Supercomputing 2007. In 2010, his Ph.D. student contributed the ivshmem/Nahanni virtual device to the Linux KVM code base.

Sergei Noskov
Sergei Noskov
University of Calgary

Sergei Noskov is the current Chair of the WestGrid Executive and an Associate Professor in Centre for Molecular Simulation at the University of Calgary. He received his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the Russian Academy of Sciences. Noskov’s research focuses on Molecular Modelling, Membrane Proteins (Ion Channels and Ion-coupled transporters), Quantum Chemistry of Biologically Relevant Molecules, Free Energy Profiles, and Protein Structure/Function prediction.

Yuanming Pan
Yuanming Pan
University of Saskatchewan

Yuanming Pan received his B.Sc. from the Wuhan College of Geology (now China University of Geosciences) in 1985. He came to Canada in late 1986 and received a Ph.D. (supervised by Michael E. Fleet) from the University of Western Ontario in 1990. He took a position at the University of Saskatchewan in 1993, where he was promoted to full professor in 2002. His research interests range from mineralogy, geochemistry, environmental geochemistry, and mineral deposits to applications of mineral spectroscopy and first-principles modelling.