High Performance Compute Resources Investment

by | Mar 28, 2019 | Compute capacity and resources, HPC, Projects | 0 comments

As part of the Research Lifecycle Programme, The University of Manchester has made a £1 million investment into computational resource to further enable research across all faculties and institutes. A new High Performance Compute (HPC) resource is now available for large scale computational jobs which previously ran on the shared N8 HPC resource which was switched off last year. As the N8 HPC resource was shared between 8 universities, this new resource marks a substantial increase in computational power now available to University of Manchester researchers.

For the research community, this means that researchers can do larger scale computational problems and take on research projects that previously exceeded our resources. This new HPC resource is currently free to use for any researcher who has a legitimate HPC need. The availability of this free resource can hopefully act as a catalyst to attract those new to HPC use.

Prof Nikolas Kaltsoyannis, Head of School of Chemistry and co-Director of Centre for Radiochemistry Research is currently doing research that will benefit from the HPC Pool. He explains: “Several decades of spent nuclear fuel reprocessing in the UK has led to the accumulation of more than 100 tonnes of plutonium, which is currently stored, as plutonium dioxide, at Sellafield. Experimental study of plutonium dioxide is very challenging, owing to its radioactivity, and so we use computational techniques to understand its chemistry, to inform decisions as to how best to store this material safely. The new HPC pool is a substantial computational resource that will greatly facilitate progress on these complex calculations”.

Dr Alistair Revell, Reader, Deputy Head of School of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering and Director of Social Responsibility, explains that the HPC Pool will also help his research: “We use High Performance Computing (HPC) in our research to investigate turbulent flow and fluid-structure interactions. Manchester is in the birthplace of the Reynolds number, the metric to describe turbulent flow, and has been at the forefront of research and development of advanced numerical techniques to predict it for several decades. Our daily life is surrounded by fluids; from the flow of blood in our bodies to the water through pipes supplying our homes and the airflow around our vehicles. While the Navier-Stokes equations provide a clear mathematical basis for turbulent flow, its chaotic and inherently multi-scale nature render prediction extremely challenging. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) relies heavily on computational facilities to explore these effects, and the HPC Pool will enable us to apply our methods to great effect. At present are working on improving aerodynamics of Formula 1 cars, fuel efficiency of heavy goods vehicles, enabling quieter and more efficient flight of aircraft, and developing tools to support clinicians in planning treatment for congenital heart disease. We anticipate that all these areas will benefit from the new resource investment that has been made.”

To find out more about this new resources and how to apply, please click on the link below.
HPC Pool

Research IT are also providing training on how to use HPC clusters. If you would like to attend one of these sessions and see how this resource could benefit you, please click on the link below (log in required).
Introduction to High Performance Computing



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