Goodbye to an Industry Icon


By Jill King | May 26, 2020 |



These words are being uttered around the globe today as the announcement went out that Rich Brueckner from insideHPC has passed away. Many called him a friend, including myself. An industry icon has gone, and we will mourn the loss for some time to come. Today, I reflect on the man and the icon.

I met Rich back in 2011 at my first Supercomputing in Seattle. I was brand new to the HPC community. This was a crazy show; SC was bursting at the seams. I was still drinking from a fire hose, Rich walked into my booth for a scheduled press interview. He was short in stature but 6’5” in presence with his iconic red fedora hat, infectious smile, and a laugh that said a thousand words. Over the years, I learned that this same laugh said “that was hilarious,” or you were full of the proverbial “it”, and there was no mistaking which one he meant.   

In more recent years, Rich was always early to show up at our annual “Beers on Bright” and one of the last to leave. I’ve had my deepest conversations with him over a beer. We would always talk about the “what if”. I recall some years ago talking about the viability of Cloud in HPC, virtualization in HPC, and HPC becoming mainstream for the enterprise. All very real scenarios today but back then, a little controversial. I am grateful for his support in covering these topics in helping make them a reality today. 

Rich, thank you for your contribution to HPC and your support of Bright Computing over the years. I am proud to have called you my friend. The HPC community and I will miss you. Rest peacefully! 

We would love to hear your stories of Rich Brueckner. Post a response of your fondest memory of Rich below.