High End Computing Consortia
EPSRC funds seven High End Computing Consortia covering different topic areas within the EPSRC remit.
Consortia provide computing resources to their members on ARCHER, the national HPC facility. Consortia are generally open to new members and anyone interested in accessing ARCHER through this route should contact the consortia directly through links available on their webpages.
All the Consortia have support for code development and optimisation through EPSRC-funded routes including the Service Level Agreement with STFC’s Scientific Computing Department, direct funding of Software developers on the consortium grants, Collaborative Computational Projects (CCPs), and the embedded Computational Science and Engineering (eCSE) support provided by Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC).
Consortia also serve to coordinate community networks to share knowledge and research and to oversee the progress of the scientific and software development programmes.
The current consortia were either funded through Standard Mode grants or through a dedicated Call for proposals in 2012-13. Any newly proposed High End Computing Consortia should discuss their proposals with EPSRC’s Research Infrastructure team.
The list below summarises the Scientific remits of the Consortia. Links to their Websites can be found in the panel to the right.
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 seven related themes: catalysis, energy storage and generation, surface and interfacial phenomena, nano- and defect structures, soft matter, biomaterials, environmental 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.
The overarching objective of the UK Turbulence Consortium (UKTC) is to facilitate world-class turbulence research using national High-End Computing (HEC) resources and to communicate research and HEC expertise within the UK turbulence community. The topics investigated within the UKTC are Transition to Turbulence, Canonical grid-generated and wall-bounded turbulence, Turbulence in complex-geometry flows, Compressible flows & aeroacoustics, Turbulence in thermal/energy systems, and Many-particle interactions with turbulence. UKTC studies solely non-reacting flows while the UK Consortium for Turbulent Reacting Flows limits its remit to reacting flows. Also, the UKTC investigates fundamental physical mechanisms in predominantly canonical flow configurations, whereas the planned UK Applied Aerodynamics Consortium will focus on the application of modelling to improve the aero/hydro-dynamic performance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.