Proposal for a Tier 2 Centre - HPC Midlands Plus

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Materials

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 across the consortium, HPC has to date been specifically used to address global challenges including Energy, Manufacturing, Sustainability, Healthcare and Transport. Moving forwards we are looking at how we can develop HPC to have an impact in emergent areas, such as Quantum Technologies.

This proposal will build on partnerships in the Midlands and with Queen Mary for the delivery of HPC through the formation of the HPC Midlands Plus 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. Underpinning this will be a commitment from the Universities to support the development of software that can make the optimal use of the system.

Planned Impact

The EPSRC Tier 2 Centre for HPC hosted by Loughborough with Aston, Birmingham, Leicester, Queen Mary, Nottingham and Warwick Universities as partners will not only provide a crucial facility but will also form a Centre for training and developing a critical mass of highly trained people with advanced scientific computational skills. It will help the UK to realise its vision for a tiered HPC landscape, with a substantial investment in people to develop the software required to efficiently utilise the hardware. Thus, it will also develop the concept of software as supported infrastructure.

The main users and beneficiaries of this Centre outside of the academic community will be industrial collaborators, although in the wider sense the UK population will benefit through developments facilitated to enhance quality of life, health and well-being. The UK economy will benefit through enhancements to the research capability, efficiency, knowledge and skills of businesses, attracting R&D investments from global business, leading specifically to wealth creation and economic prosperity. It is anticipated that access to HPC will also lead to commercialisation and the creation of new processes, products (including software) and services.

Publications

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Anwar M (2019) Nonlinear shear of entangled polymers from nonequilibrium molecular dynamics in Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics

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Au H (2020) A revised mechanistic model for sodium insertion in hard carbons in Energy & Environmental Science

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Bai J (2020) Synthesis of Bi2S3/carbon nanocomposites as anode materials for lithium-ion batteries in Journal of Materials Science & Technology

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Barbieri R (2020) The Bardeen-Petterson effect in accreting supermassive black hole binaries: a systematic approach in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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Blowey PJ (2019) The Structure of VOPc on Cu(111): Does V=O Point Up, or Down, or Both? in The journal of physical chemistry. C, Nanomaterials and interfaces

 
Description In the first year HPC Midlands Plus has led to 45 journal publications in fields from CFD for the design of gas turbines and cars through computational biology and materials science to models in plasma physics. This demonstrates the wide range of application areas that the centre is supporting. The quality of the work is evidence by publications in journals including Nature, JFM and ACS Nano.

The centre leads on the development on a number of community codes and work within the centre has directly led to code speed improvements in at least five of these as well as contributions to two others.
Exploitation Route The high quality academic publications have disseminated many of the findings widely in the scientific arena, as have presentations given by researchers using the facility. The work on developing the codes will also directly impact other researchers across many areas allowing them to achieve more challenging calculations.

We have excellent industrial outreach through for example the 3 Rolls Royce UTCs, the strong project links with JLR and many other industries. Thus through these and the support of a number of APC and Innovate UK projects industrial impact is being achieved.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology,Transport

 
Description A considerable amount of HPC Midlands Plus compute time is directed to industrially linked research. Projects supported by the system includes research at three Rolls Royce UTCs, work with Jaguar Land Rover as well as the MoD and Culham. One of the case studies below highlights work as part of an FP7 framework project involving both Rolls Royce and Airbus. Examples of the type of project that we are supporting is highlighted by the work taking place in the Rolls Royce UTC at Nottingham. Where HPC Midlands Plus has been used to perform high fidelity simulations of aero engine cavity and labyrinth seal flows. Such flows are particularly challenging for standard modelling approaches. State of the art turbulence eddy resolving approaches have been investigated. Coupled FEA-CFD complex geometry simulations of power plant components have been performed dramatically improving FEA capability. Complete components are now able to be modelled through HPC Midlands Plus. Modelling of thermal spray coatings using Suspension High Velocity Oxy Fuel (S-HVOF) is also being modelled using HPC Midlands Plus. The work is looking at four commercially available nozzle geometries and to investigate the influence the nozzle geometry has on the gas flow and the evaporation rate. With Rolls-Royce, HPC Midlands Plus is being used to develop reliable and efficient computational fluid dynamics models to enhance the existing understanding of thin-film hydrodynamic inside the bearing chambers. This includes a new wetting and drying model to model the very complex two-phase flow features.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description Design and high throughput microwave synthesis of Li-ion battery materials
Amount £366,507 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N001982/2 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 03/2020
 
Description EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Gas Turbine Aerodynamics
Amount £5,245,733 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/L015943/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2014 
End 09/2022
 
Description Modelling radiation resistant low activation High Entropy Alloys
Amount £337,694 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S032819/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2019 
End 05/2022
 
Title Development of the EPOCH code to Tier 2 scale 
Description Software tool for Plasma modelling 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The modelling code now scales to larger core counts and impacts on one of the CCP 
 
Description GPU Programming in Python 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact About 50 PhD students and PDRAs attended a two day workshop
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Intel AVX programming 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Intel AVX course mainly for PhD students and research software engineers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Introduction to MPI course 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact We ran Introduction to MPI courses at Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick in collaboration with EPCC to teach new skills to PGR students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Managing software with GitHub 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Course on using GitHub
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description RSE workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Meeting of the research software engineers associated with the centre to enable networking and dissemination of best practice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Scientific Python 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 35 mainly PhD students and PDRAs attended a two day training event
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018