SME Engagement Springboard for Archie-West

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Chemical and Process Engineering


Archie-West aims to be a regional centre of excellence in High Performance Computing (HPC) that is dedicated to a) supporting and enabling multidisciplinary research in engineering and science, and b) fostering partnership working and collaboration between stakeholders from universities, industry and the public sector. This proposal is for Springboard funding to allow us to overcome two primary barriers to further industrial engagement:

1. Expert support which is required to ensure new users of our HPC service can efficiently and effectively exploit the computational resources, thus facilitating enterprise and innovation by the industrial partners;

2. Software availability for Computational Fluid Dynamics, which is required for a multitude of engineering applications in, for example, the oil and gas, renewable energy, and aerospace sectors.

By providing free access to industry-standard commercial software, and providing a range of support and training services, we plan to make a step-change in our engagements with industry in the West of Scotland region. We will exploit and develop a range of contacts that we have through our previous activities, such as with oil and gas leaders Expro and the Weir Group, as well as through partner centres of excellence. These include the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), which is a High Value Manufacturing Catapult involving the University of Strathclyde, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government, with leading industrial partners such as Rolls-Royce, Boeing, TIMET, Aubert & Duval and Barnes Aerospace. The AFRC develops new technologies for the design and manufacture of a range of new engineering products, where High Performance Computing tools can play a significant role in keeping the centre and its members at the leading-edge of commercial innovation. Furthermore, by working with the large industrial partners, we also aim to develop relationships with their supply-chain of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) so that HPC technology will become embedded in the UK engineering economy.

Planned Impact

The project will directly impact on wealth-creating activity in the West of Scotland region and beyond. High Performance Computing, coupled with advanced software and appropriate support and training, provides bespoke tools to allow industry to design new engineering components and manufacturing processes. By removing the primary obstacles to HPC uptake in our partner industries, the project will enable a decisive change in the expectation and practices of both large industry and their supply-chain SMEs. This will ensure that engineering activities in the region and beyond will be competing at the highest levels, ensuring that UK industry and enterprise continues to innovate and lead.

The development of academia-industry collaborations enabled by the project also ensure that engineering requirements for HPC tools become further embedded in University planning and research practices, leading to highly-trained graduates better equipped for modern industry. Graduates entering industry will in turn ensure that HPC and related e-infrastructure become common-place in industry, delivering long-term impact to the UK economy.


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Description Utilising the training materials developed in this award, the HPC facilities at ARCHIE-WeSt have been used for a number of commercially confidential projects by industrial organisations.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Economic

Title Ansys Fluent Training Materials 
Description As part of this project we created materials to facilitate industrial users wishing to migrate from their desktop workflow environments to the high performance computing facilities at ARCHIE-WeSt. Sample case studies are available from the ARCHIE-WeSt website (url below). Interesting users can also obtain details run scripts etc from the ARCHIE-WeSt support team. 
Type Of Material Data handling & control 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact We have had a number of commercially confidential projects running on ARCHIE-WeSt as a consequence of this grant and the training materials it generated. 
Description HPC Working Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact HPC Working Group for EPSRC
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016