The incoming director of one of Memorial University of Newfoundland’s busiest – and essential – service units plans to increase the university’s computing capabilities while building on the solid success the department has already accomplished.
Graham Mowbray takes over as director of the Department of Computing and Communications (C&C) on Sept. 5.
Mr. Mowbray’s appointment was approved by Memorial’s Board of Regents at its meeting on July 20.
He said C&C plays a vital role in the day-to-day activities at Memorial and boosting its research potential is a natural move.
“Computing is an interesting function at Memorial,” he said recently. “On the one hand it is part of the ‘plumbing’ of every aspect of the university’s operation – e-mail, web, and the network – but at the same time computing is becoming much more important in the research activities of the university.
“Memorial’s strategy includes significantly growing our stature as a research university and a key component in accomplishing that will be to pursue initiatives such as ACEnet and take other steps to ensure that Memorial can provide a world-class research computing infrastructure.”
A graduate of Memorial with a major in computer science, Mr. Mowbray has worked for the past 30 years in both the information technology and computer fields with the provincial government and xwave. Currently he’s executive director of ACEnet (Atlantic Computational Excellence Network). That group is a partnership of seven universities from around Atlantic Canada which work together to operate large-scale high performance computing facilities for research. Its main office is located at Memorial.
As head of C&C, Mr. Mowbray will report directly to Kent Decker, Memorial’s vice-president of administration and finance.
Aside from growing the university’s profile as a top-notch computing research centre, Mr. Mowbray said he looks forward to tackling some of the challenges C&C will be faced with over the coming years.
“C&C is challenged, as are most IT organizations in this day and age, by trying to keep pace with the tremendous rate of change of all aspects of the IT environment,” he said. “It is never simple to try to successfully manage technology change, people change and deliver to client expectations. I know that C&C have made great strides recently in re-tooling the server environment and standardizing on tools but the IT world is like a journey that has no end, there is continuing change to contend with and this can often bring challenges and stress.”
“I am excited to be joining C&C,” added Mr. Mowbray, “and am looking forward to working with the team of professionals there.”