Siamak Najafi

Executive Director, Academic & Research Computing

A WPI alumnus with his BS and MS in mechanical engineering, Sia provides vision and leadership in developing strategic plans and policies to guide and manage research computing infrastructure and support at WPI. Sia and his team support and manage research data and high-performance computer clusters to accommodate the expanding WPI research mission and meet federal guidelines for research data management.

In addition, Sia acts as a liaison between the Information Technology (IT) and academic departments concerning IT planning, and support of academic and research missions. His team also leads the area of scientific and engineering application training and support for faculty course development, and student course and project preparation. He coordinates with academic departmental heads, departmental IT staff, faculty, and technical staff to plan, improve, and promote academic computing and technology support. He also negotiates contracts for new academic computing software and maintains a central inventory of software and hardware contracts, licenses, and maintenance agreements.

 

Adriana Hera, PhD

Senior Academic Computer Applications Scientist

Adriana is in charge of developing training programs on scientific/engineering software applications to support the core academic undergraduate and graduate curriculum and research activity. She currently conducts training sessions on Matlab, Mathcad, Ansys, Labview, Comsol, and CES EduPack. Her research interests include structural health monitoring, structural vibrations, system identification, stochastic dynamic systems, and wavelets. She holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from WPI, 2006.

 

James Kingsley

Scientific Computing Systems Specialist

 

Spencer R. Pruitt, PhD

Computational Scientist

Spencer received his BS in chemistry from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2006. Afterwards he entered the graduate program at Iowa State University, and received his PhD in Chemistry in 2012. He continued his work developing the GAMESS computational chemistry program package as a postdoctoral associate at ISU until 2014, and then moved on as a postdoctoral appointee in high performance computing in the Leadership Computing Facility at Argonne National Laboratory from 2014-2016.

Spencer’s role in the Academic & Research Computing department is to provide consulting and programming support for high performance and parallel code development for simulations and data analysis in a variety of disciplines. He assists faculty and students to take advantage of powerful compute clusters on campus or at national labs. His research interests include high performance computing, the study of intermolecular interactions, and the development of highly scalable fragmentation methods.

 

Erica Stults, PhD

Academic Research Application Scientist

A WPI alumnus with her BS, MS, and PhD in mechanical engineering, Erica Stults is an academic computing application scientist in the Academic & Research Computing department. To support the core academic undergraduate and graduate curriculum and research activity she develops training programs on scientific/engineering software applications. She currently conducts training sessions on MatLab and Rapid Prototyping (including 3D Printing), as well as providing consultation for CAD and Rapid Prototyping. Her research interests include computer aided design, rapid prototyping, renewable energy technologies, and optimization.

 

Ermal Toto

Research Data Scientist

A WPI alumnus with his MS (WPI) and BS (WSU) in Computer Science. Prior to joining the Academic & Research Computing group Ermal worked as a Software Engineer for the Science Inquiry Group at WPI (2009-2015) and as Network Administrator for Worcester Public Schools (2005-2009). Ermal is also a PhD Candidate affiliated with the CS department at WPI.

Ermal’s role in the Academic & Research Computing department is to provide consulting and support related to data management, data storage and machine learning techniques for faculty and students.