Bringing HPC Alive

By | Advanced materials, Cities and supporting life, Energy and climate change, News, The Data Revolution | No Comments
Last Thursday 21st April, Oxford Advanced Research Computing (ARC) and SES hosted the annual ARC High Performance Computing Showcase at Oxford E-research Centre to feature some of the largest research projects utilising HPC in Oxford. With speakers from The University of Oxford, Swansea University, Lenovo, and Jacobs University, Bremen, the event showcased how researchers are tacking scientific challenges using HPC. Dr. Ben Evans (Swansea University) reprised last year's visit from Bloodhound SCC, updating guests on the design of their 1,000mph car and explaining how CFD has been essential to understanding phenomena in the accelerating stage of the vehicle (see simulation below). This information...
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Creating Future Masters in Heritage Science

By | Innovation and infrastructure | One Comment
The way we understand, preserve and present the past – and the cultural, educational, social and economic value we derive from heritage and from the arts more widely – is receiving a big boost from a ground-breaking Doctoral Training Centre launched in 2014. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA) Centre is a joint initiative by the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage, the University of Oxford and the University of Brighton. Aiming not just to aid conservation but also to build skills that illuminate our heritage and advance...
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Collaboration Casts New Light On Quantum Dots

By | Advanced materials, The Data Revolution, Uncategorised | No Comments
Tiny specks or ‘quantum dots’ of gallium nitride (GaN) – described as the most significant semiconductor material since silicon – could deliver a dramatic leap forward in data processing speeds and data security, thanks to ground-breaking work at Cambridge and Oxford Universities. As part of a close and fruitful collaboration dating back to 2003, Dr Rachel Oliver, Reader in Materials Science at Cambridge, and Robert Taylor, Professor of Condensed Matter Physics at Oxford, are leading research to help release these dots’ remarkable potential and answer crucial questions about their characteristics and capabilities. This dovetailing of complementary expertise spanning two SES Consortium...
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Imaging Software Bring the Brain into Fuller Focus

By | Bioscience and medicine | No Comments
Innovative software developed at the Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB) is on track to improve our understanding of the mind’s innermost wirings – opening up exciting possibilities in neuroscience. Funded by the University of Oxford and the Human Connectome Project (see below), a team including research student Moisés Hernández Fernández,  research fellow Dr Stamatios Sotiropoulos, Prof. Stephen Smith and Prof. Michael Giles has developed parallel computation algorithms that vastly accelerate the processing of Data Mountains generated by a key medical imaging technology. This breakthrough, in which the Emerald supercomputer funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council...
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Computing Power Helps Researchers Unlock DNA’s Mysteries

By | Bioscience and medicine | No Comments
oxDNA, a novel computer model developed at the University of Oxford, is shedding important new light on how DNA behaves – underpinning valuable breakthroughs in fields such as improved drug delivery within the human body. Working at the interface between chemistry, physics and biology, a multidisciplinary team led by Professor Jonathan Doye and Professor Ard Louis has established oxDNA as the world’s premier modelling & simulation tool of its kind. Key to success has been the High Performance Computing capability of both the university’s own Advanced Research Computing (ARC) resource and the Emerald supercomputer funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research...
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From biodiesel to detergents

By | Advanced materials, Cities and supporting life | No Comments
At the University of Oxford, Nathalie Willems is using the Emerald supercomputer in research that could bring about major benefits in a number of industrial areas, leading to processes that are not only more efficient and cost effective but also better for the environment. Background Lipases perform a vital role in living organisms, breaking down large molecules of fat, for example, in the human digestive system. Lipase enzymes are used in countless industrial processes, ranging from paper to biodiesel production. They are used in detergents and to improve the quality of drug manufacturing. Lipases are proteins that act as biological...
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Stable compounds of Gallium, Indium and Thallium in the +2 oxidation state

By | Advanced materials | No Comments
In a paper published in Nature Chemistry, a team of experimental chemists from the Universities of Oxford, Monash and Queensland, in collaboration with computational chemists at University College London, announced that they have succeeded in making thermally stable and robust compounds of gallium, indium and thallium in the +2 oxidation state. This is remarkable because the chemistry of these metals is dominated by the +1 and +3 oxidations states – and those in the +2 state are typically short-lived and highly reactive. Professor Nik Kaltsoyannis, whose team in UCL’s Department of Chemistry ran the computational analysis that confirmed the discovery,...
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Working towards the Square Kilometre Array

By | News, Satellites and space | No Comments
The Many-cOre Technology Investigating Value, Application, deploymenT and Efficiency project or (MOTIVATE for short); is a pathfinder project with the aim of investigating the application of the latest many-core technologies, such as GPUs, to deliver energy and cost efficiencies in the area of radio astronomy High Performance Computing. Astrophysical radio sources such as Pulsars are excellent probes of extreme physical processes originating from compact sources within our Galaxy and beyond. Generating intermittent radio bursts of milliseconds in duration, as observed here on earth, the signals generated by Pulsars carry valuable information about the physical processes occurring at the source as well as in the intervening interstellar or intergalactic...
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Modelling the coastal effects of a Tsunami

By | Energy and climate change, Innovation and infrastructure | No Comments
Dr Serge Guillas from UCL’s Department of Statistical Science is researching models for geophysics. ThroughUCL’s membership of the Science & Engineering South (SES) Consortium, he has worked with GPU specialists in Oxford to greatly improve the performance of a tsunami simulation code. The team used the SES GPU-accelerated supercomputer, Emerald, to achieve its results. Background High-performance computing is an integral part of research aimed at modelling real-life phenomena. Recent, major tsunamis in Indonesia and Japan have caused the insurance industry and civil authorities around the world to demand better models to assess tsunami risk. Dr Serge Guillas received proof-of-concept funding from...
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