Astronaut Scholarship Foundation

Created By The Mercury 7 Astronauts

Scholar Spotlight: Joseph Han


Astronaut Scholar Joseph Han (Texas A&M University 1999-2000) is enabling research in simulation and modeling through high-performance computing (HPC) – combining the power of hundreds, even thousands of regular computers to solve previously intractable problems.

At Penguin Computing, Han guides the company into areas where technology and science intersect to provide the greatest impact. This work is a continuation of previous research where Han used Beowulf clusters to perform ab initio quantum chemical simulations of industrial processes such as thermal chlorination for Dow Chemical, heterogeneous catalysis for stereo-specific polymerization, and Atomic Layer Deposition for semiconductor process manufacturing at Intel.

Recent accomplishments include deploying a cluster that ranked among the world’s Top 100, distributing a number of clusters at Government agencies for defense, energy and aerospace programs, and overseeing an increasing number of international deployments including clusters for Next Generation Gene Sequencing data analysis.

“In the coming year, there will be some revolutionary changes in computing as has been the normal case for computing technology,” said Han. “Two trends that are likely to gain significant adoption is the use of Graphics Processing Units (GPU) for general purpose computing and HPC as a Service where a cluster is hosted in the ‘cloud’ versus at a customer site. Both have the potential for significantly improved performance with a positive impact on power and cooling requirements leading to a ‘greener’ solution.” Han will spend his time deciphering the new technologies to design the best solution for Penguin Computing’s customers in government, academia, and commercial companies.

Han is one of many Scholars who remain dedicated to making advancements in science and technology and who have given back to the Foundation by generously donating both time and money to our cause.