An introduction to High Performance Computing at Kingston University

An introduction to High Performance Computing at Kingston University


The high-performance computing facility
has been used extensively by Kingston
University’s students and staff in the
science, engineering and computing faculty since 2009.
This HPC enables more
complex computation than ever before as
the memory intensive simulations take a
fraction of time it would take a
standard computer, this means that
students and staff can obtain simulation
results much faster with an HPC.
Work that could have taken months before can now be done in days or even hours.
Whether it is research and work from undergraduate and
postgraduate students or the research
from Kingston University’s academic and
technical teams, obtaining quick results
is hugely beneficial.
Processing speed is important in many types of research work undertaken at our university
such as dissertations, group projects, PhD research or research for more academic
and technical teams which gets published
in high-impact journals.
Students can also analyse their results for longer periods of time
The use of the HPC
has also helped our students develop a
high number of desirable skills such as
parallel programming, the modeling of
complex structures, or learning advanced structural analysis
this makes Kingston
University students stand out from the crowd
and is very important in terms of
their employability.
With the growing demands from industries
like aerospace and automotive industries
and many other industries for quick and
accurate numerical simulations knowing
how to do high-performance computing is
an essential skill these days for
engineering graduates and I know many of
our graduates are using this skill
high-performance computing in their jobs
daily.
At Kingston University the HPC is used in simulation and design work in many
varied areas
Rational drug design relies
on the availability of the 3d structure
of protein of interests while those
structures can be obtained using
experimental techniques in laboratories
this is extremely expensive and takes
years of work the alternative is to use
simulations using computers with my team
we have been developing approaches in
order to do that job in order to
validate them we calculated that using a
single PC 16 years of computation would
be required
fortunately using the university HPC
facility only a few weeks sufficed.
HPC technologies continue to change at a
rapid pace
Kingston University is currently replacing
the old HPC system with a new system.
The usability is also going to be greatly
improved with the introduction of a new
web portal accessible from anywhere in
the world so there’ll be no need to sit at a desk to work.
Users will be able to
get their results from their favourite coffee shops or the airport lounge
Students are trained and supported by
our technicians and academics and we
allocate usage following our fair share
principle looking at the CPU and running
time required for each request

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