Renaissance Computing Institute Names New Director


CHAPEL HILL, NC — Stanley C. Ahalt, will become the new director of the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), the multi-campus research center with its home base in Chapel Hill, UNC-Chapel Hill Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Tony Waldrop announced today.

Ahalt will assume his new position on Sept. 28. He will also hold a tenured faculty position in the UNC department of computer science.

“Stan is an accomplished, respected scientist and a national leader in the high performance computing community,” said Waldrop. “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, a native of Virginia, comes to RENCI and UNC from Columbus, Ohio, where he led the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) for six years and held a faculty position in the department of electrical and computer engineering at the Ohio State University for 22 years. At OSC, he helped to build the center’s national reputation for providing training, scientific computing and network research services to  researchers in Ohio and nationwide.

He directed the construction of the Third Frontier Network (TFN), now OSCnet, which connects higher education institutions, federal facilities, information technology centers, Public Broadcasting Stations and all of Ohio’s K – 12 schools.. He also led OSC’s Blue Collar Computing Initiative, an effort to enhance Ohio’s economic competitiveness by helping small and medium-size businesses use high performance computing resources.

His national leadership roles include current chair of the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computing, co-chair of the Ohio Broadband Council, extramural member of the National Cancer Institute’s Advanced Biomedical Computing Center’s Oversight Committee, and member of the Council on Competitiveness High Performance Computing Advisory Committee.

Ahalt holds a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Clemson University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech. During his career, he has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on research grants totaling nearly $17 million.

“With Stan Ahalt, RENCI is getting a most capable leader who understands the important role of an advanced technology infrastructure in research and in building a strong economy,” said Edward Seidel, director of the National Science Foundation’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure. “Stan has the vision and the energy to build on the success that RENCI has had so far and to implement the kinds of projects that will take RENCI and North Carolina to new heights.”

“I’m coming here because RENCI, with its unique multi-campus structure and multidisciplinary approach, offers tremendous opportunities,” said Ahalt. “RENCI is positioned to build fruitful partnerships that span campuses and research domains, academia, business and government. 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 Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI), a multi-institutional organization, brings together multidisciplinary experts and advanced technological capabilities to address pressing research issues and to find solutions to complex problems that affect the quality of life in North Carolina, our nation and the world. Founded in 2004 as a major collaboration of Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina, RENCI is a statewide virtual organization. For more see

Media Contacts:
RENCI: Karen Green,, 919-445-9648, 919-619-8213 (mobile)
OSC: Kathryn Kelley,, 614-292-6067, 614-256-3724 (mobile)