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  • Prof. Paul Sheldon is the faculty director of ACCRE and a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, with a research focus in elementary particle physics. Motivated by the huge demands for computing in his research, he has been highly involved in Vanderbilt’s HPC efforts over the past three decades; not only did he co-found ACCRE in 2003, he also co-founded its predecessor, VAMPIRE, and was heavily involved with the cluster that preceded it, VUPAC. He is a member of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the CERN Large Hadron Collider and became a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2006. Prof. Sheldon joined Vanderbilt in 1991. He previously held a position at the University of Illinois and has been a visiting scholar at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Executive Staff

  • Mark Keever is the Executive Director of Research IT for Vanderbilt University. Mark comes to Vanderbilt from Oregon State University, where he was the Director of Digital Research Infrastructure, and Co-PI on an NSF cyberinfrastructure datacenter. Prior experience from Georgia Tech contributes to his 20 years of research computing experience.

  • Alan is the lead developer of LStore, a highly scalable filesystem that is used in production for the CMS Tier 2 project. As the technical director of ACCRE, Alan draws from his deep expertise in all things storage, networking, and computing to help guide and architect various aspects of the ACCRE environment. Alan has been with ACCRE since its inception in 2001.

  • Hunter Hagewood was named Director of Research Computing Operations at ACCRE in 2019. Prior to joining ACCRE, Hunter worked for over 10 years in the private sector, including director-level roles at Equian and Informatics Corporation of America. Hunter was also the founder and CTO of Nevoa Networks, one of the first commercially available cloud storage providers. Hunter has a master’s in information and library science from University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s in computer information systems from Lipscomb University.


  • Sai Medury joined ACCRE in Nov 2021. He helps configure, test, and troubleshoot systems at ACCRE. He also works closely with the Centre for Structural Biology (CSB) and helps maintain CSB systems at ACCRE. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Computational Science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and has a Master of Software Engineering from Auburn University. In his spare time, Sai enjoys watching football and playing Pokemon Go.

  • Eric Appelt is a senior system administrator at ACCRE. Prior to joining the ACCRE staff, Eric studied experimental heavy ion physics as part of the CMS collaboration, and was a heavy user of the ACCRE cluster. Eric has industry experience in cloud infrastructure and web service software development, and is an active member of the Python community.

  • Fenglai Liu is an application developer at ACCRE. His primary responsibilities at ACCRE include managing software stack, helping the ACCRE users on variety of software and Slurm related issues etc. Prior to joining ACCRE staff, Fenglai had been working in computational chemistry field for years as a programmer. Fenglai is experienced with C++ and Fortran languages, and has a particular interest on the functional programming language like Scala. In his spare time Fenglai likes cooking traditional Chinese food, playing with his daughters and baby boy, watching movie and doing interval training exercises.

  • Jacob is a graduate of Tennessee Tech University and has been with ACCRE since 2013. His primary responsibilities at ACCRE include managing custom gateways for research groups and maintaining Nagios, the monitoring software used by ACCRE. In his free time, Jacob enjoys swing dancing.

  • Lindsey holds an M.S. in Engineering Science with an emphasis in Geology from the University of Mississippi. She has worked as a GIS Analyst in Vanderbilt’s Civil and Environmental Engineering department and most recently as GIS Coordinator to the campus community through the Vanderbilt Library. Lindsey has actively contributed to research teams investigating topics ranging from transportation to how climatic events effect populations.  In her capacity at the library, she worked to coordinate efforts to bring GIS utilization to the forefront of research.

  • Mat has a BS in Physics from Austin Peay State University and four years studying black holes in grad school at Wake Forest. He also has a MBA, but hopes you’ll overlook it and like him anyway. He enjoys science, gardening, hiking, running, and dabbling in politics against his better judgement.

  • Matt is a graduate of Vanderbilt’s Engineering program and in fact he first worked for ACCRE as an intern in his undergraduate days prior to joining the team in a software developer position in 2009. Matt wears many hats, among them he is the lead network engineer and the primary for the ACCRE tape backup service. He also is involved in developing the LStore distributed storage system software and in automating system provisioning, management, and monitoring. When he can find the time he enjoys cooking, hiking, photography, and DIY projects ranging from electronics to woodworking.

