HPC Wales at Bangor

Bangor University are a partner in the High Performance Computing Wales (HPC Wales) project, a £40M pan-Wales project (part funded by the Welsh Government’ ERDF and ESF Convergence programmes for West Wales and the Valleys and the UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) that is building a state-of-the-art high-performance computing infrastructure across the universities in Wales, to deliver research innovation, high-level skills development and transformational ICT for wide economic benefit.

For academic staff at Bangor, HPCW offers several possibilities to enhance research output and commercial collaboration.  The opportunities include:

  • Access to world-class HPC resource

  • Access to PhD studentships

  • Technical support to help you get your projects onto the system

  • Mentoring and outreach support to help you develop relationships with commercial organisations

  • Support to bring users who are totally new to computational science up to speed with HPC

  • Related training and upskilling opportunites

 HPC Resource

HPCW is in the process of installing hardware across University sites in Wales. When completed, the total compute power available will place HPCW in around the top-50 sites globally, so very significant computing power is available for researchers and commercial organisations throughout Wales.


The local machine at Bangor is operational, and comprises of 648 Intel Xeon (Westmere) 2.66GHz cores, nearly 2TB of memory and 10 Tbyte of local storage. However, access to the entire HPCW system, including larger systems for heavy production work, can be achieved either through direct login over a dedicated high-performance campus network connection, or via SynfiniWay which provides a web-based, graphical interface that is ideal for users who are new to HPC.

 PhD Studentships

Fujitsu were selected as the HPCW technology partner to deliver both the infrastructure, and to support the research and training activity of the project.  As a part of their involvement in the project, Fujitsu are funding ~20 PhDs across the partner Universities.  Seven of these studentships have already been awarded in areas such as offshore tide- and wave-based energy generation, climate change modelling, oil and gas reservoir exploration and genomics, with two of the studentships coming to Bangor. 

We are now pleased to announce that a further seven PhD studentships will be allocated on the basis of an all Wales competitive call. Applications must be made by 17:00 on 31st May 2012 using the HPC Wales – Fujitsu Studentship Application Form. Applications will be evaluated by a selection committee composed of representatives from the universities, HPC Wales and Fujitsu, whose decision shall be final. Guidance on the criteria to be used for evaluation is available in the document HPC Wales – Fujitsu Studentship Application Evaluation Guidance. It is anticipated that approximately 50% of the studentships will be awarded in areas that are of particular interest to Fujitsu.

The official HPC Wales call is at http://www.hpcwales.co.uk/fujitsu-studentships-in-high-performance-computing2

You can get the application form here, and the guidance documents here.

During the week begining 7th May, we will be running a number of informal lunchtime seminars to present the opportunities offered by these studentships and how to apply, and to answer any queries you may have.  Subject to demand, the plan at the moment is to hold seminars at the following locations:

  • Ocean Sciences, Menai Bridge (CNS), 8th May, 13:00-14:00, Denis Crisp Seminar Room, Craig Mair
  • Brigantia (COHABS), 9th May,  13:00-14:00, Room 230, Adeilad Brigantia
  • Bangor Business School (CBBSL / CAH / CELL), 10th May, 13:00-14:00, A1.06, Alun
  • Dean Steet (COPAS / CNS), 11th May, 13:00-14:00,  DS-120, Dean Street

Please contact Laura Redfern, laura.redfern@hpcwales.co.uk, 07985 771287, to register your interest in attending a semminar, or for help in completing the application form, and help with finding a collaborating partner.  Phil Lane, p.lane@bangor.ac.uk, 07739 473542, can offer guidance about the selection process and criteria, and how to pitch your proposal to maximise the chance of success.

Technical Support and Assistance

HPCW have a staff member based full time at Bangor who is responsible for the physical operation of the Bangor-based hardware, shared management of the Wales-wide infrastructure and providing support for users of all ability levels as they come onto the system.

For a discussion about any technical aspects of the HPCW project please contact Ade Feweings, ade.fewings@hpcwales.co.uk

Mentoring and Outreach Support

HPCW is primarily an economic regeneration activity, and each project needs to make a contribution to the HPCW output targets by having an association with an appropriate collaborator, usually an SME with an operation base in the West Wales and Valleys Convergence region.  Laura Redfern, laura.redfern@hpcwales.co.uk, 07985 771287 is another HPCW staff member based at Bangor who is there to help with building relationships with local companies and organisations which can directly benefit you and your research.  Bryn Jones, bryn.jones@bangor.ac.uk, in the Research and Innovation Office can also help with this process.

Users New to Computational Science

There are areas of research where the linkage to computational science is not obvious, but where considerable benefit can be realised by using HPC in innovative ways.  We will be developing and working through a variety of routes to identify such users, but in the meantime if you have any interest in finding out more about HPCW, please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of the contacts listed above.

Further Information

Please re-visit this website for further infomation on HPC opportunies and activity here at Bangor.  It will be regularly updated.

Further information on HPC Wales and its activities across Wales can be found on the project website: www.hpcwales.co.uk

 

Publication date: 2 May 2012