RWTH to Join National High Performance Computing Alliance

13/11/2020
Copyright: Peter Winandy

Following a competitive selection process, the Joint Science Conference GWK has approved the joint application of RWTH and TU Darmstadt to join the National High Performance Computing Alliance. The consortial network sets out to provide researchers at German universities with the computing resources they need to answer complex research questions.

 

Initially, the NHR network will consist of eight computing centers of supra-regional significance, including two centers from North Rhine-Westphalian universities: RWTH and the University of Paderborn will receive about 11 million euros in funding each. The initiative is part of a comprehensive program to enhance research infrastructures in Germany. The key measures of the program are to build new research facilities, procure large-scale equipment, and boost high-performance computing capacity at German universities. The budget for these measures amounts to 62.5 million euros annually for a ten-year period.

According to RWTH Rector Ulrich Rüdiger, the GWK’s decision provides a significant gain for the University. “Over the last years, RWTH has continually developed its research infrastructures in the area of high-performance computing. The acceptance into the NHR Alliance is a recognition of the achievements of our researchers.”

The federal and state governments have offered to cover both investment costs as well as operating and personnel costs. This makes it possible to provide additional support services for users of the HPC infrastructure.

Furthermore, it provides an excellent basis for RWTH’s and TU Darmstadt’s joint activities in the National High-Performance Computing Center for the Computational Engineering Sciences, NHR4CES. Led by Professor Matthias Müller (IT Center, RWTH) and Professor Christian Bischof (Computer Center, TU Darmstadt), both universities seek to pool their capabilities in HPC applications, algorithms and methods and enhance the provision of HPC resources. Morevoer, NHR4CES offers a mentoring program for eary-career researchers.

Over the last years, both universities have advanced the computational engineering sciences (CES) in collaborative projects, graduate schools, and degree programs. This field has a focus on engineering applications, especially relating to complex flow scenarios, energy conversion, materials design, engineering-focused physics, chemistry, and the life sciences. Moreover, both institutions have developed research competencies in parallel computing, data management, and artificial intelligence.

Thanks to RWTH’s longstanding collaboration with Forschungszentrum Jülich in the JARA Center for Simulation and Data Science, NHR4CES can also draw on competencies inTier-1 supercomputing.

Both Matthias Müller and Professor Christian Bischof are delighted to continue the successful collaboration between RWTH and TU Darmstadt: “Last year we succeeded with the NFDI4Ing proposal in the National Research Data Management competition. Now, within NHR4CES, we are developing an ecosystem for high-performance computing that will advance simulation and data-based research, especially in the engineering-oriented, computer-aided research disciplines in Germany.”