Berkeley Lab Deputy Directors

Deputy Director for Research Horst Simon


Horst Simon is an internationally recognized expert in computer science and applied mathematics and Berkeley Lab’s Deputy Director for Research. Simon joined Berkeley Lab in early 1996 as director of the newly formed National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), and was one of the key architects in establishing NERSC at its new location in Berkeley.

Under his leadership NERSC enabled important discoveries for research in fields ranging from global climate modeling to astrophysics. Simon was also the founding director of Berkeley Lab’s Computational Research Division, which conducts applied research and development in computer science, computational science, and applied mathematics.

In his prior role as Associate Lab Director for Computing Sciences, Simon helped to establish Berkeley Lab as a world leader in providing supercomputing resources to support research across a wide spectrum of scientific disciplines. He is also an adjunct professor in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

In that role he worked to bring the Lab and the campus closer together, developing a designated graduate emphasis in computational science and engineering. In addition, he has worked with project managers from the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and other agencies, helping researchers define their project requirements and solve technical challenges.

Simon’s research interests are in the development of sparse matrix algorithms, algorithms for large-scale eigenvalue problems, and domain decomposition algorithms for unstructured domains for parallel processing. His algorithm research efforts were honored with the 1988 and the 2009 Gordon Bell Prize for parallel processing research.

He was also member of the NASA team that developed the NAS Parallel Benchmarks, a widely used standard for evaluating the performance of massively parallel systems. He is co-editor of the biannual TOP500 list that tracks the most powerful supercomputers worldwide, as well as related architecture and technology trends.

He holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the Technische Universität, in Berlin, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Deputy Director for Operations Michael Brandt

As Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Michael Brandt oversees the Laboratory’s operations and mission support organizations and programs, including Environment, Health and Safety, Facilities Management, Financial Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, Project and Construction Management, Institutional Assurance and Integrity, and Project Management.

Brandt was appointed to his current position as of March 5, 2018. He is a leader and executive with more than 30 years of progressively increasing responsibility and accountability for business services, ESH, facilities, enterprise risk management, and operations. He has worked as a manager in the chemical and synthetic fuels industry, research and development, manufacturing, DOE nuclear and high hazard operations, and non-governmental agencies.

Prior to coming to Berkeley Lab, Brandt served as the Associate Director of Environment, Safety, and Health for Los Alamos National Security, LLC, where he led an organization of 750 employees with an operating budget of more than $150M. He was responsible for Lab-wide ESH activities for roughly 11,000 employees operating in a 38-square-mile site that houses specialized and complex scientific experiments, operations, and supporting facility infrastructure.

Brandt has published more than 40 papers and delivered more than 100 invited technical, scientific, and leadership presentations. He has held academic appointments at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the University of New Mexico, and at the College of Public Health at the University of Oklahoma where he taught graduate students. He has mentored more than a dozen students and served on a number of thesis committees. He served as President of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), was elected fellow of the AIHA in 2007, and continues to serve on its technical and leadership committees.

Brandt holds a doctorate in public health with a specialty in Environmental Health Sciences, and a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. He earned a M.S. in Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health; and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Cook College of Rutgers University. He is a certified industrial hygienist and a certified project management professional.