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Primeur weekly 2018-05-14

Crowd computing

Supercomputing power for rainfall modelling in Africa ...

Quantum computing

D-Wave announces Quadrant machine learning business unit ...

MDR Corporation and D-Wave Systems announce quantum computing agreement ...

Focus on Europe

PPI4HPC starts its joint procurement process ...

BSC awarded ESA project to evaluate low-power GPUs for space applications ...

GCS begins next-generation architecture transition and approves more than 1 billion computing core hours for large-scale simulation projects ...

Middleware

ClusterVision awarded contract to deliver Scandinavia's most powerful supercomputer ...

TIBCO and Amazon Web Services break performance record ...

Towards sustainable blockchains ...

Hardware

Intersect360 Research invites to participate in annual HPC Site Census study ...

SDSC's Industry Partners Programme announces Technology Forum roundtables ...

Applications

Excellence in science drives PRACE 16th Call for Project Access ...

Who will win the Dutch Data Prize 2018? ...

Waterloo chemists create faster and more efficient way to process information ...

Montana State student wins NSF fellowship to advance research on fluid sprays ...

Montana State researcher wins NSF CAREER award ...

An AI oncologist to help cancer patients worldwide ...

The Cloud

Oracle delivers next set of autonomous Cloud platform services ...

Mellanox Technologies selects Univa to extend silicon design HPC cluster to hybrid Cloud ...

Mellanox and Red Hat deliver enhanced performance and simplicity for NFV infrastructure and Agile Cloud data centres ...

IBM and Red Hat join forces to accelerate hybrid Cloud adoption ...

Red Hat and Microsoft co-develop the first Red Hat OpenShift jointly managed service on a public Cloud ...

Montana State researcher wins NSF CAREER award

Mark Owkes, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, has received the National Science Foundation's prestigious CAREER award. Credit: MSU Photo by Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez.8 May 2018 Bozeman - Where most people see a drop of water splashing in the kitchen sink, a Montana State University professor sees the interplay of chaos and order, a riddle that could one day be solved with powerful computers in order to improve car engines and other technologies.

The splashing drop breaks up into smaller droplets, which in turn disperse into even smaller droplets as they interact with air, much the way gasoline vaporizes in a firing engine, according to Mark Owkes, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering.

"Right now, it's assumed physics. Nobody really knows what's happening", Mark Owkes stated.

Charting an ambitious path for unraveling the mysteries of liquid-gas interactions, Mark Owkes has earned the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award for early career teacher-scholars. The five-year, $500,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, which Mark Owkes won in April, honours outstanding tenure-track scientists, and is notable because it goes to a single person instead of a team.

"This really points to the quality of Mark's research and his future potential", stated Dan Miller, head of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. The research, he added, has broad applications and "could increase the efficiency in a lot of processes that we care about from a sustainability perspective", including vehicle engines, various energy technologies and thermal control of buildings.

Mark Owkes described his research as a hybrid of engineering and computer science that is "math-intensive and (computer) code-intensive". In order to understand how fluids behave in a spray, he creates mathematical models that describe the breakup of liquid into droplets, then runs the simulations on supercomputers such as Montana State University's Hyalite Research Computing Cluster, which is the largest supercomputer in Montana and an often-used tool at the state's flagship research university. Even these powerful computers can take days or weeks to arrive at an answer.

"One of the challenges is that these simulations are massive", Mark Owkes stated. Because the research is so time- and resource-intensive, he said, it is relatively inaccessible to engineers trying to design a new fuel injector for a car engine, for example.

A major goal of his research is to fix that by making the simulations run faster while also being more accurate, which could help create simpler, more effective modeling tools for engineers, Mark Owkes said.

Accomplishing that, Mark Owkes explained, requires new modeling techniques that combine complex mathematics and advances in computer science. One possibility is to develop new computer algorithms that process the large amounts of data in the simulations in order to create something analogous to a family tree for the particles of liquid in a spray. That would create a novel and powerful way to visualize and track the behaviour of individual droplets.

All this makes it a very interesting time to be working in his research field, said Mark Owkes, who joined the Montana State University faculty in 2014 after earning his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Cornell University. He earned his master's in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

While earning his bachelor's at Clarkston University in New York, his research was very hands-on, involving wind turbines. "I spent a lot of time in the machine shop", he stated. It wasn't until graduate school that he began to merge his mechanical aptitude with computer simulations, which captured his imagination.

"You can do experiments with (computer) code that you can't in real life", Mark Owkes stated. "Writing code is rewarding. You're creating something very dynamic." By changing just a few lines of computer code, a whole new experiment can be created, he added.

That means that computer simulations, as they continue to be improved, will become more and more important throughout engineering, Mark Owkes said. "Mechanical engineers are going to be using computer simulations to design most anything."

He wants engineering students at Montana State University to ride that wave of change and have a working knowledge of computer programming, and to help them do that, some of the CAREER funding will go toward creating a drop-in centre where students can get help programming and de-bugging code. The resource will also allow faculty to assign more computer-intensive assignments, Mark Owkes said.

The main benefit of the five-year CAREER grant is that it supports an open-ended, ambitious project that emphasizes curiosity and lets the researcher follow the inquiry where it wants to go.

"If we talked about this research in five years", Mark Owkes stated, "it would probably be very different than what we are talking about today."

Source: Montana State University

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2018-05-14

Crowd computing

Supercomputing power for rainfall modelling in Africa ...

Quantum computing

D-Wave announces Quadrant machine learning business unit ...

MDR Corporation and D-Wave Systems announce quantum computing agreement ...

Focus on Europe

PPI4HPC starts its joint procurement process ...

BSC awarded ESA project to evaluate low-power GPUs for space applications ...

GCS begins next-generation architecture transition and approves more than 1 billion computing core hours for large-scale simulation projects ...

Middleware

ClusterVision awarded contract to deliver Scandinavia's most powerful supercomputer ...

TIBCO and Amazon Web Services break performance record ...

Towards sustainable blockchains ...

Hardware

Intersect360 Research invites to participate in annual HPC Site Census study ...

SDSC's Industry Partners Programme announces Technology Forum roundtables ...

Applications

Excellence in science drives PRACE 16th Call for Project Access ...

Who will win the Dutch Data Prize 2018? ...

Waterloo chemists create faster and more efficient way to process information ...

Montana State student wins NSF fellowship to advance research on fluid sprays ...

Montana State researcher wins NSF CAREER award ...

An AI oncologist to help cancer patients worldwide ...

The Cloud

Oracle delivers next set of autonomous Cloud platform services ...

Mellanox Technologies selects Univa to extend silicon design HPC cluster to hybrid Cloud ...

Mellanox and Red Hat deliver enhanced performance and simplicity for NFV infrastructure and Agile Cloud data centres ...

IBM and Red Hat join forces to accelerate hybrid Cloud adoption ...

Red Hat and Microsoft co-develop the first Red Hat OpenShift jointly managed service on a public Cloud ...