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High-performance computing

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS) has access to high-performance computing, often called supercomputing, which allows us to investigate problems that were previously beyond reach and to conduct computational engineering and science research that has numerous benefits.

High-performance computing is used to provide solutions to problems that: 

  • Need to access or process very large amounts of data quickly.
  • Need to operate interactively across a geographically distributed network.
  • Require significant computational power.

The aerospace and automotive industries are only a few of the many industries that rely on high-performance computing. Solutions for many complex problems involving fluid dynamics, heat transfer and stress analysis are dependent on high-performance computing.

Determining the aerodynamic flows around an automobile and the resulting drag, for example, often require extensive computation that can only be accomplished in a reasonable timeframe via high-performance computing. One of our university’s research groups is using high-performance computing to simulate radiation exposure and predict an individual’s level of exposure from a specified radiation source.

Our university’s access to high-performance computing is provided primarily through its membership in the Shared Hierarchical Academic Research Computing Network (SHARCNET). A multi-institutional consortium of Southern Ontario universities, SHARCNET accelerates the production of research results in the engineering, science, business and social sciences. SHARCNET enables hundreds of computers to link together to form a supercomputer, and represents a significant research tool for SHARCNET’s members.

SHARCNET received a $19.3 million Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) grant in early 2004 that will provide network and computing infrastructure for its members.

 

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