ALCF's Michael E. Papka honored with Distinguished Performance Award

Papka 2023 BOG Award

 ALCF Director Michael E. Papka receives the Distinguished Performance Award at the Argonne Board of Governors Awards ceremony on September 19, 2023.

Papka was recognized for his numerous exemplary contributions to Argonne, including his efforts to help build world-class scientific computing capabilities for open science.

Michael E. Papka, a senior scientist and member of the senior leadership team at the U.S Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, received the Distinguished Performance Award at the Argonne Board of Governors Awards ceremony on September 19, 2023. The award is given annually to recognize the contributions of Argonne employees who engage in research and technical activities and demonstrate outstanding scientific achievement in areas such as leadership, operational excellence, and diverse talent development.

Papka - BOG Distinguished Performance Award

Papka was recognized with the Distinguished Performance Award for numerous achievements, including his leadership of the ALCF. 

Papka was nominated for his numerous exemplary contributions to Argonne, which have helped build the organization’s reputation as a world-class scientific computing research facility for open science. He joined Argonne as a young researcher in 1992, and in 2007 he was named the deputy associate laboratory director for Argonne’s Computing, Environment, and Life Sciences directorate. Papka has been directing the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) since 2010. As director, he supervises a research program that involves some of the largest and most ambitious computational science campaigns worldwide, including artificial intelligence and large-scale data analysis. The ALCF is a DOE Office of Science user facility.

Papka is an expert in the large-scale analysis and visualization of scientific data, as well as research related to high-performance computing. During his career, he has co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications that were based on federally funded research. Papka has mentored and advised numerous undergraduates, graduates, and postdocs, and has helped build a strong pipeline to Argonne opportunities through his work at Argonne and as a professor of computer science at the University of Illinois Chicago. Papka teaches courses on data visualization, virtual reality, and high-performance computing, and helps organize many outreach efforts at Argonne including summer computer science camps for local middle and high school students.

The ALCF is a major part of the DOE’s Leadership Computing Facility and is a leading provider of top-tier supercomputing resources to the research community. Since taking over the leadership of ALCF, Papka has significantly expanded the facility’s capabilities and is currently leading Argonne toward the exascale era with the Aurora supercomputer. The Aurora supercomputer is set to become one of the world’s most powerful machines for open science when it opens to the research community in 2024.


The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility provides supercomputing capabilities to the scientific and engineering community to advance fundamental discovery and understanding in a broad range of disciplines. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science, Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program, the ALCF is one of two DOE Leadership Computing Facilities in the nation dedicated to open science.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.