Professor Tony Hey is to join Microsoft Corporation as a corporate vice president to co-ordinate their Technical Computing Initiative. He will work across the company to co-ordinate Microsoft’s efforts to collaborate with the scientific community worldwide.
Currently Director of the UK’s e-Science Programme, Tony Hey has been a member of staff of the School of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) since 1986, and was Head of School from 1994 to 1999.
He played a critical role in building the School into one of the UK’s leading academic departments, and has retained his Chair in the School throughout his period of secondment to UK e-Science.
‘This is wonderful news,’ said Professor Wendy Hall, Head of ECS, ‘and I am delighted to send our warmest congratulations to Tony on behalf of the School. His energy, vision, and sheer ability to make things happen will be of huge benefit to Microsoft and to future collaboration with researchers worldwide. At Southampton we are very glad that Tony will be retaining his Chair in the School of Electronics and Computer Science, and his strong links with the School and the University.’
Professor Hey is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Computer Society, the Institution of Electrical Engineers and a member of the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. In the New Year Honours List (2005) he received the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for his services to science.
‘Today computation plays a critical role in advancing research across almost every field of science, yet far too often scientists must build all their own programming infrastructures and research their own algorithms to help advance their research effort,’ said Professor Hey. ‘By collaborating with the scientific community, I am confident that some of Microsoft’s advanced technologies can be used to accelerate their rate of discover.’
He has worked in the field of parallel and distributed computing since the early 1980s and was instrumental in the development of the MPI message-passing standard and in the Genesis Distributed Memory Parallel Benchmark suite. In 1991, he founded the Southampton Parallel Applications Centre (now the IT Innovation Centre), which has played a leading technology transfer role in Europe and the UK in collaborative industrial projects. His personal research interests are concerned with performance engineering for Grid applications but he also retains an interest in experimental explorations of quantum computing and quantum information theory.