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SciDAC Outreach Center Participates in “Materials for Energy Applications” Workshop

February 1, 2012

David Skinner

From Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 Berkeley Lab hosted an invitation-only workshop on Materials for Energy Applications, which was jointly sponsored by all 17 DOE national laboratories. This three-day conference—the first of a planned series—was held to increase industry awareness of relevant research capabilities within the DOE national laboratory system, to deepen the national laboratories’ understanding of the technical challenges facing industry, and to identify and improve paths forward for collaboration.

David Skinner of NERSC, who also heads the SciDAC Outreach Center, represented the Center with a poster on “Software Opportunities: Industry, ISVs [independent software vendors] and SciDAC.” The poster pointed out the breadth of the SciDAC software portfolio and how it can be leveraged in the manufacturing sector and the private sector more generally, increasing return on investment and decreasing time to solution.

Through a catalog of software that the center maintains and a list of “worked examples” from the five years of the SciDAC2 program, the poster is part of a larger effort to diversify the stakeholders in scientific software. “The impact of our investments in HPC software is measured in their end-to-end impacts over the long haul; they are not just about proof of principle,” said Skinner. “Finding ways for research-funded software to bring increased efficiency and innovation to a broad set of stakeholders beyond the SciDAC research community benefits all involved.”

“The past decades have seen a vigorous effort in bringing parallel computing to extreme problem sizes and extreme performance,” Skinner continued. “The time is ripe for the expertise developed within DOE/ASCR to be applied to the many parties who are newly interested in parallelism, whether that is motivated by the transition to multicore or the need to study systems of larger size. Expanding interest in parallel computing provides a way for the research community to see their work improved and sustained by that larger customer base.”

The last keynote address at the workshop was given by Michael McQuade, Senior Vice President for Science and Technology at United Technologies. The SciDAC Outreach Center and UTC won an IDC Innovation Award in 2011 for their application tuning work optimizing fuel spray nozzles to improve fuel efficiency. That outreach engagement yielded a 3.6x application speedup and a 66% reduction in nozzle design cycles. McQuade mentioned that he looks forward to the output of two similar joint projects that are currently under way.


About NERSC and Berkeley Lab
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility that serves as the primary high-performance computing center for scientific research sponsored by the Office of Science. Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the NERSC Center serves almost 10,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities researching a wide range of problems in climate, fusion energy, materials science, physics, chemistry, computational biology, and other disciplines. Berkeley Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. »Learn more about computing sciences at Berkeley Lab.