February 2, 2017, by Liz Cass
£3.2m funding for high performance computing centre
The Midlands Innovation group of universities and Queen Mary University of London have been awarded £3.2million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to establish HPC Midlands Plus – a centre of excellence in high performance computing (HPC).
High performance computing is used to undertake complex simulations, to find solutions for challenging problems and to process vast quantities of data. It has the potential to act as a catalyst for breakthroughs across a wide range of sectors – from engineering, manufacturing and transport to finance, healthcare and energy.
HPC Midlands Plus, which will be based at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park, will harness the seven universities’ collective expertise in high performance computing to drive forward research and innovation in this growing area.
It will feature a 14,336 core supercomputer with 65 TB RAM, high-speed Infiniband interconnect and a 1 PB file store supplied by ClusterVision and Huawei. It will also contain a large memory Power8 component for massive data processing with a dedicated high speed file store.
HPC Midlands Plus will provide technical support, training and expertise over a range of disciplines. Research software engineers will be employed at each of the partner universities to help users scale their codes to the new system and train new users.
The Centre will be used by universities, research organisations and businesses around the country, who will be able to maximise research and innovation opportunities faster and cheaper than ever before.
Professor Steven Kenny, Director of HPC Midlands Plus, said: “High performance computing technology pervades our everyday lives. For instance it is used in the design of aircraft engines and cars, the exploration of new materials for energy generation and storage, and the delivery of personalised healthcare.
“The universities involved in the consortium have so far used high performance computing to address a number of global challenges. The establishment of HPC Midlands Plus will enable us to combine our power to explore how high performance computing can impact even more sectors and emerging areas such as quantum technologies.”
HPC Midlands Plus is due to be officially launched in the spring of this year.
Midlands Innovation is a world-class research and innovation partnership, combining the collective excellence of six leading universities in the heart of the UK – Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. It unites the power of university research with the unique strengths of Midlands industry to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development.