What we Do

Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC) was created with the vision to encourage women to participate in the HPC community by providing fellowship, education, and support to women and the organizations that employ them.

Through collaboration and networking, WHPC strives to bring together women in HPC and technical computing while encouraging women to engage in outreach activities and improve the visibility of inspirational role models. WHPC is stewarded by EPCC at the University of Edinburgh. WHPC operates under the WHPC Terms of Reference that covers WHPC’s operation, governance and membership.

Read Our Vision, Mission & Strategic Goals

the whpc team

Lisa Arafune

WHPC Director of Communications & Outreach | Forge Policy Solutions

Lisa Arafune is the Director of Forge Policy Solutions.

She has a wealth of experience in government relations, including more than a decade representing higher education and university-based research interests on Capitol Hill. She has advocated for the research community and major federal science agencies, including NSF, DOD, USDA, NIH, DOE, and NASA.

Ms Arafune leads her own government relations firm and has managed federal relations for Purdue University as Director of the Washington, DC Office. Her interest in politics began when working in a state senate and later as Chief Clerk for a U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Committee.

Ms Arafune holds a Master’s of Science in Management from Purdue University and an MBA from Budapest University of Economic Sciences.

George Beckett

WHPC Treasurer | EPCC

George Beckett is a senior project manager, at the University of Edinburgh, with more than 15 years of experience managing software-engineering and computational-science projects with both commercial and academic partners. He specialises in supercomputing for major facilities and is presently involved in both the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (in construction in Chile) and the Extreme Light Infrastructure (being established across Czech Republic, Hungary, and Romania).

Previously, during 2012–2015, George was the Deputy Director of the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth, Western Australia. His role at Pawsey focused on promoting uptake of supercomputing facilities, developing the computational-research community in Australia and securing funding to support it, as well as growing Pawsey’s capabilities to support the significant Australian radio-astronomy community (most notably the Square Kilometre Array telescope and its precursors).

George has an academic background in computational mathematics: graduating with an Honours degree in mathematics from New College, Oxford and a Ph.D. in Computation Mathematics from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

Cristin Merritt

WHPC Business Development | Alces Flight Limited

Cristin Merritt serves as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Alces Flight.  With over 20 years of experience in enterprise technology, and over 7 in HPC, Cristin’s skills are focused on understanding technology market trends, specifically in finding the intersection between hardware, software, and people, in order to bring about successful supercomputing solutions. At Alces Flight, Cristin has served within the partners and program teams, successfully launching complex integration projects, of which three have so far gone on to win global recognition for their accomplishments in multi-platform (hybrid) HPC.
Cristin graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Classics and fell into tech while living in Houston, Texas.  She is a proud US/UK dual national, moving to Oxford, United Kingdom in 2008 where she currently resides with her husband, son, and far too many animals.
Mozhgan Kabiri Chimeh

WHPC Director of Chapters and Affiliates

Dr. Mozhgan Kabiri Chimeh joined NVIDIA in January 2020, helping bring GPU and HPC to the growing user community in Europe and worldwide. She leads the hackathons and boot camps in the EMEA region. She is a community builder passionate about open-source software and is actively involved in the HPC and RSE communities. As a Software Sustainability Institute Fellow and Research Software Engineer (RSE) advocate, she actively promotes reproducible and sustainable software using HPC, particularly GPUs, through training, seminars, research software consultancy, and outreach. Before joining NVIDIA, Mozhgan was a post-doctoral researcher in massive-scale complex systems simulation with accelerated computing at the University of Sheffield, UK. She worked in complex system modelling using emerging high-performance parallel architectures.
She holds a Ph.D. in computer science and an M.S. in information technology both from the University of Glasgow, UK

