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High Performance Computing Hub for materials science launches at UCL


A UCL-led consortium has today (14 September 2017) launched its new national High Performance Computing facility, designed to aid research in materials and molecular modelling. The Materials and Molecular Modelling Hub (MMM Hub) will offer Tier 2 supercomputing facilities to HPC users from across the UK.

The MMM Hub was established in 2016 by a £4m EPSRC grant to develop high performance computing (HPC) facilities and develop national eInfrastructure capacity. Named in honour of Thomas Young, ‘Man of Science’, the Hub brings together four London universities who make up the Thomas Young Centre (UCL, Imperial, King’s College London, and Queen Mary University of London) in collaboration with the Science and Engineering South Consortium (UCL, Imperial College London, University of Oxford, King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London and the University of Southampton), as well as The University of Kent, Queen’s University Belfast and University of Cambridge.

Designed specifically for the materials and molecular modelling community, this Tier 2 supercomputing facility is available to HPC users all over the UK.  The Hub will offer training activities, skills development and community building opportunities for researchers and academics across a wide range of disciplines. It is operated by University College London’s Information Services Division Research IT Services, whose efforts have been rewarded with a seamless transition of the Hub from development through testing to active service stage earlier than projected.

The machine capacity is 17,000 cores, based around Lenovo 24 core Intel x86-64 nodes.  Dr. Peter Maccallum, Head of Research Computing Services at UCL said: “The MMM Hub builds on UCL’s extensive experience in constructing and supporting large scale machines to support researchers, in particular in simulation, and makes that expertise available to the whole community of EPSRC-funded materials modellers.”

Professor Angelos Michaelides (UCL Physics & Astronomy), co-Director of the Thomas Young Centre and Principal Investigator for the MMM Hub project said: “The opening of The MMM Hub is a very exciting milestone for the scientific community, particularly as it already has over two hundred users. The theory and simulation of materials is one of the most thriving and vibrant areas of modern scientific research. The new MMM Hub will provide a much-needed boost to our community’s capabilities in high performance computing.”


Keynote speakers at the launch included Professor Mark Miodownik (UCL Mechanical Engineering) alongside academics and leaders from academia and industry.