Board of Directors

A charitable, service-based non-profit 501(c)(3) 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 in Energy, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Engineering, Financial Services, Academia, and Government.

Doug Norton, President & Board Chair

Inspire Semiconductor

Doug is VP of Business Development for Inspire Semiconductor, an Austin-based startup leveraging the open RISC-V CPU instruction set architecture (ISA). He works with customers and partners to help them leverage InspireSemi’s breakthrough accelerated computing solution for HPC, AI, and blockchain applications that delivers blistering speed, energy efficiency, an open developer-friendly programming model, and game-changing affordability

He 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 senior leadership positions at Cadence Design Systems and early stage companies such as CoWare, Newisys, Virtana, and Nimbix.

Doug is a founding member of the Texas Global Health Security Innovation Consortium (TEXGHS), serves on the Venture Mentoring Service for the Austin Technology Incubator (ATI) at The University of Texas, is a technology and business advisor to HealthClicks, is on the board of Technology Advisors Group, and is a member of the RISC-V SIG-HPC and marketing committees. He earned his BS in Electrical Engineering cum laude from Missouri University of Science & Technology.

Martin Huarte, Ph.D., Executive Director


Martin is the HPC Developers Relations Manager at AMD where he works with ecosystem partners to drive support for their accelerated computing solutions.

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. His 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 AMD as HPC Developers Relations Manager in January 2022. Prior to that, he was at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute as a High-Performance Computing (HPC) Specialist since 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 was 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).


Steve Lutz, Treasurer

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 and past 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.

Kannan Venkataraman, Secretary

WesternGeco, Schlumberger

Kannan recently retired from Schlumberger as Vice President of Digital Operations Support for WesternGeco, after more than 48 years with essentially one company.

He started his career immediately upon completing his Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the American University of Beirut, and thanks to company mergers and acquisitions, he has had an interesting employment journey – Geophysical Services Inc. (a subsidiary of Texas Instruments), Halliburton Geophysical Services, Western Atlas, Baker Hughes, and finally Schlumberger – all with just one job interview!

He has worked in a variety of disciplines: data processing, technical training, HPC systems design & development, Data Center and Cloud design & operations and senior corporate IT management, and has served in many locations: Beirut, Cairo, London, Madrid, and Dallas, before moving to Houston. Kannan is a member of the Schlumberger Employee Credit Union (SECU) Board and chairs the Technology Committee.

Rachel Bielstein​, Marketing Director


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 Submer in 2021 and is active in the Houston Energy Data Science Group, The Society of High Performance Computing Professionals, and SIM Women.

Scott Denham, Board Member

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.

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.

Melyssa FratkinBoard Member

Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)

Melyssa Fratkin is the Industrial Programs Director at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin. In this role, she oversees TACC’s corporate partnerships and government relations activities. Melyssa focuses on developing and managing strong collaborations between industry and academia with the Science & Technology Affiliates for Research (STAR) program.

Melyssa is the founding co-chair of Texas Women in HPC, an organization aimed at supporting women and minorities in high performance computing in industry, academia and government across the state of Texas, by engaging in initiatives to raise awareness and broaden diversity in HPC. She also serves as Communications Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on High Performance Computing (SIGHPC).

Melyssa received a BA from Rutgers University and MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.