Mariann Hardey

WHPC Director of Research

Mariann Hardey is a Digital Culture, Technology, and Business Professor at the Durham University Business School. She is also a member of Advanced Research Computing (ARC) at the University of Durham, where her role promotes inclusiveness and participation in computing. Mariann advocates for self-improvement in education, focusing on representation among business leaders and technology practitioners. Her work has been featured in international media, and she has given numerous presentations at international conferences and events, including the first TEDx event in the United Kingdom. Mariann’s two most recent books are The Culture of Women in Technology: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and Household Self-Tracking in a Global Health Crisis. Both have been recognised by technical organisations and the academy. The Culture of Women in Tech is included in the Master Class curriculum of the UK Government Digital Service to promote employment reform and diversity. Her upcoming book, WFH: Women Freedom and the Hidden Cost of Working From Home, explores the boundaries of women’s digital work outside of traditional settings and asks if it is possible to achieve a genuinely flexible and inclusive way of working.

Molly Presley

WHPC Director of Communications and Outreach

Molly is the SVP of Marketing at Hammerspace.

She brings over 15 years of product and growth marketing leadership experience to the Hammerspace team. Molly has led the marketing organization and strategy at fast growth, innovators such as Pantheon Platform, Qumulo, Quantum Corporation, DataDirect Networks (DDN), and SpectraLogic. In these companies she was responsible for the go-to-market strategy for SaaS, hybrid cloud, and data center solutions across a range of data intensive verticals and use cases. She also founded the ActiveArchive Alliance, an industry coalition formed to educate end users on the evolving new technologies that enable reliable, online and efficient access to archived data and was a SNIA Board Member for several years.

Christine Runnegar

WHPC General Secretary

Christine Runnegar serves as Board Chair of the Internet Security Research Group which serves as a home for public-benefit digital infrastructure projects such as the Let’s Encrypt certificate authority and Prossimo on memory safety. Christine is Senior Director, Internet Trust at the Internet Society advocating for an open, globally connected, secure and trustworthy Internet. With a background in regulatory litigation and an international outlook, Christine complements her security and privacy expertise with a deep appreciation of how technology works.

Christine co-chairs the W3C Privacy Interest Group (PING), bringing privacy-by-design to Web standards, and has served in the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Privacy Engineering Section Advisory Board, and European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) Permanent Stakeholders Group.

Elsa Gonsiorowski

WHPC Director of Business Development

Elsa Gonsiorowski is a HPC technical support consultant at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where she specializes in I/O support and documentation. She graduated in 2016 with a Ph.D. in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Elsa has been an active member and volunteer for WHPC since she was first accepted as an early career lighting speaker at the WHPC SC15 workshop.

Carolyn Devany

Data Vortex Technologies

Carolyn Coke Reed Devany is the President of Data Vortex Technologies. With a focus on business development and strategic partnership, her priority for Women in HPC is building relationships and strengthening bonds between the organization and the HPC industry. Born and raised in the Southern United States, Carolyn was brought up in an environment that did little to foster professional growth for women. However, that did not prevent her from leading a next-generation computing company on the journey from a great idea to successful commercialization. Carolyn has been with Data Vortex since its inception in 1997. Working nearly twenty years in the industry, she has experienced first-hand the discrepancy in gender equality at the executive and entrepreneurial levels. Carolyn is an advocate for increasing the presence of women in leadership and funding roles within the HPC community. She believes this can be addressed at the earliest levels of education and is an active voice for inspiring young girls to confidently pursue entrepreneurial and innovative passions.

Alison Kennedy

STFC Hartree Centre

Alison Kennedy is the current Managing Director of PRACE and is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Partnership for Research Computing in Europe (PRACE). She joined the STFC Hartree Centre in the UK as Director in March 2016. The Hartree Centre provides collaborative research, innovation and development services that accelerate the application of HPC, data science, analytics and cognitive techniques, working with both businesses and research partners to gain competitive advantage. Prior to joining Hartree, she worked in a variety of managerial and technical HPC roles at EPCC for more than 23 years.

