Chad Cantwell

Chad Cantwell was born on September 3, 1981. He came to UC Irvine as an undergraduate student in 1997. Known as a "Gifted Student" throughout his K-12 education, Chad was very successful in his computer science studies at UCI. In 1999, he met Domingos Begalli who, as his professor, saw Chad’s great talent in programming and hired him to be part of his team at the UCI School of Physical Sciences Computing Office. Chad worked on various technical projects to support the School's professors and research centers.

In recent years Chad has been instrumental in the School's GreenPlanet Intel Cluster, which is a cutting-edge computer cluster that enables researchers to run computational experiments, and build complex simulations and modeling. One of the most notable projects using GreenPlanet is the ATLAS Experiment of CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which is known as one of the two experiments that proved the existence of the Higgs boson. The ATLAS team worked directly with Chad to store, analyze and compute the experiment's data using GreenPlanet. 

"Our faculty here at the School do incredible research, but none of it could be possible without the technical support of our dedicated IT team. Chad was a key player during the 15 years he was here and we will miss him dearly," says Karl S. Wolonsky, Assistant Dean of the UCI School of Physical Sciences.

“He was the backbone of our group,” says Will Kitto. “So many people relied on him.” Will worked as a programmer with Chad since their years as undergraduate students.

“Our team has been together for so many years that we've developed a special work dynamic. Chad will be truly missed,” says Domingos Begalli who, as the Director of Scientific Computing, has led the group for over 22 years.

In November 2015, Chad passed away peacefully in his home. The UCI School of Physical Sciences mourns his loss. In lieu of flowers, his family asks for donations to honor Chad's memory and contributions to the UCI School of Physical Sciences. 

To donate online go to: In the 'Comment' field, please reference that your donation is to honor Chad Cantwell's memory.

You may also mail a check made payable to the "UCI Foundation" to:

Marijana Lekousis
UCI School of Physical Sciences
162 Rowland Hall
Irvine, CA 92697

Should you have any questions regarding giving, please contact Marijana Lekousis, at or 949-824-8111.



Dear Big Bro,

I thought I had learned not to take people for granted, but I definitely thought I would have more time with you. You were probably the smartest and most talented person that I have ever known and you didn't like people making a big deal out of you. I hope all this is ok with you now because you were a pretty big deal. I hope you know how many people love you and will greatly miss you. I can't imagine going on in life without you. You supported me and stuck up for me at times when others didn't. You experienced many things before me since you were my big brother and would always assure me that things were going to be ok like my first cavity. I know we didn't talk all the time but ever since you've passed away everything reminds me of you. I want to show you and share with you things I think you would have liked that I didn't get the chance to. It was such a big deal to me that you were coming to my wedding (as I know those weren't your kind of thing) and it doesn't seem right to me for you not to be there. It kills me that you won't get to be an Uncle to our future kids. I hope you are at peace. I love you and miss you so much.



"Family" and Fan

It is still completely unfathomable that you are no longer with us.  Your absense will be notable at all future family gatherings.  I will never forget what it felt like to be in your presence.  It was impossible not to recognize how truly special you were, and I always was in awe of what a genious you were - at EVERYTHING!  You were not only gifted in the computer world, but you were a musical genius and a scrabble aficionado as well.  You had a heart of gold.  I never had to wait very long for your assistance whenever I reached out to you after doing another thing to break my computer and I will never forget your genoristy with your time.  Like the time I decided after 10 days of living in my apartment that my roommate was awful and I had to get out, and you drove down to San Diego with Ash and carried all of my furniture out of that miserable place and then set up everything in my new home.  Or the time my computer wouldn't even turn on, so you extracted EVERYTHING and put it on a portable hard drive so I wouldn't lose years of photos or songs.  You  never required anything for your time and genorosity, it was who you were.  I will forever feel honored and grateful that you would invite me into your home and that you were comfortable with me taking you to family stuff (never complaining ONCE that Taylor Swift always seemed to be in the CD deck ;-)  ).  This is such a profound loss.

You were one of a kind, completely irreplaceable.  I miss you.

Alice and Dick Brewer

Chad Cantwell's beautiful mind has touched so many and through his efforts will continue to touch many in the future. 

Juli Doar

I will miss Chad’s humor and remember the many times he quietly excused himself from family gatherings to sit and play the piano as beautiful background music that we never wanted to end.

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