Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

The Laboratory’s Sequoia supercomputer was selected for a 2012 Breakthrough Award by Popular Mechanics. Sequoia, an IBM BlueGene/Q system, holds the No. 2 ranking on the industry-standard Top500 list of the world’s fastest high-performance computing (HPC) systems. The annual Breakthrough Awards recognize the 10 most “world changing” innovations in fields ranging from computing and engineering to medicine, space exploration, and automotive design. The awards are given in two categories: innovators, whose inventions will make the world smarter, safer, and more efficient in the years to come; and products, which are setting benchmarks in design and engineering.

Clocking 16.3 petaflops (quadrillion floating-point operations per second), Sequoia has also been ranked No. 1 on the Green500 list as the most energy-efficient HPC system and No. 1 on the Graph 500 list thanks to its ability to solve big data problems. Sequoia is running unclassified applications as a part of the testing required before it transitions to classified stockpile stewardship computing for the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program in early 2013. Science being explored by Lawrence Livermore researchers includes high-energy-density plasmas and the electronic structure of heavy metals. Sequoia also has demonstrated its amazing scalability with a three-dimensional simulation of the human heart’s electrophysiology. (See S&TR, September 2012, Venturing into the Heart of High-Performance Computing Simulations.)

Isom Harrison, director of the Laboratory’s Library since 1991, has received the 2012 Lifetime Service Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) for his work as the organization’s Western region chairperson. The award is bestowed by the NOBCChE Board of Directors on individuals whose contributions have been exemplary and served to enhance the day-to-day functioning of NOBCChE consistently over a long time. Harrison has a master’s degree in organic chemistry and has been active in NOBCChE for the past 20 years, serving at the regional level with a focus on community outreach and education. “It is very gratifying to be recognized for the work you do, especially when the recognition is coming from your peers, most of whom are just as deserving,” says Harrison.