Local Tech Wire

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The will have a new leader as of Sept. 28.

Stanley Ahalt, who currently oversees the Ohio Supercomputing Center, was named to the RENCI post on Thursday. He also will become a tenured professor at UNC-CH’s department of computer science.

"I’m coming here because RENCI, with its unique multi-campus structure and multidisciplinary approach, offers tremendous opportunities," Ahalt said in a statement.

"RENCI is positioned to build fruitful partnerships that span campuses and research domains, academia, business and government,” he added. “I look forward to bringing together the intellectual strength of our universities and RENCI’s advanced technology infrastructure to solve critical problems and to help build a robust North Carolina knowledge economy."

The RENCI is a collaborative effort between UNC-CH, Duke, N.C. State and the state of North Carolina that was launched inn 2004.

Daniel Reed, the founder of RENCI, resigned in 2007 to join Microsoft.

"Stan is an accomplished, respected scientist and a national leader in the high- performance computing community," said Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research and economic development at UNC-CH. "He is the perfect match for RENCI and will be a strong leader as the institute continues its work of applying advanced technologies and faculty expertise to important state problems."

Ahalt, who has taught at Ohio State for 22 years, was instrumental in the building of a high-speed network that connects Ohio’s universities, K-12 schools and other facilities. He also was a leader in the “Blue Collar Computing Initiative” that encouraged smaller businesses to utilize high-performance computing.

A native of Virginia, he earned a PhD in electrical and computing engineering at Clemson as well as a master’s and bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Virginia Tech.

According to UNC-CH, Ahalt has helped secure nearly $17 million over the years in research grants.