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 the CMO 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 graph analytics 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.

Kannan Venkataraman, Vice President

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.

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.

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 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.

Franz Deimbacher, Board Member

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).


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.

Lou Marchant, Board Member


Lou Marchant is originally from Wyoming and moved to Texas to go to school. She received a BS in Architecture as a Master Builder from UT Arlington and a MS in Civil Engineering from Southern Methodist University specializing in structures and materials.

To put herself through school, Lou bought and sold British sports cars, worked as a Steel Detailer and was a Resident Engineer at various airports for navigational installations. After college she became Frito Lay’s Corporate Architect and Structural Engineer using Finite Element Analysis and Computational Fluid Dynamics products from the Rand Group. This introduced her into the world of HPC using larger computer systems to innovate faster.

Lou then joined the Rand Group to work on special products and was also introduced to Cray Research and the world of supercomputers. At the time, Gene Amdahl was going after Cray Research with his own idea for a supercomputer and started Elxsi Computers. Lou joined Elxsi working on special projects for the soon to be released supercomputer. In the end, the computers were 50 years ahead of their time and the materials were not available to build the systems.  Lou ended up moving to Cray Research as part of the Business Systems Division. The BSD team designed a system to solve HPC business problems which were as computationally intense as engineering simulations.

Three years later, Cray Research was sold to Silicon Graphics and the Cray BSD group was then sold to Sun Microsystems. At Sun, Lou was Board Chair of the 50 Data Center Ambassadors and Product Boss for the E10k, E15K, E20k and the E25k driving the division to a multi-billion a year product line.

After 14 years Sun was sold to Oracle Corp. and Lou joined IBM as a Pureflex Computer Specialist focused on solving HPC problems for Aerospace and Defense companies. She was successful until IBM sold the Pureflex Systems to Lenovo. Lou then joined Cray Computers as an Account Executive. While at Cray Computers, Lou attended an Aerospace Conference, and the biggest request was to have the capability to run various workflows which normally takes a Cray or large cluster but do it in the cloud.  Later that year, Lou was introduced to Rescale, Inc and they had a control plane for running large engineering simulations in the cloud. Shortly after learning about Rescale, she joined the company and has been working with companies to do HPC in the cloud for over five years.

Outside of HPC,  Lou is a Driving Instructor at the racetrack, enjoys vintage racing, collecting classic British cars and motorcycles and traveling around the globe.