QUB and Ulster University awarded £2.1m grant to build high performance computing facility

  • A collaboration between Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University will see the creation of a new state-of-the-art computing facility at the QUB McClay library.

    Scientific research in fields such as artificial intelligence or chemical engineering can require vast amounts of computing power to run simulations or analyse massive data sets, whether it's pure research at a local university or product development in industry. Many firms use costly cloud-based systems or remote data centres for their computing needs, but local infrastructure would be preferred.

    Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University have now been granted £2.1m for the creation of a brand new High Performance Computing (HPC) lab to be built at the McClay library on the Queen's University Belfast campus. Named Kelvin-2, the project was funded by the Engineering and Physical Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation.

    The research that will take place in the facility includes work on brain modelling and work on AI-based brain-computer interfaces, chemical process simulation and food contamination detection, and medical computing projects such as analysing diagnostics and developing precision medicine tools.

    Professor Damien Coyle from Ulster University commented on the expected impact of the new facility: "This high performance computing facility will enable researchers scale data analytics, simulation and optimisation of AI technologies to significantly enhance research productivity and quality. In collaboration with our partners at Queen’s we will focus on developing the knowledge and skills of researchers for high performance computing software development by providing hands-on technical training, coaching sessions and promoting the adoption of best practices. We expect this to a have huge impact across a range of disciplines at both universities and industry sectors across Northern Ireland.”

    Professor Roger Woods from Queen’s University commented on the project: "As one of only seven major computer resources funded via this Tier 2 programme by EPSRC, the facility will allow Northern Ireland universities and academics to use advanced computer hardware to accelerate simulation and analytics in core research areas. There will also be opportunities to work with industry partners and educate schoolchildren with the facility, hopefully inspiring them to consider engaging with high performance computing in the future."

    Source: Queen's University Belfast

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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