NNSA Awards First NNSA Science and Technology Excellence Award to Michel McCoy from LLNL

NNSA News:

Mike McCoy shows off his NNSA Science and Technology Award to a standing ovation crowd of his peers. Photo by Jacqueline McBride

LIVERMORE, Calif. – Administrator Thomas D’Agostino of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today awarded the first NNSA Science and Technology Excellence Award to Dr. Michel McCoy from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for his leadership with the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program.

McCoy serves as the program director for ASC in the Weapons and Complex Integration Principal Directorate at LLNL. McCoy is also the deputy associate director for the LLNL Computation Directorate and leads the Integrated Computing and Communications Department.

“I applaud the leadership by Dr. Michel McCoy and his continued commitment to the Advanced Simulation and Computing program,” said D’Agostino. “The award presented to Dr. McCoy represents NNSA’s deep commitment to the science and technology that serves the breadth of our national security missions. Dr. McCoy’s leadership helped NNSA’s Sequoia supercomputer be named as the fastest supercomputer in the world. We are fortunate to have dedicated professionals like Dr. McCoy who are truly leaders in their fields working to promote President Obama’s nuclear security agenda.”

The NNSA Science and Technology Excellence Award is the highest level of recognition for science and technology achievement in NNSA. It recognizes accomplishment that can include vision, leadership, innovation and intellectual contributions. The newly established award is intended to draw attention to the remarkable scientific and technological successes that are achieved by the researchers that support the NNSA mission.

As a deputy associate director in Computation at LLNL, McCoy is responsible for the advancement of High Performance Computing (HPC). In particular, he takes responsibility for the strategic direction employed by the Livermore Computing Center, which is considered the world’s premier scientific computing site. LLNL manages more than 23 petaflops of computing power on 22 HPC systems across the classified and unclassified computing environments serving laboratory research.

Photo: From left, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Don Cook, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Science and Technology Dimitri Kusnezov, Director Parney Albright, Mike McCoy, NNSA Administrator Tom D’Agostino and WCI Principal Associate Director Bruce Goodwin. Photo by Jacqueline McBride

As program director in Weapons and Complex Integration, he is responsible for maintaining a productive and responsive relationship with the NNSA headquarters ASC office, with maintaining appropriate programmatic balance across the various ASC elements at LLNL, including integrated codes, physics and engineering models, verification and validation, computational systems and environments, and computing infrastructure, and in forging a coherent path to predictive simulation, necessary to affect the goals of complex transformation.

McCoy has worked with LLNL science teams to establish institutional computing for laboratory scientists and to foster partnerships with industry and academia. This emphasis is part of a vision for enhancing the role of simulation so that all programs, including the underlying science base that supports these programs, remain computationally enabled and intellectually healthy. He led the development of a strategy for simultaneous exploitation of multiple computing technologies to meet a broad spectrum of mission requirements at low cost. As a result of the successful implementation of this strategy, McCoy was recognized in the LLNL Edward Teller Prize in 2004.

McCoy received his bachelor’s degree (1969) and doctorate in mathematics (1975) from the University of California at Berkeley. He joined LLNL in 1975 as a student employee. Upon completing his doctoral dissertation, he became a staff scientist in the National Energy Research Supercomputer Center (NERSC) as a computational physicist with an emphasis on Fokker-Planck based transport simulations. He went on to become group leader of the Office of Science’s NERSC Massively Parallel Computing Group and then its deputy director.