Capability Lead, Molecular Science Computing Operations
Capability Lead, Molecular Science Computing Operations

Biography

David Cowley is a senior computer scientist with the Advanced Scientific Computing team in PNNL’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Division and the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) user program. He specializes in leading teams of computing experts who build and operate high performance computing (HPC) systems. Cowley joined PNNL in 1988 and currently leads EMSL’s high performance computing operations and serves as the computing operations lead for the Pacific Northwest Center for Cryo-EM (PNCC).  

As an EMSL capability lead from 2007 through 2020, Cowley led daily HPC operations, performed long-term computing capability planning, executed facility modifications, and oversaw two multi-million HPC procurements. During that time, new EMSL HPC systems were ranked in the top 20 fastest worldwide. Cowley's team performed HPC system architecture, engineering, and operations to support fundamental research in new energy materials, atmospheric aerosols, subsurface ecosystems, and biological systems.   

For PNCC, Cowley architected and leads operation of an automated data transfer system that moves petabytes of data per day from Oregon Health & Science University to the Cascade supercomputer at PNNL. The system also provides automated processing of raw microscopy data and performs data distribution services to users. It takes advantage of Globus and EMSL's dedicated high speed data transfer nodes to move such large volumes of data.  

As the infrastructure lead for PNNL's high energy physics (HEP) computing capability from 2012 – 2017, Cowley led the design and operation of a system to transfer, process, and redistribute HEP data. The system transferred data from the Belle II particle collider at Japan's National Laboratory for High Energy Physics research facility for processing at PNNL and served as the primary storage site outside Japan for irreplaceable Belle II data.   

Cowley has management experience, having served as a team lead for molecular science computing operations (2000 – 2017) and as acting technical group manager for the Scientific Computing and Operations group (2018 – 2019). During that time he doubled the size of the team (in a very high-demand technical field) and was able to promote two of his staff to the top grade of the information technology professional job family. 

Aside from his work for the Laboratory, Cowley has participated in numerous outside activities for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. He was invited by the Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program office in 2016 to serve as chair of the application development portion of a major review for their multi-billion dollar Exascale Computing Project. He served as a steering committee member and chaired sessions for the ASCR HPC Best Practices Workshops in 2010 and 2011. He has participated in numerous DOE Office of Science reviews, both as a reviewer and a reviewee. 

Research Interests 

Architecture, engineering, and administration of large scalable computer and data storage systems. 

Education

BS in Computer Science and Mathematics, University of Puget Sound, 1988

Publications

2019 

Cowley D.E., and A. Shankar. 2019. "DOE Distributed Computing & Data Ecosystem live demonstration." PNNL-SA-149652. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. [Unpublished] 

Cowley D.E. 10/03/2019. "DCDE Pilot for Multi-Lab Infrastructure." Presented by D.E. Cowley at ParslFest, Chicago, Illinois. PNNL-SA-148016. 

2018 

Cowley D.E. 06/07/2018. "Using High-performance Computing Concepts to Speed Your Scientific Discovery." Presented by David E Cowley at TechFest 2018, Richland, Washington. PNNL-SA-135247. 

2016 

Asner D.M., J.E. Fast, M. Schram, L.S. Wood, J.F. Strube, and D.E. Cowley. 2016. US Belle II Operations Plan. PNNL-26050. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. [Unpublished] 

2015 

Campbell A.A., T.D. Scheibe, D.E. Cowley, and G.B. Skouson. 2015. 2015 EMSL Computing Strategy. PNNL-EX-10078. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. [Unpublished] 

Cowley D.E. 2015. Biological and Environmental Research Network Requirements Review. PNNL-24630. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 

2014 

Cowley D.E. 09/08/2014. "Molecular Science Computing at EMSL." Presented by David Cowley at High Performance Computing Operations Review (HPCOR), Golden, Colorado. PNNL-SA-105226. 

"EMSL's Cascade Supercomputer: The System, Technology, and Trends in High Performance Computing." Presented by David Cowley at IEEE, Richland, Washington. PNNL-SA-101961. 

Cowley D.E. 12/16/2014. "PNNL Computing Infrastructure for Belle II: Progress and Plans." Presented by David Cowley at HEP Computing Review, Richland, Washington. PNNL-SA-107164. 

2013   

Cowley D.E. 11/20/2013. "Building a Clean, Secure Energy Future: Predictive modeling in a parallel universe." Presented by Dave Cowley at Super Computing 2013, Denver, Colorado. PNNL-SA-99180. 

