Kevin Hayden has been selected as general chair of the 2026 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, commonly known as SC26. Hayden is a senior network engineer at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.
The annual SC conference, which is typically held in a different U.S. city each November, has drawn more than 13,000 attendees over the last several years. As general chair, Hayden will lead the conference and shape its overarching vision, working with nearly 1,000 conference volunteers and overseeing a network of contractors.
“I am deeply humbled to have been chosen as the general chair for SC26,” said Hayden, who has been with Argonne since 1994. “The current landscape in high performance computing is electrifying, marked by the rapid advancements in quantum computing, quantum networks, the pervasive adoption of artificial intelligence in our daily lives and the remarkable progress in exascale computing. I’m eager and excited about the incredible opportunities that SC26 holds for our attendees, exhibitors and volunteers.”
“One important and enduring outcome for me as a volunteer at SC has been the connections and collaborative work opportunities. Today, in a more senior position, I embrace the chance to give back to this community.” — Kevin Hayden, Argonne senior network engineer
Hayden began his history with the SC conference, which was established in 1988 by the Association for Computing Machinery and the IEEE Computer Society, in 2005. He has held several leadership roles over the years, including SC20 chair for SCinet, the advanced networking infrastructure set up specifically for the event. He has also been a member of the conference’s steering committee and steering diversity and inclusivity sub-committee.
“Kevin Hayden is a natural choice to lead SC26. As the SC20 SCinet chair, Kevin’s leadership ensured that even though the world’s fastest network wasn’t built due to the virtual nature of the conference, SCinet’s research and inclusivity efforts were still front and center for our attendees,” said Christine Cuicchi, general chair of the SC20 conference. “I’ve no doubt he’ll continue that success as the SC26 general chair.”
Beyond his technical roles, Hayden has been an advocate for diversity and inclusivity. As a steering committee member, he is on the diversity and inclusivity subcommittee. He is particularly passionate about the Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) program, aiming to ensure its growth and development for SC26. Hayden envisions an inclusive experience that emphasizes professional networking, cohesive collaboration and a positive environment for all participants.
While the theme of the SC26 conference remains to be announced, Hayden sees a potential theme revolving around cancer and medical research, which is inspired by his personal experience. He envisions challenging the high performance computing community to contribute to cancer research, fostering collaboration leading up to the conference.
Hayden says he plans to guide SC26 while honoring the hard work and vision that thousands of volunteers and former chairs have instilled in the conference over the past 30 plus years. “One important and enduring outcome for me as a volunteer at SC has been the connections and collaborative work opportunities,” he added. “Today, in a more senior position, I embrace the chance to give back to this community.”
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.