Aris Candris

Senior Vice President, Nuclear Services, Westinghouse Electric Company
PHOTO: Aris Candris at the podium in Mellon Auditorium

Thank you, Jim. It’s nice to be introduced by a Westinghouse alum - especially one who has played such an important role in the Supercomputing Center’s success.

And it’s a real pleasure to be with you all today. I’m here on behalf of our CEO, Steve Tritch, who is out of town this week. But I am also here on behalf of the employees of Westinghouse Electric Company, who are — and should be — proud of what we’re celebrating today.

Westinghouse has a long history of holding a leading-edge position in - among other things — high-performance computing. For that reason, we were pleased to partner with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh to make the Supercomputing Center possible.

We recognized that it made good sense for the investment associated with the Center to be put into things like high-powered computers…rather than into bricks and mortar. That’s why for 20 years, the Supercomputing Center’s flagship computers have been housed at our Westinghouse Energy Center facility in Monroeville.

We were happy to provide a home to the computers then, and we’re happy to do so now.

The Supercomputing Center takes up about 10,000 square feet on the ground floor of the Westinghouse Energy Center and the computers that are located there are capable of more than 16 trillion calculations per second.

When I was in grad school at CMU in the mid 1970s, I was thrilled to be exposed to what were then very high-powered computers: a UNIVAC 1108, and an IBM 360 - both of which were, at that time, state-of-the-art … and both of which processed about a million calculations per second.

Today we’re talking about supercomputers that process 16 trillion calculations a second. 16 trillion! Boy, am I jealous!

Interestingly, in addition to performing calculations, the computers at the Energy Center also generate enough heat to keep the West Tower of our two-tower facility - and its employees — warm throughout the winter months. That’s a side benefit.

Over the years we have used the computers to supplement our Westinghouse computing capabilities. We have performed very sophisticated structural analyses and other demanding computations associated with the design of nuclear fuel systems, nuclear power plant reactor pressure vessels, piping… and the like.

Today, Westinghouse’s E-business is based on Internet connectivity provided by the Supercomputing Center.

Westinghouse has a long tradition of giving back to the communities in which we are located… whether through the volunteer efforts of our employees or the corporate work of the Westinghouse Foundation. Having PSC’s computers in our facilities provides an opportunity for us to give something back to the nation as well. It’s the right thing to do. Accordingly, we provide our services at cost, drawing on our reservoir of engineering and management talent as it is needed to help PSC — and its users — be successful.

The Council on Competitiveness has said that, “in order to out-compete, you have to out-compute.” Competitiveness is one of the most pressing issues we face in today’s global economy, and high-performance computing is critical to our ability to compete.

The Supercomputing Center’s services are sought after - and provided — to the regional and national research community to advance the state of science today. From California to Texas to Southwestern Pennsylvania, PSC serves scientists, engineers and researchers across the nation.

The Supercomputing Center has been, is currently, and plans to continue to be, at the leading edge in the world of computation and scientific use of computation. The work that’s being done here in Pittsburgh is vitally important, and is helping to improve the quality of life for each us.

Whether it is PSC’s 10-year collaboration with the University of Oklahoma on forecasting storms… or its work to advance the nation’s ability to understand the functions of the human brain and nervous system through neuroscience… or drilling down into the structure of DNA and proteins in the human body… scientists and researchers throughout the nation are using these computer systems to make the world a better place.

Together with co-founders Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, Westinghouse is pleased to join - with Governor Rendell, Dr. Olsen, President Cohon, Chancellor Nordenberg… and so many distinguished guests — in this celebration of the Supercomputing Center’s first 20 years. Today, just like Westinghouse, PSC is growing. We wish you well in your new office space at 300 South Craig. We very much look forward to at least 20 more years together.