Gerhard Klimeck


Klimeck is the Elmore Chair Professor at the Elmore Family School of Electrical Engineering and the Riley Director of the Center for Predictive Devices and Materials and the Network for Computational Nanotechnology. Since May 2009 he serves as the Director of the National Science Foundation Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) which he led previously led as Technical Director. Before he was the technical group supervisor of the Applied Cluster Computing Technologies Group since April 2002 and a Principal member at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory since Sept. 2001 after joining JPL in February 1998 as a Senior member technical staff. Previously he was a member of technical staff at the Central Research Lab of Texas Instruments (which transitioned to the Applied Research Laboratory of Raytheon). Dr. Klimeck received his Ph.D. in 1994 from Purdue University where he studied electron transport through quantum dots, resonant tunneling diodes and 2-D electron gases. His research for his German electrical engineering degree which he obtained in 1990 from Ruhr-University Bochum concerned the study of laser noise propagation. 

Dr. Klimeck's work is documented in over 530 peer reviewed publications, 260 invited conference presentations, over 500 contributed conference presentations, over invited 170 seminars, and over 100 technical reviews. Gerhard is a fellow of the Institute of Physics (IOP), the American Physical Society (APS), IEEE, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Together with physicist Michelle Simmons of the University of New South Wales, he "devised a way to make a single-atom transistor", which ranked #29 top invention of 2013 by Discover Magazine. In 2020 the nanoHUB team was awarded a R&D 100 award for “nanoHUB: Democratizing Learning and Research”. In Oct. 2020 he was elected Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), ”For the quantum mechanical modeling theory and simulation tools to design today's nanotransistors and for leadership of the global nanotechnology community as Director of nanoHUB.”

For the NCN he has been directing the replacement of web-form driven online simulation by fully interactive simulations on The change in technology resulted in a almost 50-fold growth of 500 simulation users to now over 24,000 annual users who run about over a million simulations annually over the web without installing any software. Klimeck has co-authored over 40 tools on nanoHUB which have served over 77,000 so far. has also developed into a key resource for up-to-date research topics and educational resources for the community. Over 1.9 million users utilize nanoHUB content annually. Klimeck contributed over 350 "nanoHUB and more" content items that have been used by at least 875,000 users in total.

The impact of on research can in part be measured in the over 2,500 citations of nanoHUB in the scientific literature. The impact on education can be assessed in part by the documented 3,800 classes with 89,000+ students at over 185 institutions who have used nanoHUB in an educational context.

Gerhard's research interest is in the quantum mechanical modeling of electron transport through nanoelectronic devices, parallel cluster computing, genetic algorithms, and parallel processing. At Purdue he continues to push tight-binding based simulation technology for basic and applied device physics at the nanometer scale utilizing these technical components. He takes pride in creating simulation tools that can tackle realistic nanoelectronic device problems and can be used by other individuals, but computational scientists. At Texas Instruments he served as manager and principal architect of the Nanoelectronic Modeling (NEMO) program, the first industrial strength quantum transport tool. NEMO 1-D is still the gold-standard for quantitative resonant tunneling diode simulations. At JPL he led the development of NEMO 3-D which can compute the electronic structure in systems containing up to 52 million atoms. NEMO 3-D applications include quantum dots, quantum wells, and nanowires. At Purdue he is leading a team to combine the NEMO 1-D transport concepts and the NEMO 3-D electronic structure concepts into a new suite of tools entitled OMEN / NEMO. As a cool side project he worked on mars image processing which enabled the integration of parallel processing algorithms in the MIPL data analysis pipeline. The suite of NEMO 1-D, NEMO 3-D, OMEN, and NEMO5 have been demonstrated to scale almost perfectly to 23,000, 8,192, and 222,720 cores on the most advanced parallel computers in the world (2007-2012).

High Performance Computing has historically not been embraced in semiconductor device modeling. Even today most simulation tools in Electronic Design Automation (EDA) or Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) are fundamentally serial codes. In 1998, at the JPL High-Performance-Computing Group Klimeck embraced affordable cluster computing on Beowulf #2 built by Thomas Sterling and designed natively parallel simulation tools. Since 2011 his research group demonstrated scaling of OMEN & NEMO5 codes to over 200,000 cores. 2015 Intel purchased a top100 ranked cluster to run NEMO5 to design transistors. The adoption of supercomputers in semiconductor device design is transformational in the EDA/TCAD field. At Purdue Klimeck advocated for shared cluster resources and worked with Purdue CIOs Jim Bottum and Gerry McCarney on policies and scaling a community cluster model that has gained national attention.

See Gerhard's resume and research highlights for further information.