Charlie Bender Scholarship awarded to Hamza Taveer of George Mason University

September 12, 2023 – The Coalition of Academic Scientific Computation is proud to announce that Hamza Tanveer, a computer systems engineer at George Mason University (GMU), was awarded the prestigious Charlie Bender Scholarship to attend the Linux Clusters Institute (LCI) Intermediate Workshop. The workshop, held from August 21-25, 2023, at Mississippi State University, focused on advanced high-performance computing (HPC) system administration skills, including file systems, storage, HPC networks, and job schedulers.  

Hamza Tanveer’s journey into the world of HPC began after he graduated with a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from GMU. He transitioned into a career as a network engineer but recognized an exciting opportunity within the Office of Research Computing. With the support of GMU’s commitment to becoming an R1 institution in 2016, the Office of Research Computing had recently established a state-of-the-art cluster, thanks to funding from the NSF Major Research Instrumentation Program (MRI) and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“With the growth in research due to the R1 status, we needed to build a fairly robust research service support group,” said Jayshree Sarma, director. “Due to the shortage of experienced HPC systems engineers in the DC area, we decided to go the route of hiring employees with no HPC experience and rely on LCI training.”

“Hamza has demonstrated himself as a self-starter and has been successful in his service to the GMU research community,” said Sarma.

Hamsa Tanveer previously attended the beginner training at LCI, and he quickly applied the skills he acquired in his role. He spoke highly of the workshops, stating, “The LCI Workshops have been incredibly beneficial, especially for building a network with other engineers and learning from their experiences.”

“This year’s workshop on storage solutions and network diagnostics was perfect for me as I have been training to become a storage specialist for my team.”

The Charlie Bender scholarship supports education and training for RCD professionals for activities consistent with CASC’s strategic plan objectives to develop leaders, establish strategic partnerships, and broaden the CASC membership. The scholarships are awarded to support travel and/or registration for training events or professional development activities identified by the CASC Executive Committee. 

“Through the Charlie Bender Scholarship, CASC remains committed to its mission of empowering exceptional professionals to realize their full leadership potential in the RCD ecosystem,” Richard Knepper, CASC vice chair and director of the Cornell University Center for Advanced Computing.

Lavanya Podila, project manager for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications NSF-ACCESS Award and leader of the Linux Cluster Institute, stated, “Our selection of candidates is based on their active interest and initial motivation in advancing networking and cyberinfrastructure within high performance computing.”

CASC established the scholarship in honor of Charlie Bender, who throughout his lifetime was a leader in the research and development of high performance computing and networking and its application to business and education. To apply to the Charlie Bender Scholarship, please contact Kathryn Kelley at

About the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC): The Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC) is an educational non-profit 501(c)(3) organization focused on advanced computing technology in the 21st century. We are composed of over 100 partner institutions with a shared mission of accelerating scientific discovery and developing a diverse workforce. Together, like-minded individuals and universities form a passionate community to support research computing and data. More information is available at

About the Linux Clusters Institute: LCI is providing education and advanced technical training for the deployment and use of computing clusters to the high performance computing community worldwide. Founded in 1998, it includes some of the world’s foremost specialists in building and deploying clustered high-performance computing systems. LCI is the premier international forum to share information on management, administration, and advanced computing techniques for high performance cluster computing. More information is available at