Thursday, June 28, 2012
By Lynn Latimer Wilson
Michael Lucas has been named Associate Chief Information Officer for Research for the University of Georgia Enterprise Information Technology Services office. Lucas’s appointment will be effective August 1, 2012.
Previous to his appointment at UGA, Lucas served as Chief Technology Officer at Pepperdine University and as Director of Computing Operations at Texas A&M’s Engineering College in Doha, Qatar.
“As we work together with our faculty and senior university leadership to support new programs and research in engineering, science, and medicine, it is important that we conceive of, plan for, design, implement, and support our network, Internet backbone, data center, and other infrastructure through the lens of faculty research,” said Timothy M. Chester, UGA chief information officer. “In Michael Lucas, our faculty and academic leadership shall find a technologist who is committed to serving faculty on their own unique terms and who, most importantly, knows how to be helpful to faculty and when to get out of their way.”
As associate chief information officer, Lucas will provide overall leadership for the Boyd data center, network operations and infrastructure, and EITS support for faculty research. The director of the Georgia Advanced Computing Resource Center (GACRC), a position for which a search is currently ongoing, will also report to Lucas.
As Director of Computing Operations at Texas A&M’s engineering college in Qatar, Lucas was responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of IT services to support engineering education. This included the construction of a $150 million building for engineering teaching and research as well as the implementation of a regional network that connected educational institutions in Qatar with research and education (R&E) networks in Europe and the United States. During his time in Qatar, a new high performance computing center was established featuring a 576 core SGI Altix for high performance computations and an Immersive Visualization Facility (or “Cave”) for the visualization of computational or experimental data. These combined resources today support an active research portfolio in excess of $96 million.
“It is critical that we invest in our capacity for supporting our faculty in their research, and I believe that closer coordination between our data center, network, and HPC resources will allow us to improve and expand our services, as well as provide a stronger context for the renovation and construction of new facilities. We are thrilled that Michael Lucas has chosen to join us here at UGA,” reported CIO Chester.