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This newsletter gives an overview of the HPC-Europa3 programme, some testimonials, from hosts and visitors, and more!
This newsletter gives an overview of the HPC-Europa3 programme, some testimonials, a success story from some of our recent visitors, and more!

Why apply to HPC-Europa3?

Do you use computational methods for your research? Could you explore novel areas or obtain more exciting results more quickly if you had access to more powerful computing facilities? Would you like to strengthen international collaboration on your research? Then HPC-Europa3 could be for you!

HPC-Europa3 allows researchers to travel to a participating country (Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden or the UK) to collaborate with a “host” research group in their field, while gaining access to some of the most powerful High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities in Europe.

Research links established under HPC-Europa have led to joint publications, ongoing collaborations and reciprocal research visits, and even visitors obtaining subsequent research positions within their former host group.

  • The programme is open to researchers of all levels, from postgraduate to full professor, and in any area of research which can make use of HPC facilities. Visits can last up between 3 and 13 weeks, and travel and living expense are supported by HPC-Europa3.
  • Applications are particularly encouraged from disciplines which have not traditionally used HPC methods, and from research groups who would not otherwise have access to computational facilities of this type. The participation of researchers with less experience is also encouraged. 
  • SME's can apply or host too, as long as you are willing to publish results.
  • There are 4 closing dates per year, and applications can be submitted online at any time.

A visitor experience: a productive and nice visit to HLRS! 

Hi there! My name is Olena Kriukovska, I’ve graduated from the «Computer Engineering» department at the Donetsk National Technical University, Ukraine. In summer 2019 I spent thirteen weeks visiting the High Performance Computing Center (HLRS) at the University of Stuttgart in Germany under the HPC-Europa3 programme and was hosted by Dr. Alexey Cheptsov.
Our project aimed to evaluate a new, block-based numerical method of PDE solving. The main purpose of our work was the development of complex simulation system of coal mine branch ventilation using the microservices approach. The concept of the developed application was to collect data from sensors in the mine branch with the possibility of storing them in a database, as well as their visualization. The evaluated method has proven stability and high quality for solving typical Lattice-Boltzmann equations of the targeted MD (Molecular Dynamics) code (MS2, developed by HLRS), which was chosen for validation. However, it turned out that the performance of the code dropped down due to an increasing communication overhead between the discretization domains. In the discussion with the Host, we came to the conclusion, that it would be worth trying a CFD application with non-linear PDEs of a higher complexity, such as available in CFD applications that rely on classical Navier-Stokes equations. Therefore we decided to apply for another HPC-Europa3 project, which relies on the outcomes of the previous one whilst going in a principally different direction – implementation of a modular architecture for development of CFD applications that might benefit from the service-oriented approach to allow experimentation with different approximation schemes, discretization approaches, numerical solution methods, results validation etc.

In January 2020 my second visit to HLRS started. During my visit to Dr. Montanana’s group I would like to develop the aero- and gas-dynamics CFD models for mine ventilation systems with a micro-service framework MS-SIM (a proprietary code developed by HLRS in the frame of project PHANTOM).

However, my time in Stuttgart won’t be only about work. During my first visit I discovered not only all corners of Stuttgart, but also München, Ulm and even Strasbourg. This time I’m going to make a trip to nice small towns around Stuttgart, such as Tübingen, Ludwigsburg, Heidelberg and many others.

Visit us: SURFsara

SURFsara is the Dutch national supercomputing centre. Centrally located in Amsterdam, SURFsara serves all academia in The Netherlands. HPC-Europa3 visitors work at any of the universities in The Netherlands.

What can you do?
The biggest user group works in quantum chemistry and molecular dynamics, both fundamental and applied. Furthermore, The Netherlands have large groups in medical imaging, life sciences, astrophysics, materials fundamental research and various engineering fields. Researchers from all universities in The Netherlands qualify for working on the supercomputer, and the popular destinations for HPC-Europa visitors include Amsterdam, Groningen, Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Delft. However, as all universities qualify, new hosts and visitors are welcome.

About SURFsara and its supercomputer
SURFsara was founded as SARA in 1971, and has hosted all national supercomputers since 1984. SARA became a company of SURF Netherlands in 2013, after which the name was changed into SURFsara. SURF is a cooperation of universities and universities of applied sciences, providing state-of-the-art compute and network technology to research and education. In 2020, SURFsara will fully merge with SURF, and its name will change into SURF Netherlands. SURF has close partnerships with other European partnership programmes, such as PRACE, GEANT , ET4HPC and CompBioMed.

SURFsara’s current supercomputer is Cartesius, consisting of around 40.000 Intel XEON cores, and 66 dual-Tesla K40 GPGPU nodes. For specialized work, Cartesius has a sequana cell with 177 X1110 nodes and 18 X1210 Xeon Phi KNL nodes available. Being a true general-purpose system with a rich set of available software and easy access, Cartesius is heavily used and appreciated by the scientific community in The Netherlands.

About The Netherlands
The Netherlands is part of the European Union and the Schengen area, which means that visitors from Europe can work without a work permit. In fact, over half of all scientific staff is from abroad, attracted by the welcoming and informal atmosphere. The Netherlands is centrally located in Europe and has excellent connections by airplane or train, and can even reached by car from many places. The Netherlands is about 300 kilometers from north to south, so you can visit most interesting places in a day-trip. English is spoken everywhere and is the working language at universities.

A scientific host point of view: Alessandro Stroppa (CNR-SPIN)

It is really exciting: some researchers have made the choice for conducting a research program with you supported by the HPC-Europa3 program.. Soon, you feel deeply involved in her/his research project in order to achieve great results!

Everything works well: after fixing the period, HPC-Europa3 team helps in everything  you may need for hosting the researcher.  Plenty of CPU time at the best HPC platforms  will be available for the research project.

I believe that the program is really a great idea, a starting point for future international collaborations.  
More and more researchers will certainly apply to this programme.

Important dates

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