Innovatives Supercomputing in Deutschland
inSiDE • Vol. 10 No. 1 • Spring 2012
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Obituary: Professor Horst Rollnik

Professor Horst Rollnik was a tireless advocate for computational science and supercomputing in Germany. He was one of the founding fathers of the Höchstleistungsrechenzentrum (HLRZ), which later became the John von Neumann Institute for Computing (NIC). His efforts were instrumental in convinvcing German ministries and research centres of the urgency for funding a first national scientific supercomputing centre, and in shaping the structure of the HLRZ. Of particular importance to him was the use of a strict scientific peer review in the allocation of computing time ressources, which he helped implement by recruiting national and international scientists for the review panel. This review process would also become the model for the European supercomputing infrastructure PRACE.

For a long time Horst Rollnik was the chairman of the HLRZ/NIC Scientific Council, and even in recent years he continued to contribute his experience to this panel as a honorary member. Three years ago, NIC and JSC paid homage to his contributions to HLRZ/NIC and to computational science in Germany in an Honorary Colloquium (

In addition, from 1997 to 2009 he organized and headed informal meetings of the three national supercomputing centres in Garching, Stuttgart, and Jülich. These meetings were the basis for developments that culminated in the creation of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing.

Horst Rollnik died on September 28, 2011 at the age of 80. The Jülich Supercomputing Centre and the German scientific computing community will always remember him with gratitude.

• Manfred Kremer
Jülich Supercomputing Centre

• Walter Nadler
Jülich Supercomputing Centre

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