Ashok Krishnamurthy Named Director of RENCI

Ashok Krishnamurthy has been appointed director of the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI). Krishnamurthy previously served as RENCI’s deputy director and has been engaged in the leadership team that has guided RENCI over the past 10 years. In addition, he has served as interim director of RENCI since last July when previous director Stan Ahalt assumed deanship of the new UNC School of Data Science and Society.

“The momentum behind RENCI’s projects and research has grown rapidly over the last few years, and the road ahead is limitless,” said Ashok Krishnamurthy, director of RENCI. “I’m excited to step into this role and collaborate with our expanding workforce to build a collective vision and roadmap for the future.”

Krishnamurthy has decades of experience as both a researcher and an administrator, with special emphasis on forming and advancing interdisciplinary teams. He collaborates with researchers in informatics, health, and social sciences to develop projects and programs that leverage the power of data science and scalable computing to solve challenging problems. He advises students and mentors post-doctoral scholars and junior investigators and is deeply involved in managing and enhancing research partnerships with other institutions and businesses. 

Krishnamurthy holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, and a master’s and PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Florida. Krishnamurthy’s research over the years has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Department of Energy. 

The mission of RENCI is to develop and deploy data science cyberinfrastructure that helps researchers in academia, government, and business use data to drive discoveries, make informed decisions, and spur economic development. As director, Krishnamurthy is responsible for all operations that bring that mission to life, including managing five research groups of over 80 researchers and the Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Support Group (ACIS). In addition, he holds appointments as a research professor in the Department of Computer Science and as co-director for Informatics and Data Science (IDSci) at the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS). 

“Over the next few years, in addition to our continued excellence in fields such as climate science, clinical informatics, and network research infrastructure, I see RENCI emerging as a leader in team science,” said Krishnamurthy. “With our years of experience in creating efficient interdisciplinary teams, RENCI is uniquely positioned to provide expertise on incorporating the most effective research practices, coordination and outreach efforts, and technology and tools to projects on UNC’s campus, in the Triangle, and beyond.”

“[Ashok] brings cross-cutting and highly technical expertise, deep collaborative ties across Carolina, the region, and the world, and a wonderful leadership style,” said Penny Gordon-Larsen, interim vice chancellor for research, in an email sent to UNC deans, department heads, and directors. “We are confident that under his leadership, RENCI will continue its trajectory of excellence in the development and deployment of advanced technologies to advance research discoveries and practical innovations.”