Mark Parsons

EPCC at the University of Edinburgh

Mark is the Director of EPCC and holds a Personal Chair in High Performance Computing. He is also the Associate Dean for e-Research at the University of Edinburgh. He joined EPCC in 1994 as a software developer working on several industrial contracts following a PhD in Particle Physics undertaken on the LEP accelerator at CERN in Geneva. In 1997 he became the Centre’s Commercial Manager and subsequently its Commercial Director. His career has focused on the application of modelling and simulation enabled by HPC to solve real-world problems faced by both the scientific research and business communities. From the outset, he has strongly supported the creation of Women in HPC and is committed to ensuring EPCC is a diverse and rewarding place to work for all.

Jessica Popp

Independent Consultant

Jessica Popp is a private consultant focused on engineering process (SDLC) and technical program management. Prior to this, Jessica held multiple HPC leadership roles including as General Manager for the Infinite Memory Engine product at DDN and Senior Director of Engineering at Intel leading the High Performance Data Division which developed the Lustre parallel file system. Jessica’s career, spanning more than 20 years has been focused on software development. She started as an application programmer in industry, moved to data warehousing, and then following her passion for leading software teams found herself in HPC over ten years ago. Having spent much of her career being the only, or one of a very few women on a team, she is excited to see and be a champion for the increased focus on diversity in engineering.

Marie-Christine Sawley


Marie-Christine Sawley has been the Intel Director of the Exascale Lab in Paris since its opening at the end of 2010.  Prior to this, she worked for 3 years as senior scientist for the ETH Zurich in the CMS computing team at CERN. Between 2003 and 2008, she was the director of the CSCS, the Swiss national supercomputing centre, driving the growth and computing capacities of the centre during this period. During her career at EPFL, between 1988 and 2003, she managed a number of high profile HPC projects across a variety of disciplines.  Over the last 20 years, she has built expertise as HPC technology manager to serve the advancements of world class science, mission critical computing, extreme sporting competition or industrial partnerships.

Marie-Christine holds a degree in Physic and a PHD in Plasma Physics (1985) from EPFL.  She spent two periods in Australia: for a postdoc at Sydney Uni in 1987-88 and for a sabbatical leave in 1999. Marie-Christine is a Swiss and French national.

John Towns

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

John Towns holds two appointments at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the Executive Director for Science & Technology at NCSA (the National Center for Supercomputing Applications), and Deputy CIO for Research IT in the Office of the CIO. He is also PI and Project Director for the NSF-funded XSEDE project (the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment). Towns provides leadership and direction in the development, deployment and operation of advanced computing resources and services in support of a broad range of research activities. In addition, he is the founding Chair of the Steering Committee of PEARC (Practice and Experience in Advanced Research Computing).

Sarvani Chadalapaka

WHPC Mentoring Programme Director | University of California, MERCED

Sarvani Chadalapaka is WHPC’s Mentoring Programme Director as well as the High Performance Computing Administrator with the Office of Information Technology at the University of California, Merced. In her current role at UC Merced since 2016, she enables researchers affiliated with UC Merced to use campus-wide and regional HPC resources, as well as managing the hardware and software of the campus cluster called the MERCED Cluster (NSF Award #1429783). As an XSEDE Campus Champion, she participates in Campus Champion information sharing sessions and acts as a bridge between the local campus and XSEDE resources. Every week, Sarvani facilitates a hands-on HPC clinic where users can get one-on-one help and engage in peer mentoring. Through her efforts, HPC users on campus have increased over 300% and the MERCED cluster has more than doubled its cores, while also expanding the software supported. She is a recipient of Internet2 Inclusivity Initiative Award in Recognition of Carrie Regenstein, UCCSC’s community award for Research IT, received scholarships by CEE-Broadening Participation Program for travel support to PEARC. Sarvani holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas-Arlington and a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering from India. She has always been an ardent supporter of WSTEM and also participates in numerous campus community activities, such as the Polynesian dance troupe.

