Jenni Evans named director of Institute for CyberScience

Jenni Evans is the director of the Institute for CyberScience. Credit: Patrick Mansell, Penn State / Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Jenni Evans, professor of meteorology at Penn State, has been appointed director of Penn State’s Institute for CyberScience (ICS). Evans had served as interim director of ICS since February 2016.

“I am delighted by Professor Evans’s acceptance of the permanent directorship of ICS,” said Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey. “Jenni has done a marvelous job as interim director, laying the groundwork for the growth of both ICS’s technical capabilities and its community. Her outstanding intellect, diverse administrative experience, and passionate commitment to scholarship are exactly what ICS needs to keep Penn State at the forefront of computational and data-enabled research.”

In her time as interim director, Evans oversaw major expansion of ICS’s Advanced Cyber Infrastructure (ICS-ACI), Penn State’s high-performance research cloud. Researchers use ICS-ACI to perform modeling, simulation, and data processing that require massive computing power; the system now contains 20 PB of storage and more than 23,000 computer processors — up from 6,000 in 2015 — and continues to grow.

In partnership with Penn State colleges, Evans plans to continue strengthening the ICS community by co-hiring faculty experts in computational research. She also plans to increase ICS’s role in facilitating interdisciplinary research with more initiatives like the 2017 ICS Seed Grant Program.

“As ICS director, I am excited to continue promoting and facilitating cyber-related research at Penn State,” said Evans. “I believe deeply in the ICS mission of bringing scholars from diverse disciplines together to attack challenges beyond the scope of an individual discipline, and providing the advanced computing resources needed to solve these major scientific and societal problems. I am eager to guide the institute to new heights.”

Evans received her doctorate in applied mathematics from Monash University. Her research focuses on tropical cyclones and other tropical weather phenomena. She has made extensive contributions to her field, authoring more than 60 publications. As much of her work has involved forecasting and predicting tropical cyclones using advanced computational techniques, she is an expert in the big data research that ICS enables.

Prior to serving as interim director of ICS, Evans served as interim director of the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute and acting director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment. Before coming to Penn State, Evans was a visiting scientist with the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and a research scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Melbourne, Australia.

The Institute for CyberScience is one of the five interdisciplinary research institutes under the Office of the Vice President for Research, and is dedicated to supporting cyber-enabled research across the disciplines. ICS builds an active community of researchers using computational methods in a wide range of fields through co-hiring of tenure-track faculty, providing seed funding for ambitious computational research projects, and offering access to high-performance computing resources through its Advanced Cyber Infrastructure. With the support of ICS, Penn State researchers harness the power of big data, big simulation, and big compute to solve the world’s problems. For more information, visit or email  

Last Updated April 21, 2017