Alumni Spotlight: Matthew Shaxted

Matthew Shaxted graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from McCormick. Post-graduation, Matthew joined several large world-class architecture / engineering organizations, working at the intersection of parallel computing, design and the built environment.

After graduation, he joined the engineering arm of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture and implemented a variety of computational practices for some of the world’s tallest buildings in the world – primarily in the areas of pedestrian movement, smoke system validation, impacts of geometry on solar/thermal exposure and annual utility bill predictions. In 2013 he joined Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’s (SOM) City Design Practice, implementing similar computational practices to improve urban plans from the perspectives of health, climate, solar and energy consumption.

Within these firms, the need to improve design by exploring more variations within deadline constraints meant needing to expand access to computational resources. With the support of researchers at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Matthew scaled his built environment-focused computational practices using an ANL workflow technology developed over the past decade used to run diverse science on some of the world’s largest supercomputers.

In June 2015, Matthew left SOM to co-found Parallel Works, a Chicago-based Supercomputing-as-as-Service company focused on making powerful computational workflow technology available to industry. He has been closely involved with designing and implementing the SaaS product, and now spends much of his time interacting with Parallel Works customers in the built environment and manufacturing verticals, helping them unlock the powers of high-performance computing in their business practices.