High End Computing (HEC) Consortia

What are High End Computing (HEC) Consortia?

The HEC Consortia are networks of computational researchers which are provided with large amounts of the national Tier-1 High Performance computing resource ARCHER2 to distribute amongst their members. Each consortium is associated to a different research area in EPSRC remit and also serves as a forum to share knowledge and develop software.

Some Consortia also offer access to some EPSRC Tier-2 High Performance Computing services. Details on the existing Consortia, including links to their websites, and their remits can be found in the 'What are the current HEC Consortia and their remits?' section, below.

How can researchers join a HEC Consortium?

Consortia are generally open to new members; any interested researchers should contact the consortia directly through links available on their webpages which can be found below.

What if there is no HEC Consortium covering my research area?

For individual research projects there are several other access routes available, see ARCHER2 access mechanisms. Where a researcher believes that there may be significant demand for Tier-1 computational resources from a new scientific area, we recommend they contact us using the details at the bottom of the page and we will discuss this further.

What are the current HEC Consortia and their remits?

Biomolecular Simulation Consortium (BioSim)

The HEC BioSim consortium focuses on molecular simulations, at a variety of time and length scales but based on well-defined physics to complement experiment. The unique insight they can provide gives molecular level understanding of how biological macromolecules function. Simulations are crucial in analysing protein folding, mechanisms of biological catalysis, and how membrane proteins interact with lipid bilayers.

A particular challenge is the integration of simulations across length and timescales: different types of simulation method are required for different types of problems. For example, coarse-grained methods allow simulations on larger scales, while combined quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM / MM) methods can model chemical reactions, such as biological catalysis.

Materials Chemistry Consortium (MCC)

The Materials Chemistry Consortium covers the modelling and prediction of the structures, properties and reactivities of materials. The emphasis is on the atomic and molecular level but with links to models at larger length and time scales. The current scientific programme covers eight related themes: reactivity and catalysis; energy generation, storage, and transport; environmental and smart materials; biomaterials and soft matter; materials discovery; fundamentals of bulk materials; fundamentals of surfaces and interfaces; and fundamentals of low dimensional materials. The Consortium has an active programme of code development and optimisation through various EPSRC software initiatives. A wide range of techniques is employed, embracing both force-field methods employing static and dynamical simulation methodologies and electronic structure methods with a strong emphasis on Density Functional Theory (DFT) techniques employing both periodic boundary condition and embedded cluster implementations.

Plasma HEC Consortium

The Plasma HEC supports research in the simulation of plasmas across a broad spectrum of applications. In magnetic confinement fusion research, we focus primarily on what determines the transport of current experiments and planned fusion reactors. In laser-plasma physics the ;research covers all applications of laser-driven systems from inertial confinement fusion research through to next generation particle accelerators and light sources. With the advent of both high-energy and high-power laser systems the Plasma HEC also now covers research in High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) and for very high power lasers studies of QED-plasmas.

UK Car-Parrinello Consortium (UKCP)

The UKCP consortium is focused on the application of quantum mechanics to understand and predict the properties of materials. The members of UKCP have made major contributions to both the theory and application of quantum mechanics-based materials modelling, and have developed a common code-base of 3 primary packages (CASTEP, ONETEP and CONQUEST) which are distributed world-wide and widely used in both academia and industry.

The consortium contains academics from different disciplines (mainly Physics, Chemistry and Materials) and is still actively developing new methods and algorithms, and pioneering new abilities to calculate even more properties, with high accuracy and efficiency.

UK Consortium on Mesoscale Engineering Science (UKCOMES)

Mesoscale problems involve scales between micro- and macroscales, which often lie at the interfaces between engineering and sciences. UKCOMES brings together experts from many disciplines to make critical developments in mesoscale modelling and simulation while exploiting today’s and future high-end computing (HEC) architectures. Seven workpackages are established to study various aspects of mesoscale phenomena and develop the relevant simulation approaches with a focus on the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM). In-house codes will be used for development work while state of the art models and algorithms will be implemented into the open-source DL_MESO software suite for worldwide distribution.

UK Turbulence Consortium (UKTC)

Simulating and understanding turbulent flows is one of the most challenging problems in science. Many of the environmental and energy-related issues we face today cannot possibly be tackled without a better understanding of turbulence. The overarching objective of the UK Turbulence Consortium (UKTC) is to facilitate world-class turbulence research using national High-End Computing (HEC) resources. This involves performing numerical experiments with turbulence-resolving computational approaches. Such simulations are based on first principles and produce data to answer basic questions regarding the physics and modelling of turbulent flows found across a range of engineering, physiological and geophysical applications. The consortium serves as a forum to communicate research and HEC expertise within the UK turbulence community, and to help UK science remain internationally leading in this aspect of HEC-based research.

UK Consortium on Turbulent Reacting Flows Consortium (UKCTRF)

UKCTRF performs high-fidelity computational simulations (in other words Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes simulations (RANS), Large Eddy Simulation (LES) and Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS)) to address the challenges related to energy efficiency through the fundamental physical understanding and modelling of turbulent reacting flows. Engineering applications range from the formulation of reliable fire-safety measures to the design of energy-efficient internal combustion engines and gas turbines. The research of the consortium is divided into three broad work packages: (i) Fundamental physical understanding based on cutting-edge DNS of single- and multi-phase reacting flows, (ii) Applied research and technology development and (iii) Algorithm and architecture development for future platforms.


If you have any queries, you can contact EPSRC's e-Infrastructure team at researchinfrastructure@epsrc.ukri.org.