Originally appeared in November 2002 HPC Wire

DOE's Robert Harrison To Recieve 2002 Sidney Fernbach Award

Robert J. Harrison, an internationally recognized quantum chemist who is the principal architect of the Northwest Computational Chemistry Software (NWChem), has been named as the recipient of the IEEE Computer Society's 2002 Sidney Fernbach Award.

The Fernbach Award, which will be presented during the SC2002 Awards Program on Thursday, Nov. 21, honors Sidney Fernbach, one of the pioneers in the development and application of high performance computers for the solution of large computational problems. Harrison worked at DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory before joining the staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory this past summer.

Here is additional information about the importance of Harrison's work as noted in the nomination submitted by Horst Simon, director of DOE's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center: "In quantum chemistry there are a number of computational packages, ranging from the pioneering effort called "GAUSSIAN" which was part of John Pople's Nobel Prize-winning work, to more recent commercial packages designed to run on workstations.

NWChem is the first large-scale effort to produce such a code, and the attendant algorithms, for massively parallel computers. Harrison is its principal architect, and is clearly the intellectual power behind its development. Because this code is publicly distributed-and not sold commercially-it has the potential to revolutionize the discipline."

The Sidney Fernbach Award was established by the IEEE Computer Society in 1992 and is awarded for outstanding contributions in the application of high performance computers using innovative approaches