CCP12: High Performance Computing in Engineering

Lead Research Organisation: Science and Technology Facilities Council
Department Name: Computational Science & Engineering


The scientific remit of CCP12 is to provide core support to the engineering community in the use of High Performance Computing. The move to massively parallel computing in 1994 led to the successful establishment of four engineering consortia that were active on the Cray T3D. Since their formation, all of the consortia have continued to flourish and expand their membership. CCP12's role and remit is now much broader and, in addition to the direct support offered to consortia and academic researchers, CCP12 is involved in the on-going development of its demonstrator software and identifying strategic research themes with strong potential for building new engineering consortia. The work programme is agreed with the CCP12 Chairman and Steering Panel and we aim to continue this work and expand its core support to enable new engineering activities to emerge and develop into strong communities that can exploit the UK's flagship facilities of today and tomorrow.

Numerous high-technology industries increasingly rely on advanced engineering simulation to reduce cost, reduce risk, enhance functionality and maintain an internationally leading capability. Computational engineering is therefore a key underpinning capability where the UK has notable strengths both in academe and industry. It is clearly vital that the UK retains and enhances its current position through the continued development of advanced simulation capabilities. CCP12's vision and ambition is to ensure that UK researchers are able to tackle computational engineering grand challenges using the best available numerical methods and techniques and to accelerate the impact of UK computational engineering on national and international High Performance Computing facilities.

CCP12 is therefore involved in a number of forward-looking petascale (through PRACE and related activities in the USA e.g. INCITE) and exascale initiatives (EESI). Developing software at this scale will have many positive benefits that will enable academic research to prepare and stay at a level that is internationally leading and also maintain a strong industrial competitiveness. CCP12 and the engineering consortia are convinced that petascale and exascale computing will bring unprecedented opportunities for scientific and technological advancement. To ensure the computational engineering research base remains at the forefront of advanced simulation CCP12 has proposed an ambitious and forward-looking programme of development, support and expanded activities.

Planned Impact

Impact from CCP12 cuts across academic, industrial, environmental and societal frontiers. Indeed, by 2020, design and simulation will increasingly be at the heart of companies that wish to have an internationally-leading profile. They will rely on high fidelity simulations that will enable them to take mission-critical decisions which will minimise risk, reduce cost, and allow them to get their product to market. In short, deploying advanced engineering software will have a direct effect on their ability to retain a market-leading position.

An immediate beneficiary of CCP12's core support is the UK research community, especially in the field of computational engineering where CCP12 works in close collaboration with the various engineering consortia. For example, in the UK Applied Aerodynamics Consortium, which was founded through industry-led CCP12 workshops, we have worked to improve understanding in the area of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to improve collaboration and stimulate the use of HPC in applied aerodynamics. By gaining access to national supercomputing resources, this has allowed simulations with increased complexity and realism to be undertaken. This has proved to be of great benefit to academe, government agencies, and industrial partners who gain first-hand knowledge at the regular dissemination activities provided by CCP12 and the various consortia.

The impacts arising from CCP12 support will emerge from the work that is done by the individual members of each consortium and economic benefits of the work are likely to be significant, due to the practical nature of much of the engineering research that will be enabled and enhanced through CCP12 support. Access to significant HPC resources allows increased rigour in the study of complex physics through proper spatial and temporal resolution. In addition, CCP12 has worked to stimulate interest in HPC and CFD by providing advanced demonstrations, code evaluations, and experienced manpower. This clearly enhances the UK's international credibility and capability in computational engineering.

Economic benefits will be derived from consortia research; for example, the UK Turbulence Consortium aims to gain a better understanding of the nature of turbulent flow. This fundamental work is supported by CCP12 through advice on algorithms and numerical methods which serves to enhance the efficiency of the simulation codes. Enhanced turbulence modelling derived from this research is used across a wide range of industries, including not only aerospace but also the chemical and other process industries where enhanced turbulent mixing is essential to the outcome.

Societal and environmental benefits will be obtained from the work of the Combustion Consortium, where energy security, more efficient and cleaner engines, greenhouse gas emissions, and the carbon footprint are key drivers. CCP12 is involved in software development and works with members to improve fundamental understanding. Industrial partners derive economic benefits particularly within the energy sector, including companies producing gas turbines for power generation and for aircraft propulsion. Models and codes developed by consortium members are in use within such companies, with benefit to the UK competitive position in several worldwide markets.

All the engineering consortia were founded with the support of CCP12 workshops, and they have continued to benefit throughout their existence from CCP12 support for CFD methods and algorithms. This has enabled members of the consortium, which includes industrial partners, to contribute to the development of codes, many of which are now in daily use by UK industry, helping to solve engineering problems with benefit to UK competitiveness in a wide range of UK export sectors. CCP12 is now working with new consortia in computational mechanics and environmental hydraulics that could have a profound effect in many environmental and societal applications.


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Description We ran one of the UK's first million core test case using facilities in the USA under INCITE in preparation for exascale.
The use of Murray's Law as a biomimetic rule for micro-systems can help improve design of bifurcating channels for tissue engineering.
Exploitation Route The use of biomimetic chip design based on Murray's law has many advantages and could benefit healthcare sectors involved in replacing animal testing.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

Description Work on petascale and exascale developments are being used within PRACE and in the UK engineering consortia (UKTC and UKCTRF). Substantial progress in understanding when the governing equations for fluid flow break down and development of novel techniques to solve a range of problems. Developments with biomimetics are now being taken forward in the tissue engineering sector.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Energy,Environment,Healthcare
Description High End Computing Call
Amount £513,863 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P022243/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 05/2020
Description High End Computing Call
Amount £475,707 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P022286/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 05/2019
Description Programme Grant
Amount £3,380,740 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/N016602/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2016 
End 12/2020
Description We are working with Cambridge and Newcastle universities to create an adaptive mesh solver for turbulent reacting flows. Good progress is being made with the anticipation that the software will be released in late 2017 or 2018. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2017 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact Not yet released, still under development and test.