Quantum concept

New hires at ICHEC increase capacity in HPC, AI, quantum computing

Centre grows to more than 50 staff across Galway and Dublin
Image: Stockfresh

14 June 2021

The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) has announced four new appointments and a further seven positions to be filled in the coming months. 

The state supported national centre for high-performance computing (HPC), ICHEC provides user support and complex computing skills transfer to academia, industry and the public sector.

“The appointments follow increased demand from the HEI scientific community for advanced computational skills using HPC as well as in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and preparing for quantum computing,” according to J-C Desplat, director of ICHEC. “This is a pivotal time in developments in HPC/supercomputing and big data and ICHEC, as the national centre, offers exposure to work at the edge of these advances. Across all areas of ICHEC from training and upskilling in the HEI and SME sector to our involvement in a range of EU advanced computing projects, and our climate science and earth observation work with national and international agencies we are seeing increased need for computational scientists with advanced HPC skills.”




Following the appointments ICHEC will employ over fifty staff from locations in NUI Galway, where ICHEC is hosted, and its larger office in Dublin. All staff are currently working remotely. 

“There is no other organisation like ICHEC in Ireland where programmers and scientists will get the opportunity to work using HPC on the latest developments in earth observation, environmental and climate science or novel technologies (quantum computing, AI and ML),” said Dr Venkatesh Kannan, centre technical manager, ICHEC. “At ICHEC, recent and experienced scientists have the opportunity to be involved in projects using extreme data which will define the solutions of the future, in science, medicine, agriculture, transport and infrastructure. We support the scientific endeavour across these domains to create new solutions.”

ICHEC supports novel scientific research using extreme datasets on the national high-performance computer Kay, ICHEC enables researchers, enterprises and the public sector to discover innovative solutions for today’s complex social, economic and environmental challenges.

Emil Dimitrov, joins ICHEC’s novel technologies activity with a wealth of industry experience from previous research and development roles in HPE and Ericsson. His professional focus and interests are in the areas of data science, machine learning and reasoning and quantum computing. He is particularly interested in probabilistic programming, quantum machine learning and neuro-symbolic AI. His expertise will enhance ICHEC’s work in AI, HPC and quantum computing.

Ihab Salawdeh is a computational scientist at the ICHEC. He has more than five years of experience in teaching and research in high performance computing and distributed systems at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. Moreover, he has more than 15 years of national and international professional industrial experience that spanned the entire range of requirements for IT projects, such as IT director, data scientist, system analyst, and IT quality manager. He is particularly interested in HPC, machine learning, deep learning and social media analysis and verification. His Master’s degree was in high performance computing and he is pursuing his PhD in data science. Salawdeh’s experience will bring new insights to ICHEC’s work in AI and HPC.

Sean Courtney and Conor Dunne both joined ICHEC in May 2021 from Trinity College Dublin. Both have recently completed degrees in theoretical physics and will work in quantum computing. 

TechCentral Reporters

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