  • Patrick Bembry is ACCRE’s Business Manager, responsible for the financial oversight of the Center. He manages the core’s billing, core-unit pricing, budget forecasting, asset management, and the purchase of capital equipment and software licenses. Patrick is a long-time Vanderbilt employee with multi-department experience in payroll administration, accounting, human resources, and sponsored research. When he isn’t at ACCRE Patrick enjoys working with his hands and learning new DIY skills, from drywall work to plumbing, and applying these skills to the renovation of his fifties-era house.

  • Scott Goethals is a graduate from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Information Assurance. Prior to joining the ACCRE team he has worked for several health care and I.T. companies. He joins ACCRE to bring his background in network security and system administration to help support the ACCRE cluster. When not at work Scott enjoys spending time with his wife and dogs.

  • Warren has been active in Information Technology since his first experience with the mainframe in Ames Ia. in the mid 1970’s. He served in the United States Navy as a Sonar Technician, worked in Geo-seismic exploration across the eastern United States, and attended The University of Alabama where he studied Television and Film Communications, Graphic Design and English. In 1996 Warren was instrumental in bringing Internet access to Pickens county Alabama. In 2006 He joined Vanderbilt University as a Network Operations Center Analyst where he worked to help ensure the stability and growth of the Data Center ACCRE resides in. In 2016 he came on board at ACCRE as a system administrator where he continues to work to ensure ACCRE systems work for you.


If you are not sure who to direct general questions to, please e-mail ACCRE Administration and your message will be forwarded to the appropriate person.

Paul SheldonFaculty Director, Professor of Physics and Astronomy
Alan TackettTechnical Director and Lead Developer615.322.1028
Hunter HagewoodDirector of Research Computing Operations615.343.4134
Mark KeeverExecutive Director of Research IT
Dan BurgerAssociate Application Developer615.875.1678
Eric AppeltSenior System Administrator615.343.6482
Fenglai LiuApplication Developer
Lindsey FoxResearch IT Consultant
Scott GoethalsSenior System Administrator
Jacob RobertsAssociate System Administrator615.875.9631
Mathew BinkleySenior System Administrator
Matt HellerSenior Application Developer
Patrick BembryDepartment Business Manager615.343.2244
Warren EcksteinSystem Administrator615.875.9053

Former Staff

  • Dan works on many web and mobile projects throughout Vanderbilt with roles in ACCRE, the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation, and Peabody College. He joined ACCRE in 2017 where he developed this version of the ACCRE website and set up the ACCRE training courses in its current virtual format. Dan is an advocate for hiring adults on the autism spectrum and his work was featured in an interview with Anderson Cooper for CBS 60 Minutes. Dan received his BE in computer engineering and MS in computer science from Vanderbilt, and previously worked at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. Dan left ACCRE in 2022 to join Google as a software engineer.

  • Davide worked as an Application Developer at ACCRE from 2015 until 2019. His primary responsibilities included building software on the cluster, helping users troubleshoot issues, and running detailed benchmarks to identify and resolve performance bottlenecks, especially those involving GPU and parallel computing. In his spare time, Davide enjoys cycling and riding his motorcycle. Davide now works in San Antonio at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as an HPC Computational Scientist.

  • Kevin was a System Administrator at ACCRE from 2004 – almost the very beginning of ACCRE – until 2019.  He enjoyed taking care of the cluster so that researchers can focus on their science.  He has worked as a UNIX / Linux System Administrator his entire career … long enough to have earned his nickname of “Old UNIX Guy!” Kevin now works at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, where he sets up and administers new and novel cluster architectures for potential use in future large supercomputers.

  • Will’s background is in molecular modeling and computational chemistry. He obtained his PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering right here at Vanderbilt working with Peter Cummings. Will taught a semester-long course (SC 3260/5260) each semester in high-performance computing and enjoyed working with research groups to help them accelerate their research pipelines through the ACCRE environment. Will left ACCRE in 2019 and currently works at Atiba, a software company in Nashville.