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Two WestGrid Team Members Win Compute Canada Awards of Excellence

Two WestGrid team members based at Simon Fraser University (SFU) have received Compute Canada Awards of Excellence in recognition of the outstanding support they provide to the Canadian research community.

The awards presentation took place on June 5 at the at the bi-annual gathering of Compute Canada’s technical team.

More than 200 Compute Canada team members are distributed across its four regions -- WestGrid, Compute Ontario, Calcul Québec, and ACENET -- and are employed by universities, regional consortia, or by Compute Canada directly.

Together, this distributed team of analysts, system administrators, domain specialists, and other technical experts are enabling researchers to accelerate and amplify their results using advanced research computing (ARC) resources.

“The nominations we received provided inspiring examples of how team members went above and beyond the call of duty to solve researcher’s challenges, spearhead major projects, or lead transformational outreach and community-building efforts,” says Mark Dietrich, President and CEO of Compute Canada. “Compute Canada’s team of experts is one of our greatest resources, and I’m pleased we can recognize and celebrate their outstanding efforts to serve Canada’s research community.”

Martin Siegert, WestGrid Site Lead for SFU and Head of Research Computing - HPC at SFU, received an Award of Excellence for his work leading SFU's Research Computing Group and the acquisition and implementation of Cedar, one of Compute Canada's newest national systems housed at SFU.

“He never shies away from tackling complex projects,” said Mark Roman, SFU’s Chief Information Officer. “From day one, the project of installing Cedar was designed to be a cross-Canada collaboration, and as the Site Lead, Martin invited people from across the country to work with him and his team at SFU with open arms.”

Lixin Liu, Networking Coordinator at SFU, was awarded an Outstanding Support Award for his efforts on key projects to develop and expand Compute Canada’s support offerings.

Over the last five years, Liu has made significant contributions, including being a founding member of the Compute Canada networking team, designing the portal service for the Science Gateway (a platform to provide bioinformatics researchers a web-based interface to analyze data), and writing the original Compute Canada LDAP schema.

“In his over 14 years of supporting researchers at Simon Fraser University, he has developed a reputation of knowing exactly what needs to be done to provide researchers with the complex environments required to analyze data and being the go-to guy when you have a question about networking or storage,” said Roman.

Visit the Compute Canada website to read the full profiles of all the awards winners.