It is with deep sadness that we inform the Carleton community of the death of Sylvain Pitre, Manager, Research Computing Services, who passed away on Feb. 23, 2019, after a brief illness.

Sylvain joined the ITS team in 2014 to develop and lead the Research Computing Services (RCS) team providing researchers with the support, expertise and resources necessary to conduct research computing at Carleton. His passion and dedication inspired his team to achieve many successes under his leadership. He took great joy in assisting researchers to optimize code so it took only days, rather than months, to complete. 

Although he was only in ITS a short time, Sylvain made a significant impact. He developed a solid team that was responsible for providing a single point of contact for research-related requests to ITS. He was pleased to offer access to open and commercial software through the Research Computing and Development Cloud (RCDC), and to support the joint Data Science program through participation in the design, measurement, collection, sampling and statistical analysis of research data and results.

Sylvain became part of the Carleton community in 2002 and was a proud alumnus who loved the university. He completed a Master of Computer Science in 2003 and a PhD in 2010 on parallel algorithms for protein interaction prediction, supervised by Dr. Frank Dehne. His graduate studies in the School of Computer Science included being a contract instructor, teaching assistant, and a research assistant.

He continued as a postdoctoral fellow with research on high performance computing for protein analytics and computational weld mechanics. He was also a leading member of the bioinformatics research group and a prolific researcher who was widely published.

His post-secondary studies began at the Université de Moncton where he earned a Bachelor of Applied Computer Science (B.A.C.S), in May 2001.

Sylvain’s enthusiasm for his technological interests sparked many fascinating discussions with his peers. He spread his collaborative approach to research across the campus and will be remembered for his kind and friendly demeanour.

Our hearts go out to Sylvain’s spouse Melanie and the entire Pitre family. His family wanted the Carleton community to know that Sylvain’s kidneys and lungs were donated and, as a result, three lives were saved with this significant act of kindness. He was a valued colleague, teacher and mentor, and he will be deeply missed.

A funeral will be held for Sylvain in Nigadoo, New Brunswick. The details are still being finalized.