Hank is Director of the Paul G. Allen School and Wissner-Slivka Chair in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, where his research projects concern operating systems, distributed systems, security, the world-wide web, and computer architecture. He launched his career at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), an early computer manufacturer, where he worked on commercial operating systems and system architecture. The author of two books and more than 100 papers on computer systems design, his publications have earned over a dozen best-paper awards and three "test of time/influential paper" awards in operating systems and computer architecture. Hank has supervised 24 Ph.D. students, many of whom now hold academic positions.
Hank is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and recipient of a Fulbright Research Scholar Award. He is former chair of ACM SIGOPS (the Special Interest Group on Operating Systems), former program chair of the ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP), The USENIX Conference on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI), the ACM Conference on Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS), and the IEEE Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HOTOS).
He has co-founded two companies -- Skytap, a Seattle cloud-computing company, and Performant, Inc., a Java-based performance management company that was acquired by Mercury in 2003. He is a member of the Technical Advisory Boards of Isilon Systems, Zillow.com, Turi (formerly GraphLab), Alibaba, and Madrona Venture Group. He served as the CSE project leader for the design and construction of the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering and the new Bill & Melinda Gates Center, and is art curator for the Allen Center art collection.