Dane Skow joined Virginia Tech on March 14 as the university’s new associate vice president for research computing. Skow succeeds Terry Herdman, who retired from Virginia Tech last year.

In this role, Skow will provide strategic leadership and vision, overseeing operations for high-performance and research computing infrastructure and services at Virginia Tech. He will also lead the Division of Information Technology’s Advanced Research Computing unit, which administers the university’s primary high-performance computing resources including large-scale data storage, visualization, and consulting services for the research community.

Skow brings with him over 20 years of experience in high-performance computing (HPC) in academic research settings, private industry consulting and operations, and at national laboratories including the U.S Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

“Dr. Skow brings extensive experience in operating effective high-performance computing facilities,” said Scott Midkiff, vice president for information technology and chief information officer. “Of particular importance, Dane has demonstrated vision and leadership in aligning research computing services to research needs and ensuring that Virginia Tech researchers are as competitive as possible.” 

Most recently, Skow was the executive director at the Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology at North Dakota State University from 2017-22. Before that, he led the Advanced Research Computing Center at the University of Wyoming, where he also served as director for research services in the university’s IT division. 

For the past 11 years, Skow has also run his own HPC consulting firm, Dane Skow Enterprises, helping clients in big data and analytics industries with HPC system design, operations, management, and collaboration. Skow led efforts at Herculesstichting, a foundation funded by the Flemish government to develop collaborative scientific infrastructure in the Dutch-speaking half of Belgium. In that role, Skow developed a strategic plan to support and expand HPC resources and held the inaugural Flemish HPC Users Day in 2014. 

“I am very pleased to be taking this role in advanced research computing at Virginia Tech,” said Skow. “We are in exciting times with many new opportunities ahead. I look forward to helping Virginia Tech expand its computational capabilities in innovative, interdisciplinary research.”

As associate vice president for research computing, Skow is a member of the Division of IT senior leadership team, and he will also work closely with the Office for Research and Innovation, helping to advance the university’s research mission through its continued investment in research computing. 

“Research computing is a critical piece of the infrastructure needed to grow Virginia Tech’s research and innovation enterprise. With Dr. Skow’s extensive leadership experience and technical expertise, I am confident that we will continue to provide a state of the art computing environment for the university research community. I am looking forward to working with Dr. Skow to advance Virginia Tech’s research frontiers and beyond,” said Dan Sui, senior vice president for research and innovation.

Skow earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics from Augustana College and his Ph.D. in high energy physics from the University of Rochester.

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