Sergi Girona – Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Enabling Scientific Discovery With Supercomputing

Barcelona Supercomputing Center is home of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe and is used to run Nobel Prize-winning research. Dr. Sergi Girona, the BSC’s CIO and Operations Director, is responsible for enabling Europe’s groundbreaking scientific discovery.

He states outright that his role is not to lead digital transformation or tell scientists how to innovate or improve their business, because the people he works with are some of the most accomplished scholars and engineers in the world – they know better than anyone what they need.

In this episode of Leadership Deep Dive, Sergi talks with Hendrik Deckers about competing with USA and China in the computing power arms race, about attracting and retaining the best engineers in the world, working with suppliers and rapid development of top of the line infrastructure.


00:51 – Introduction: Dr. Sergi Girona, history of Barcelona Supercomputing Center, architecture and the research projects it ran
07:38 – The future of BSC and challenges of running a supercomputing facility
09:20 – Suppliers and procurement process
10:20 – European and worldwide ranking of supercomputers and serving the EU interest
14:28 – Sergi’s role at BSC
15:15 – How IT operates at BSC
20:36 – Sergi’s management style
21:22 – Finding and retaining top IT talent
23:51 – Sergi’s leadership style
25:00 – Sergi’s MBTI profile – ISFJ
28:14 – His personal values and mentors
30:03 – Sergi’s most brilliant failure
32:19 – Advice to future digital leaders


Dr. Sergi Girona is a Public sector finalist in the European Digital Leader Of The Year contest organised annually by CIONET. Find out the B2B and B2C winners and learn more about the other 16 finalists in the Public and Financial sectors – the winners among the latter will be announced at CIONEXT on 26th June 2020.

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