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Extreme Computing for Advanced Methods of Solving Partial Differential Equations

Project EC4aPDEs
Research Area Engineering
Principal Investigator(s) Dr Lee Margetts
  • University of Weimar, Weimar, Germany
  • University of Cardiff, Cardiff, UK
  • University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • University of Swansea, Swansea, UK
  • Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS), Barcelona, Spain
  • Cenaero, CFD and mutiphysics group, Gosselies, Belgium


Today`s global challenges in the energy, aerospace and biotechnology sectors require extreme engineering approaches that take into account the complex interplay of different physical processes that operate at multiple length and time scales. The effective collaboration of domain scientists who have access to a European infrastructure for supercomputing applications is essential to accelerate research in these areas, providing the simulation tools that will enable European industry to be highly innovative and internationally competitive.

The project has two broad aims. Firstly, it will foster a network of European scientists who are researching advanced methods for solving partial differential equations. The methods include, but are not limited to, the finite element method, the extended finite element method and meshfree methods. Secondly, using the DECI resources requested, the team will implement and deploy a "Virtual Laboratory" for materials characterisation that will be used to evaluate the response of exemplar high performance engineering materials to a range of insilico tests. The materials will be scanned at a high resolution using a state of the art X-ray tomography scanning facility at the University of Manchester. The resulting 3D images will be converted into micro-structurally faithful computer models. Finally, stress, thermal, vibration and fracture mechanics tests will be carried out, not one after another, but at the same time using multiple supercomputers simultaneously.

This work is particularly exciting because extremes of temperature, pressure and vibration, which are experienced by materials in the energy, space and aerospace sectors, are difficult and costly to recreate in the laboratory. In contrast, with the necessary computing infrastructure, they are easier to simulate.

After the DECI funded project, the newly established EC4aPDEs network will continue to recruit new members, with the aim of developing and sharing a common application software infrastructure that will make use of future European extreme computing resources.

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