Meet President Seidel

President Ed Seidel and Dr. Gabrielle Allen

Personal Information

  • Age 67. Born in 1957.
  • Partner is Gabrielle Allen, Director of the UW School of Computing. Dr. Allen was previously associate dean for research in the College of Education, professor in the Departments of Astronomy and Curriculum and Instruction, and research professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Seidel grew up in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Connecticut; Dr. Allen hails from Barking, England.

Positions Held (2014-Present)

  • University of Illinois System, Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation, and leader of the Illinois Innovation Network, a consortium of 15 sites including all four-year public universities in Illinois.
  • Founding Interim Director of the Discovery Partners Institute, an interdisciplinary campus of the University of Illinois System and other partners worldwide.
  • University of Illinois, Founder Professor, Department of Physics; Professor, Departments of Astronomy and Computer Science, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment.
  • National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Senior Research Scientist and Former Director.

Positions Held (2008-2014)

  • Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation and Professor, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia, 2012-14.
  • National Science Foundation, Assistant Director for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, 2009-2012; Director of the Office of Cyberinfrastructure, 2008-2010.

Positions Held (1996-2008)

  • Founding Director, Center for Computation & Technology, Louisiana State University, 2003-2008.
  • Floating Point Systems Professor, Louisiana State University Departments of Physics and Computer Science, 2003-2010.
  • Chief Scientist, Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, 2004-2008.
  • Professor and Head of Numerical Relativity and eScience Research Groups, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, Albert Einstein Institute, Germany, 1996-2005.

Positions Held (1991-1996)

  • Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Illinois, 1996.
  • Senior Research Scientist, Head of Numerical Relativity Group, National Center for Supercomputing Applications and Visiting Associate Professor of Physics, University of Illinois, 1991-1996.


  • Ph.D. in Relativistic Astrophysics, Yale University, 1988.
  • M.Phil. (1988), M.S. (1987), Yale University.
  • M.S. in Physics, University of Pennsylvania, 1983.
  • B.S. in Mathematics and Physics, College of William and Mary, 1981.

Professional Memberships

  • American Physical Society, Lifetime Fellow.
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Lifetime Fellow.

Board and Executive/Leadership Memberships

  • Illinois Chamber of Commerce Board, 2016-present.
  • Argonne National Laboratory Board of Governors, 2016-present.
  • Illinois Ventures Board of Managers, a University of Illinois venture capital fund, 2016-present.
  • University of Illinois Research Park Board of Managers, 2016-present.
  • Chicago’s Water Economy Board Member, 2017-present.
  • Association of Public and Land Grant Universities Council on Research, Executive Committee, 2017-present.
  • Council on Competitiveness, Technology Leadership and Strategy Initiative, 2017-present.

Selected Honors and Special Awards

  • Heinz Billing Preis (Max Planck Society award for work in computational science), 1998.
  • Gordon Bell Prize, 2001, for paper titled: “Supporting Efficient Execution in Heterogeneous Distributed Computing Environments with Cactus and Globus.”
  • HPC Wire “Top Ten to Watch,” 2003.
  • Governor of Louisiana Technology Award, Rising Star of the Year, 2004.
  • IEEE 2006 Sidney Fernbach Award, 2006.
  • Citation for one of the Best 20 Papers of the Last 20 Years by the International ACM Symposium on High Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing, 2012.
  • American-Israel Chamber of Commerce Business Leadership Award, Chicago, 2018.


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