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She leads the Data Science Engagement Group at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Berkeley National Lab. A native of the U.K., her career spans research in particle physics, cosmology, and computing on both sides of the Atlantic. She obtained her Ph.D. at Edinburgh University, and worked at Imperial College London and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory before joining NERSC. Her group leads the support of supercomputing for experimental science, and her work focuses on data-intensive computing and research. This includes using high-performance computing (HPC) to scale up machine-learning algorithms that can tackle new, larger scientific problems; and leveraging artificial intelligence to gain insight from cosmological data.
Nicola Ferrier received her doctorate from Harvard University in 1992. After postdoctoral fellowships at Oxford University and Harvard, she joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison in 1996. She became an associate professor in 2003 and professor in 2009. She received the NSF CAREER award (1997) and the UW Vilas Associates Professorship (1999) and the UW Honored Instructor Award (2009). She joined the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne in 2013.
Ferrier’s research interests are in the use of computer vision (digital images) to control robots, machinery, and devices, with applications as diverse as medical systems, manufacturing, and projects that facilitate “scientific discovery” (such as her recent project using machine vision and robotics for plant phenotype studies).
During his career with NETL, U.S. Army veteran Jimmy Thornton has worked tirelessly to advance new technology development for Fossil Energy (FE), and that remains true today with current efforts to investigate uses for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for FE technology development.
Born in Kentucky and growing up in Campbells Creek, Thornton joined the U.S. Army at the encouragement of his high school baseball coach who was an Army Reserve drill instructor. Trained as an infantryman and entering service in early 1983, Thornton was stationed in Germany, where he completed French Commando School in Givet, France.
Leaving active service in 1987, Thornton joined the Kentucky National Guard while studying at Eastern Kentucky University, and he later transferred to the West Virginia National Guard after accepting a professional internship with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Morgantown in 1988. Commissioned as an officer in 1992, he served with the 201st Field Artillery and was deployed to Iraq in 2004 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Achieving the rank of major, Thornton retired in 2010 with more than 27 years of service and continues to serve the 201st as an active member of the 201st Association. He said many of the skills and life lessons the army taught him continue to guide him at NETL, where he started working in 1991 when it was known as the Morgantown Energy Technology Center.
Thornton’s work at the Lab as associate director for the Computational Science and Engineering directorate includes advances in applied artificial intelligence, and machine learning, which he said have great potential to benefit the country’s energy industries, especially the existing fleet of coal-fired power plants and the subsurface. He noted that increased data availability and the use of supercomputers can speed up the development cycle of new tools for decision making because machine learning techniques can provide insights beyond our current understanding.
Dr. Warren L. Davis IV is a Principal Member of Technical Staff in the Scalable Analysis and Visualization department in the Center for Computing Research at Sandia National Laboratories. He was the principal investigator for the Hybrid Methods for Cybersecurity Analysis LDRD and the Machine Learning in Adversarial Environments LDRD research projects which had significant impact on cyber operations at the lab. In addition, he is the principal investigator of the Machine Learning for Intelligent Data Capture on Exascale Platforms research project for the DOE ASCR program.
Warren joined the technical staff at Sandia in 2009. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from Florida State in 2006, gaining industry experience as a graduate intern at both the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan in Tokyo and the IBM Almaden Research Center, where he was hired as a Research Staff Member after graduation. Warren has published over 20 journal articles, conference publications, and peer-reviewed presentations, and has worked in the fields of cybersecurity, healthcare informatics, climate modeling, material science, text analytics, combustion, and fluid dynamics, to name a few. In addition, he was awarded the 2019 Black Engineer of the Year Award in Research Leadership.