Engineering News

Argonne’s Robert Ross Earns Prestigious DOE Award

Ross was recognized for his seminal contributions in high-performance computing

Robert B. Ross, a researcher with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and a member of the Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering (NAISE), has been named a recipient of the DOE’s prestigious Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award.

The award honors mid-career scientists and engineers for exceptional contributions in research and development that supports the DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration and its mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.

Ross was recognized for his ​“numerous and seminal contributions in high-performance computing (HPC), with outstanding contributions and achievements in the fields of parallel input/output, storage, data analysis, and communication software which have addressed real-world needs and, in turn, enabled the advancement and research of the DOE’s science community.”

Robert B. Ross“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” Ross said. “It reflects not only my own achievements, but the contributions of my collaborators and the deeply supportive environment offered at Argonne that has enabled me to conduct groundbreaking research.”

Ross’s work has focused on three challenging areas: storage, parallel I/O, and data management, and visualization. His accomplishments range from the design of the parallel file system PVFS, to development of application I/O interfaces enabling deployment of I/O optimizations, and to high-fidelity simulations for exploring new system software designs.

“We are delighted that Rob has received this prestigious and well-deserved honor,” said Peter Voorhees, Frank C. Engelhart Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and (by courtesy) professor of engineering sciences and applied mathematics and codirector of NAISE. “As a member of NAISE, Rob has made many important contributions to the field and is an exemplar of the value of the partnership between these two institutions.”

Most recently, he has contributed to the provision of tools necessary for application scientists to better understand the results of their file system access decisions and test them on current and future large-scale systems.

“Robert is a true leader with an impressive record of achievements, technical and organizational leadership, and creativity in addressing critical problems in the areas of parallel input/output, storage, data analysis, and communication software,” said Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director of Argonne’s Computing, Environment and Life Sciences directorate. ​“We at Argonne are proud that DOE has recognized his work, and we look forward to his continuing accomplishments in the emerging exascale era.”

Currently a senior computer scientist in Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science (MCS) division, Ross received his PhD in computer engineering from Clemson University in 2000, and joined Argonne that same year as an Enrico Fermi Scholar. As a member of NAISE, Ross works with other Northwestern and Argonne researchers to create powerful collaborations in fields such as energy, biological and environmental systems, data science and computation, materials, and national security. He also holds an appointment at the University of Chicago Consortium for Advanced Science and Engineering.

His research accomplishments are complemented by his leadership in the DOE community. Ross currently is director of the DOE SciDAC RAPIDS Institute, focusing on community outreach to support scientists with application development. He also served as director of SciDAC’s Institute of Scalable Data Management, Analysis and Visualization and associate director of its Institute of Ultra-Scale Visualization.

His work has earned him numerous awards, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers and two R&D 100 awards. He was also named by the US National Academy of Sciences as a Kavli Fellow.

The E.O. Lawrence award includes a citation signed by the Secretary of Energy, a gold medal bearing the likeness of physicist and Nobel Laureate Ernest Orlando Lawrence, and $20,000. The award was presented on Tuesday, January 19, during a virtual broadcast from Washington, DC.

Learn more about this the 2020 E.O. Lawrence Awards.