Tania Jareen

WHPC Fellowship Programme Director | Wichita State University

Tania Jareen is helping the community as a faculty at Wichita State University. As a leader in the classroom, she is teaching new concepts and skills in the Cyber Security field. She is one of six women in the United States awarded to build the world’s fastest and most powerful network at the SuperComputing conference funded by the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy. She is a Computer Systems Engineering Committee Member for Grace Hopper conference and Technical Committee Member for PEARC conference. She is a reviewer for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) award application for Aspiration for Computing (AiC) as well as an application for Collegiate Award. She was a Network Engineer at Purdue University to manage high-speed networks that connect researchers and scientists across the world. She assisted the network migration team at Cox Communications, one of the leaders in the internet broadband communities. She earned a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Computer Networking from Wichita State University. She chased her dream to be a part of the high-performance computing community and traveled a long distance from Bangladesh where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. She is excited to work for the team and organization where she can help the community, especially the young women who can be the greatest contributor to the technological revolution.

Lara Kisielewska

WHPC Commications & Graphic Design | Xand Marketing

Lara Kisielewska is President of Xand Marketing

Nandhana Sakthivel

WHPC Blog Editor | University of Trieste, SISSA, ICTP and University of Udine

Nandhana Sakthivel is currently a Master’s student of Data Science and Scientific Computing with Computational Science and Engineering as her curriculum and Quantum computing as her specialisation at University of Trieste, SISSA, ICTP and University of Udine, Italy. Before joining here, she worked as a Software Development Engineer at ZoomRx Healthcare Pvt.Ltd, India with her focus on full stack web development and test automation software development.

She completed her Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Engineering from College of Engineering, Guindy, India, where she was born and raised. Her main interest lies in High Performance computing, Quantum Software development and Quantum Cryptography. She believes that exposing opportunities in HPC to students at the university level will bring more of them into this field.

Misbah Mubarak

Dr. Misbah Mubarak is a software engineer at Amazon Web Services. She received her Ph.D. and master’s degrees in computer science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2015 and 2011, respectively. She also has experience working at Argonne National Laboratory, CERN, Switzerland, and Teradata Corporation. She was the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright scholarship and an ACM SIGSIM PADS Ph.D. colloquium award and was a finalist for Google Anita Borg scholarship.

Mubarak has authored or co-authored over 30 papers in premiere high-performance computing (HPC) venues, including the IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS) and the Supercomputing (SC) conference and the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems journal. She served as the chair/co-chair of the women in HPC series of workshops at SC and International Supercomputing Conference and has served a program committee member in several notable HPC conferences.

Lorna Rivera

WHPC Director of Research | CEISMC, Georgia Tech

Lorna Rivera serves as a Research Scientist in Program Evaluation at the Georgia Tech Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC). Her work focuses on the intersection of scientific content, pedagogy, and equity with the goal of being both methodologically innovative and socially responsible. Rivera has conducted evaluations primarily funded by the National…

Marjolein Oorsprong

WHPC General Secretary | Prace

Marjolein Oorsprong heads the communication and outreach activities for the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE). With a Master in international business and languages, and more than 10 years of professional experience in international associations and project management, she leads her multi-national team of 20+ professionals, connecting PRACE with the stakeholders of the HPC…

Sharon Broude Geva

WHPC Director of Chapters | Independent Consultant

Dr. Sharon Broude Geva is an independent consultant, and prior to that served as Director for Innovation and Computational Research in the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan (U-M) where over the years she led the Advanced Research Computing unit and helped manage the Statistics, Computation, and Analytics Research…

Kelly Nolan

WHPC Vice Chair & Director Business Development | Talent Strategy

Kelly is the founder of TalentStrategy.org and is a seasoned expert in strategic affairs. Kelly works with executives and boards on diversity and governance approaches. Her clients include research and government institutions, corporations and global initiatives. Kelly develops targeted programs to improve gender equity and engage and retain diverse talent pools for a variety of…

Toni Collis

WHPC Chair | Collis-Holmes Innovations

Dr Toni Collis is the Former Chair and co-founder of (WHPC) and Director of Collis-Holmes Innovations. With a background in business, physics and parallel computing Toni specialises in assisting women make the most of their career, from providing strategy for start-ups to coaching women in leadership and management. Toni provides technical and business insight on…


Learn about the benefits of being a member in Women in HPC, the members, and how you can get involved both as individual or as an organisation.

Find out about partnerships