Board of Directors

As a charitable service-based non-profit organization (NPO) educating and connecting the High Performance Computing (HPC) user community to state of art technology for the purpose of optimizing business processes and workforce advancement. Our technology focus includes AI/Machine Learning, Data Science, Cloud Computing, and Visualization utilized in applications ranging from Energy, Life Sciences, Manufacturing and Engineering, Financial Services, Academia, and Government.

Steve Lutz, President & Board Chair

SL Consulting

Steve has 40 years of experience as a sales and marketing executive in the field of visualization as it applies to VR technologies both from a hardware and software perspective. He has experience in the vertical markets of Academic, Energy, Government, Manufacturing, Medical and Transportation.

He has established and managed direct sales organizations, marketing organizations and alternate distribution channels for two global computer graphics companies. Successfully established joint marketing relationships with a number of organizations in the Visualization market space allowing for significant revenue growth in the organization he has worked in. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Steve has resided in Los Angeles, CA, Portland, Oregon and currently in Richmond, TX.

He is currently President of SL Consulting, a Sales and Marketing Consulting Company, President of the Society of High Performance Computing Professionals, an HPC 501c3 user group organization, Greater Houston Partnership Ambassador and President of Board of Governors at Pecan Grove County Club.

Martin Huarte, Executive Director

University of Houston

Martin won a very competitive scholarship to pursue a Doctorate degree at the University of Cambridge, UK, where he had the opportunity of taking some lectures from Prof. Stephen Hawking and other great scientist.

Martin’s Ph.D. dissertation used high performance computing (HPC) systems to model magnetized outflows like some observed to be ejected by very powerful, distant galaxies. In 2009 he was hired by the University of Rochester, Rochester NY, to co-develop the multi-physics, parallel, scalable, adaptive-mesh-refinement, HPC code called AstroBear. He had a joint appointment as Senior Scientist/Application Developer at the Institute of Optics, too.

Martin’s Physics/HPC models and algorithms have produced several well cited publication in peer reviewed journals, including Science Magazine. He was elected a member of The Royal Astronomical Society of the UK in 2016, and has also being a member of The American Astronomical Society, The Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) SIGHPC Group, and The Society of HPC Professionals.

Huarte-Espinosa joined the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute as a High-Performance Computing (HPC) Specialist in 2014, where he provided consulting and training services to the community on technical and systematic computing and HPC methods for STEM research. As Associate Director, Huarte-Espinosa is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the HPE DSI and implements new campaigns and activities to realize the vision of the institute.

Franz Deimbacher, Vice President

Amazon Web Services

Dr. Franz Deimbacher is currently the World-Wide Tech Lead for Oil/Gas at Amazon Web Services in Houston. He has more than 25 years of experience in Oil/Gas and IT, and has previously held technical, operational, and executive positions in Schlumberger, IHSMarkit as well as several technology startup companies. His expertise includes high-performance and petro-technical computing, business and technology integration, E&P data lakes, oil/gas software, digital oilfield projects, and data-driven workflows (eg using analytics, machine-learning, etc).


Scott Denham, Treasurer

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Scott is a solutions architect for HPE, working on current and future HPC and storage solutions in the Pre-Sales team, following their acquisition of Cray. He began his career in IT after being introduced to digital electronics while studying as an avionics technician for the U.S. Air Force Reserves. After training in inertial navigation and radar, he went on to study Electrical Engineering at the University of Houston, and during this time joined Western Geophysical, where his interest in geophysical processing began.

During a 28 year career at Western, he worked in a number of roles on systems ranging from SEL minicomputers to Fujitsu, Thinking Machines and Cray supercomputers.  He served as a member of SHARE’s Numerically Intensive Computing committee, and later as Project Manager of the SHARE SP Project. Scott joined IBM’s HPC Center of Competency / Deep Computing technical team from 2000-2014, assisting customers in design and implementation of HPC solutions, including a number of Top 500 systems.

Doug Norton, Secretary

Inspire Semiconductor

Doug is Vice President of Business Development for Inspire Semiconductor. He works with both customers and partners to help them leverage InspireSemi’s breakthrough accelerator solution for HPC, AI, and Blockchain that deliver new standards of speed, efficiency, and flexibility.

Doug began his career in product development at IBM and moved into the sales & marketing organization to expand IBM’s reach into new engineering/scientific markets. He then went on to various alliance partner, sales, and marketing leadership positions at Cadence Design Systems and early stage companies such as CoWare, Newisys, Virtana, and Nimbix.

Doug is a founding team member of the Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium (TEXGHS), is on the board of Technology Advisor Group – Austin, serves on the Venture Mentoring Service for the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI), and is a technology and business advisor to HealthClicks. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Rachel Bielstein​, Marketing Manager

Broadleaf Group

Rachel Bielstein has over 12 years IT industry experience, focusing over past 3 years on High Performance Computing in the Oil & Gas Sector. During that time, Rachel engaged with The NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute (DLI) to bring innovative Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning content to Houston for companies in the O&G, Energy and Medical sectors.

Rachel joined Broadleaf Group in March 2020 and is active in the Houston Energy Data Science Group, The Society of High Performance Computing Professionals and SIM Women.

Maryam Rahmani, Board Member


Maryam Rahmani is a Sr. Business Development Manager with Microsoft Security Solutions. In her role, she is committed to enablement and empowerment of Microsoft customers through collaboration with partners leveraging Microsoft’s end-to-end intelligent security platform and partners’ strengths. Previously, she worked as a consultant in a cyber risk advisory helping organizations mitigate cyber related risks.

Maryam holds a Master of Science in cybersecurity policy from the University of Maryland University College and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Florida. She is a senior IEEE member and is CISSP and CCSK certified.

Maryam is deeply committed to outreach and awareness activities in support of encouraging more women to pursue careers in science and technology. She serves as the Forum Co-Chair for the IEEE Women in Engineering Forum USA East and previously served as the co-Chair for the inaugural NYIT Girls in Engineering and Technology Day 2019.

Noe Garcia, Board Member


Noe is a Global Account Executive at Intel responsible for establishing CXO and VP level relationships at F100 and G1000 accounts. His responsibilities include relationship building, business analysis, industry knowledge, program management, joint public relations and advertisement, contracts, educating, competitive reporting,and evangelizing Intel products and architectures.

Kannan Venkataraman, Board Member

WesternGeco, Schlumberger

Kannan is currently the Vice President of Digital Operations Support for WesternGeco, Schlumberger, based in Houston.During the course of his career, Kannan has worked in a variety of disciplines – seismic data processing, technical training, computer systems design & development, data center and cloud operations, and in senior IT management.

He began his working career immediately upon completing his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the American University of Beirut.  Thanks to company mergers and acquisitions, he has had an interesting employment history, spanning different companies – GSI (a subsidiary of Texas Instruments), Halliburton Geophysical Services, Western Atlas Inc. and finally Schlumberger – all with just one job interview!

He has served in several locations – London, Beirut, Cairo, Madrid, and Dallas – before moving to Houston almost 30 years ago. Kannan has been a member of the Schlumberger Employee Credit Union Board for many years and chairs the Technology Committee.