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Christopher "Chris" Chang is a senior scientist with NREL's Computational Science Center. He recently led the benchmarking effort for the Eagle high-performance computing (HPC) procurement, and has worked on complex electronic structure of transition metal systems, macromolecular dynamics, comparative chemical bonding analysis, electron transfer, and HPC for systems biochemistry. His current activities include assessment of quantum computing potential; research on electronic structure for QIS; HPC project support including benchmarking, assisting users with building and utilizing scientific software, workflow assistance, and technology tracking; and leading the NREL HPC User Program.

Research Interests

New catalytic frontiers: open-shell correlated electronic structure and photochemistry

The Expert System 2.0: artificial intelligence, small data, and the semantic world

Connected world: energy and information flow through networks

Leveraging legacy investment: scientific software comprehension


Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin–Madison

B.S., Biochemistry, Virginia Tech

Professional Experience

NIH Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Florida (2000-2004)

Research Scientist, NREL (2004-present)

Associations and Memberships

Senior Member, IEEE

Member, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

Member, Association for Computing Machinery

Featured Work

Computational Chemical Analysis of [FeFe] Hydrogenase H-Cluster Analogs to Discern Catalytically Relevant Features of the Natural Diatomic Ligand Configuration, The Journal of Physical Chemistry A (2011) 

Simulation, Characterization, and Optimization of Metabolic Models with the High-Performance Systems Biology Toolkit, SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing (2011) 

Parallel Application Performance on Two Generations of Intel Xeon HPC, NREL Technical Report (2015)


Polunucleotides encoding oxalate ecarboxylase from Aspergillus niger and methods of use, U.S. Patent No. 6,929,940 (2003)

Awards and Honors

IEEE Denver Computer, Information Theory, and Robotics Society Award for Engineering Scholarship--HPC Systems (2019)

NREL President's Award (2011)

NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellowship (2002)