EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T022175/1
Title: Kelvin-2
Principal Investigator: Woods, Professor RF
Other Investigators:
Tikhonova, Dr I Coyle, Professor DH Rafferty, Dr KR
Vandierendonck, Professor HTK Hu, Professor P Chevallier, Dr O
Gillan, Dr CJ Bjourson, Professor AJ Salto-Tellez, Professor M
McLaughlin, Professor JA Molkov, Professor V
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Catalyst Inc Dell Corporation Ltd
Department: Sch of Electronics, Elec Eng & Comp Sci
Organisation: Queen's University of Belfast
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 December 2019 Ends: 31 March 2025 Value (£): 3,303,958
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
28 Oct 2019 Tier 2 HPC Interview Panel 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The proposed aims are to establish a £5M Kelvin-2 HPC centre involving Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University for which £2.1M is being sought from EPSRC. It will have significant impact for science, by expanding the use of HPC to new pools of talent and new areas of investigation; for Northern Ireland, by building on the strong collaboration between Ulster and Queen's already established through two major city deal initiatives, and their approach to enterprise with regional investment agencies and commercial enterprises; and a strong foundation for HPC within the UK, building further capacity and interactions with critical stakeholders and linking to non-commercial stake-holders to address societal challenges.

The platform will offer 8000 AMD-based CPU cores and 32 GPU nodes with a high performance 2 Petabyte of scratch storage interconnected via a high-speed network. Different to other sites, it employs Dell-based technology which offers impressive performance with low running costs. The inclusion of GPU will support AI-based research reflecting the institutions' joint strength, recently ranked as 6th in the UK in terms of research power in the a recent government report produced by the Alan Turing Institute. Queen's are subsidising the cost by £400k.

Kelvin-2 is focused on introducing new aspects of HPC modelling for neurotechnology and computational neuroscience, advanced chemistry, innovative drug delivery, precision medicine, metabolomics and hydrogen safety, many of which fit with UKRI's strategic plans in healthcare and new energy. Six ambitious research exemplar projects that are directly associated with strategically important research centres in both institutions, are proposed. These will account for 28M and 570M wall-clock hours of CPU and GPU respectively which will constitute 40% of the total Kelvin-2 resource. 35% of the processing time will be dedicated to supporting general users for the national Tier-2 service, with the remaining resource allocation for new projects. By a programme of communication, this aim is to highlight the potential of HPC to the specific communities in the UK.

The facility will be managed by a director with strong commercial sector experience and two principal applicants with excellent track record in multidisciplinary research and commercialization. Two dedicated research software engineers will be employed to support the research and engagement with the community. The team will be supported by a team of experts from each domain, staff with considerable HPC expertise and Prof. Simon McIntosh-Smith, a UK academic with considerable computational science experience from running an existing EPSRC HPC Tier-2 site, and Professor Newton Howard, Professor of Neurocomputation, Neurosurgery and Mathematics at the University of Oxford where he directs the Computational Neuroscience Laboratory. A Resource Allocation Panel will be established to review and allocate the resources, meeting on a quarterly basis.

A £3M resource will be provided by the universities to support Kelvin-2 in the form of management, network/operational staff, new hardware and data centre. We will aim to expand our international links specifically with the 13k-node/63TiB platform at ICHEC and HPC facilities/expertise at Virginia Tech. and Lawrence Livermore National Lab and increase our presence at the main HPC conferences, e.g. Supercomputing. The Tier-2 Computing infrastructure is central to two separate, major city deals in Northern Ireland focused on economic competitiveness, innovative projects and job creation targeted at health/life sciences and agri-food. These are due to start in 2021 and will provide a guaranteed refresh cycle of Kelvin-2 in the 2023/25 period, thus minimising any subsequent capital requests to EPSRC. Broad engagement will be ensured from the universities' strong track record in engagement with industry and spin-outs.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.qub.ac.uk