A MIDLANDS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING (HPC) SERVING REGIONAL INDUSTRY AND ACADEMIA - 'HPC MIDLANDS'

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: School of Mathematics

Abstract

High performance computing (HPC) technology is used to provide solutions for challenging problems which require advanced computer power. It can perform simulations orders of magnitudes quicker than an individual Personal Computer, resulting in a reduction in the time taken from months to days or even minutes. There is an associated capability to be able to generate, move about, and analyse very large quantities of data exceptionally quickly.

High performance computing technology now pervades our everyday lives, for example from
financial transactions, the design of aircraft engines, through to animated film production. In the Engineering and Physical Sciences at Loughborough University and the University of Leicester, HPC has to date been specifically used to address global challenges including Energy, Manufacturing, Sustainability, Healthcare, Transport.

This proposal will create a new partnership in the Midlands between Loughborough University and the University of Leicester for the delivery of HPC through the formation of the HPC-Midlands Centre to researchers in Higher Education Institutes in the Midlands, and beyond, to support excellent scientific and engineering research. It will also grow its significant portfolio of industrially relevant research and enable industrial partners to access its world-class facilities to benefit the UK economy. There will also be a focus on smaller companies in the region to provide access for them to technologies which are currently beyond their reach, and therefore provide significant opportunities for innovation, growth and wealth creation.

Planned Impact

There are a considerable number of beneficiaries from this initiative to create a Midlands Centre of Excellence for High Performance Computing (HPC) serving regional industry and academia. In the most general sense, the UK population and economy will benefit from access to the advances that state of the art computational technologies can offer, particularly with the respect to innovation and growth. However, there are also several examples of how developments in this sector have been able to enhance the quality of life, health and well-being. Examples of the widespread impact which High Performance Computing technologies can have from researchers working in collaboration with industrial partners within the proposed HPC-Midlands Centre include
- optimising building ventilation to maximise human comfort
- modelling the flow through offshore wind farms to maximise their potential
- the understanding of thin films used in photovoltaic devices to harness the sun's energy
- modelling the degradation of materials in nuclear and conventional power stations to mitigate against risk
- developing an understanding of solid-liquid interfaces to aid in drug delivery
- simulating combustion processes to both reduce harmful emissions and minimise the potential for accidents and
- modelling of aerodynamic flows to reduce noise associated with aircraft and road vehicles.

The main users and beneficiaries of this Centre outside the academic community will be industrial users, and specifically those who engage with the Centre as associate partners. The UK economy will benefit through enhancements to the research capability, efficiency, knowledge and skills of businesses and their employees, attracting R&D investments from global business, leading specifically to wealth creation and economic prosperity. There is also significant potential for companies, particularly small and medium sized enterprises, to transform the way that they use advanced computation, in some cases from a very low base to a sophisticated and highly valued tool in daily use during the design and development of advanced and innovative products. It is anticipated that access to HPC via this new regional centre will also lead to the creation and commercialisation of new processes, products and services.

Publications

10 25 50
publication icon
Al Tooq Z (2013) Modelling radiation damage at grain boundaries in fcc Nickel and Ni-based alloy using Long Time Scale Dynamics Techniques in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms

publication icon
Blackwell S (2013) Modelling the growth of ZnO thin films by PVD methods and the effects of post-annealing. in Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal

publication icon
Garmory A (2015) Numerical simulation of oxy-fuel jet flames using unstructured LES-CMC in Proceedings of the Combustion Institute

publication icon
Lazauskas T (2014) Influence of the prefactor to defect motion in a-Iron during long time scale simulations. in Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal

 
Description This grant funded the provision of a high performance computing system to underpin a wide variety of academic research and direct industrial access. We have successfully completed a number of academic projects with industrial impact covering a wide variety of sectors. We have also engaged with industry and enabled direct industrial usage of the system.
Exploitation Route We have included five case studies as part of the publications output of this grant, all of which illustrate direct impact of this work. The facilitating of direct industrial access to the system is also enabling industry to tackle its key challenges.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport

URL http://www.hpc-midlands.ac.uk
 
Description They have been used to improve aero engine design, and the coatings used on both aero engines and industrial gas turbines for power generation. To better understand how to join composite materials, helping the automotive and aerospace sectors. In the energy sector they have led to a better understanding of wind farm design and improved photovoltaic devices.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Transport
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description EPSRC CDT
Amount £5,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L015943/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2014 
End 09/2022
 
Description Standard Research - NR1
Amount £500,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K007882/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2013 
End 12/2015
 
Description Theme 2: Multi-Physics and Multi-Functional Simulation Methods.
Amount £2,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/K014102/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2013 
End 05/2018
 
Description E.oN 
Organisation E ON
Department E ON UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Contract signed for the use of HPC Midlands facilities over the next 3 years.
Start Year 2013