RENCI’s Blatecky lauded for outstanding service

RENCI Deputy Director Alan Blatecky was named 2005 Employee of the Year by Tony Waldrop, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The award is presented to the year’s most outstanding employee in the UNC Research and Economic Division.

Blatecky, the first employee recruited by RENCI Director Dan Reed, came to Chapel Hill in early 2004 from the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), where he had been executive director. He worked tirelessly on all the details involved in launching a new institute, from recruiting staff to negotiating office space agreements to acquiring computing systems. Throughout his tenure at RENCI, Blatecky has been a strong advocate for state and national partnerships that allow other campuses and organizations to take full advantage of RENCI’s resources and expertise. In addition, he has used his national reputation in the high-performance computing and computational science communities to establish RENCI as a leader in developing collaborations in the sciences, engineering, arts, humanities, and commerce.

In nearly two years of service, neither illness nor bureaucracy have slowed down Blatecky, and Reed gives him much of the credit for building RENCI into a thriving, growing institute.

“When I arrived in North Carolina two years ago, I had nothing but two moving vans of equipment and a lot of grand ideas about what RENCI could become,” said Reed. “It was Alan who helped me turn those ideas into a functioning research institute. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Alan has made extraordinary contributions to the Carolina campus and is eminently worthy of this recognition. He epitomizes what character and dedication are all about.” In addition to his work at SDSC, Blatecky was director of the National Science Foundation’s Middleware Initiative (NMI), an effort to develop the underlying software foundation needed for a nationwide cyberinfrastructure. Blatecky also served on the advisory committees of the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) and the National Earthquake Engineering Simulation Grid (NEESgrid). In North Carolina, Blatecky was executive director of the North Carolina Networking Initiative and a vice president at the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC) Corp.

RENCI…Catalyst for Innovation
The Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) is a catalyst for innovation in science, engineering, the arts, humanities, and commerce. It fosters multidisciplinary collaborations by leveraging and applying leading edge compute, network, and data information technology resources and capabilities. RENCI is a joint institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina State University that combines the strengths of these three institutions with the social, business and research opportunities of the Research Triangle Park and the state of North Carolina.