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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
Byron Southern
University of Manitoba

Byron Southern has been in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manitoba since 1979 and has served on the WestGrid Executive since 2006 when WestGrid expanded to include all universities in Western Canada. He has served as Chair of the Executive and as a member of the National initiatives Committee for Compute Canada. His research interests are in the physics of frustrated magnetic materials and he uses HPC to simulate the magnetic properties of these systems.

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.

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.

Richard Bowles
Richard K. Bowles
University of Saskatchewan

Richard Bowles is the current Chair of the WestGrid Executive and an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Saskatchewan. He received his Ph.D from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand and his research involves the development of theory and computer simulation to describe soft matter systems, such as liquids, glasses, nanoparticles and granular materials.

Sergei Noskov
Sergei Noskov
University of Calgary

Sergei Noskov is 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.