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Ilene Carpenter

Computational Scientist

Photo of Ilene Carpenter
(303) 275-3947

Dr. Carpenter joined NREL's Computational Science Center in 2010. Prior to that, she managed the scientific applications and benchmarking group at SGI until 2009, when she took a position at the National Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. There she was a liaison to climate modelers on the National Center for Computational Sciences (NCCS) systems and also led a project to port the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM) atmospheric model to run on next generation systems with Graphics Processing Units (GPUs).

Dr. Carpenter joined Cray Research, Inc., in 1992 as a computational chemist. As a member of the UniChem development group, she worked on electronic structure codes and the UniChem user interface. She joined the environmental sciences group at Cray in 1995 and worked on parallelization and performance optimization of weather, climate, and subsurface transport models. She continued to work in this area after Silicon Graphics acquired Cray Research and became technical lead for weather and climate applications in 2001.

Dr. Carpenter did postdoctoral research in Warren Hehre's group at the University of California, Irvine, where she did molecular dynamics studies of liquid-liquid interfaces and of structure disaccharides. She followed that with a postdoctoral fellowship at the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute where she did simulations of DNA in Victor Bloomfield's group in the Biochemistry department at the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation work was in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxation studies.

Research Interests 

  • Performance and scalability of scientific applications on large scale parallel computers
  • Programming models for parallel computing.


  • 1987 Ph.D., physical chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • 1983 B.S., chemistry, Cornell University.

Selected Publications 

  1. Farrar, T.C.; Quintero-Arcaya, R.A.; Locker, I.C. (1987). "Differential T1 and T2 Relaxation of Coupled Spin Systems in High Magnetic Fields." Z. Phys. Chem. Neue Folge (151); p. 25.
  2. Farrar, T.C.; Locker, I.C. (1987). "Longitudinal NMR Relaxation Studies of Molecular Structure and Dynamics in PHO32-." J. Chem. Phys. (87); p. 3281.
  3. Carpenter, J.E.; Yets, W.T.(III); Carpenter, I.L.; Hehre, W.J. (1990). "Selection of Configurations for Parameterization of Two Body Interaction Potentials." J. Phys. Chem. (94); p. 443.
  4. Carpenter, I.L.; Hehre, W.J. (1990). "A Molecular Dynamics Study of the Hexane-Water Interface." J. Phys. Chem. (94); p. 531.
  5. Bloomfield, V.A.; Carpenter, I.L. (1993). "Biological Polyelectrolytes," Hara, M., ed. Polyelectrolytes: Science and Technology. Marcel Dekker, Inc.;
  6. Lee, C.; Long, X.; Carpenter, I.L.; Smithline, S.; Fitzgerald, G. (1994). "Applications of Molecular Dynamics Simulations Coupled with Harris Functional Approximation to Argon." Int. J. Quantum Chemistry (49); p. 527.
  7. Drake, J.B.; Worley, P.H.; Carpenter, I.L.; Cordery, M. (May 2004). "Experience with the Full CCSM." Proceedings of the 46th Cray User Group Conference; May 17-May 21, 2004, Knoxville, Tennessee.
  8. Carpenter, I.L. (October 2005). "The Role of High Performance Computing in Weather and Climate Prediction." Women in Technology Journal
  9. Norman, M., Larkin, J., Archibald, R., Carpenter, I., Anantharaj, V., Micikevicius, P., Evans, K. (2012). "Proceedings of the Cray User Group Conference." Cray User Group Conference,
  10. Carpenter, I., Archibald, R.K., Evans, K.J., Larkin, J., Micikevicius, P., Norman, M., Rosinski, J., Schwarzmeier, J., Taylor, M (May 2013). "Progress towards accelerating HOMME on hybrid multi-core systems." International Journal of High Performance Computing Applications (Volume 27:Issue 3); pp. 334-345.