Cowley D.E. 06/08/2013. "MyEMSL & EMSLHub: Creating a flexible framework for scientific data sharing, discovery, and collaboration." Presented by Dave Cowley at LA-SiGMA Workshop, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. PNNL-SA-96303. 

Asner D.M., D.E. Cowley, and M. Schram. 2013. Belle II Network and Computing Requirements Workshop. PNNL-22373. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 

2011 

Kleese van Dam K., J.P. Carson, A.L. Corrigan, D.E. Cowley, D.R. Einstein, I. Gorton, and A.P. Kuprat, et al. 07/27/2011. "A Multi-Modality Integration Framework for Chemical Imaging." Presented by Kerstin Kleese vanDam at Chemical Imaging Initiative Annual Review, Pnnl Richland, Washington. PNNL-SA-81460. 

Asner D.M., D.E. Cowley, T.J. Critchlow, J.E. Fast, I. Gorton, K. Kleese van Dam, and R.T. Kouzes, et al. 2011. "First observation of the hb(1P) and hb(2P) bottomonium states." PNNL-SA-78348. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. [Unpublished] 

Regimbal K.M., and D.E. Cowley. 06/03/2011. "PNNL and DOE Support for Belle Computing." Presented by Kevin Regimbal at Drs. Atsuto Suzuki, Masanori Yamauchi's visit to PNNL, Richland, Washington. PNNL-SA-80904. 

Kleese van Dam K., J.P. Carson, D.E. Cowley, D.R. Einstein, I. Gorton, A.P. Kuprat, and D. Li, et al. 07/27/2011. "Thrust Area 3‚ Äì Software Infrastructure." Presented by Kerstin Kleese vanDam at Chemical Imaging Initiative, Pnnl / Richland, Washington. PNNL-SA-81681. 

Cowley D.E. 2011. File Systems Best Practices: Business of Storage Systems. PNNL-20685. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Cowley D.E., and D.M. Asner. 05/24/2011. "Belle & Belle II Computing at PNNL. Who we are, What we do, What we are planning." Presented by David E Cowley at 4th Belle II Computing Workshop, Ljubljana, Slovenia. PNNL-SA-80135. 

Cowley D.E., M.J. Berman, H. Breinlinger, L. Gilly, S. Graves, P. Kovatch, and P. Kulesza, et al. 2011. "Alternative Energy Solutions." In The 4th Workshop on HPC Best Practices: Power Management, September 28-29, 2010, San Francisco CA, edited by K Cupps and M Zosel, LLNL-AR-472771, 37-41. Livermore, California: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. PNNL-19906. 

2010 

De Jong W.A., D.E. Cowley, T.H. Dunning, and E.R. Vorpagel. 2010. Molecular Science Computing: 2010 Greenbook. PNNL - 15739 Rev.2. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. 

De Jong W.A., D.E. Cowley, and S.T. O'Leary. 2010. "Network Requirements of the DOE Systems Biology Knowledgebase: A Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Perspective." In BER Science Network Requirements, Report of the Biological and Environmental Research Network Requirements Workshop, April 29-30, 2010, Rockville, MD. Washington Dc: Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research and Energy Sciences Network. PNNL-19368. 

Kleese van Dam K., D.E. Cowley, D.R. Einstein, I. Gorton, A.P. Kuprat, L.R. O'Neil, and J. Yin, et al. 10/11/2010. "Moving towards supporting real time analysis and manipulation on a molecular level." Presented by Kerstin Kleese van Dam at NOBUGS 2010, Knoxville, Tennessee. PNNL-SA-75536. 

Cowley D.E. 04/15/2010. "Data-Driven Challenges in Scientific Computing at PNNL." Presented by Cowley, David E. at Linux Foundation Collaboration, San Francisco, California. PNNL-SA-72116. 

2006 

Cowley D.E. 07/26/2006. "The lure of cheap terabytes: PNNL's experiences with 4 years of large-scale commodity storage." Presented by David Cowley at Commodity Cluster Symposium, Baltimore, Maryland. PNNL-SA-51000. 

Cowley D.E. 04/11/2006. "IDC HPC Presentation; PNNL Lustre filesystems." Presented by David Cowley at IDC HPC Forum, Richmond, United States. PNNL-SA-49506. 

Cowley D.E. 07/26/2006. "Stories from the Trenches: High Performance Storage and Cluster File Systems." Presented by David Cowley at Commodity Cluster Symposium, Baltimore, Maryland. PNNL-SA-51020.