About Peter Braam
Dr. Peter Braam is a multidisciplinary innovator covering computing, data and science. Research organizations, governments and enterprises engage with him to create concrete, focused visions and co-design solutions. As a recognized global leader in computing, without fear to be wrong or incomplete, he thinks systematically to advance technology frontiers.
Peter personally works on finding technical solutions for select projects. Seeing opportunities to apply his knowledge of computing to radio astronomy, he is currently working with Cambridge University on the SKA telescope Science Data Processor. He also consults with a few organizations and institutions on their strategy, for example with South Africa to further computing and big data efforts. Recently he architected a new exa-scale I/O system and brainstormed with the European Commission on the exa-scale HPC Strategy and the London Mathematical Society on the advancement of mathematics in the UK.
Often called “a big thinker attracted to complex problems,” one of Peter’s greatest strengths is to articulate unexplored avenues that provide the most opportunity for innovation and long-term impact. He passionately shares his and others’ insights in keynote talks at conferences and in white papers, and leaders of scientific and technological communities enjoy brainstorming with him in private discussions.
Having started his career as a scientist, Peter was a senior academic at Oxford University where he studied, researched and published with world leading mathematicians and physicists. In 1990, he revived his love for computing first in academia at Oxford and Carnegie Mellon, then as an entrepreneur. Peter focused on distributed storage systems and his noteworthy Lustre file system, which is among the most used operating system software for large-scale supercomputing. With its high-performance capabilities and open licensing, more than half of the Top500 supercomputers in the world use Lustre. Since 2008, he has mostly been working on parallel computing, programming languages and relationships with mathematics.
Peter founded and ran five startups — the first four of which were acquired — which taught him how to execute corporate strategy as a CEO. In larger companies, such as Red Hat, SUN and Xyratex, he participated in setting executive strategy and led R&D for products using state-of-the-art engineering processes.
When not working and studying, you might find Peter with his family, climbing and skiing in the mountains, enjoying classical music, or appreciating art and design.