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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T022213/1
Title: The Materials and Molecular Modelling Hub
Principal Investigator: Michaelides, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Molteni, Professor C Pickard, Professor CJ Smith, Dr E
Watkins, Dr MB Grau-Crespo, Dr R Skylaris, Professor C
Mostofi, Professor A Probert, Professor M Booth, Dr G H
Kohanoff, Professor J KENWAY, Dr O Crespo-Otero, Dr R
Woodley, Professor SM Bristowe, Dr N
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 January 2020 Ends: 31 December 2023 Value (£): 4,510,208
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


This proposal brings together a consortium of 12 university partners for an ambitious second phase of the Tier-2 Hub for materials and molecular modelling (MMM).

Materials are at the heart of almost every modern technology, including energy generation, storage and supply, transportation, electronic devices, defence and security, healthcare, and the environment. It is materials that place practical limits on efficiency, reliability and cost.

MMM is an inherently interdisciplinary 'field' for physicists, chemists, engineers, materials scientists, biologists, geologists, and more who use HPC to enable transformative discoveries of importance to science and industry. The predictive capability of MMM has increased significantly in recent years. MMM can provide fundamental insights into the processes and mechanisms that underlie physical phenomena and has become an indispensable element of contemporary materials research. It is no exaggeration to state that MMM is changing how new materials-based technologies are developed, acting as a guide for experimental research, helping to speed up progress and save resources. It is a rapidly expanding field and one in which the UK has consistently been world-leading.

The rapid growth of the field has created an unprecedented need for HPC, particularly for medium-sized high-capacity simulations for which many materials science codes are well-optimised. In its second phase the Hub will support and enable the MMM community by providing a dedicated service that addresses an acute need for capacity. Support for the MMM Hub in its second phase will ensure effective use of the appropriate system to speed up the time to science. It will be strongly integrated with the ARCHER/ARCHER2 Tier-1 service, optimising the value and impact delivered by ARCHER/ARCHER2 by enabling a greater concentration of capability jobs.

The Hub will employ operational and organisational models that have proved highly successful in its first phase of operation to ensure efficient, reliable and timely delivery, with ease of access and use being of paramount importance. It will be operated by the UCL Research Computing Group; a group that has considerable experience in HPC and in supporting codes and applications used by the MMM community, in professional IT service delivery, and in collaborative working through membership of e.g. the Science and Engineering South Consortium.

Strategies for working with ARCHER/ARCHER2, the relevant high-end computing (HEC) consortia, other possible Tier-2 facilities, Centres for Doctoral Training, the Sir Henry Royce Institute, the UK Catalysis Hub, the Faraday Institute, and other computational networks have been identified. This will ensure that the Materials Hub complements and enhances the national e-research landscape, leveraging other substantial UK investments in MMM-related research.

We will build on the track record of the MMM Hub and the Thomas Young Centre, The London Centre for the Theory and Simulation of Materials, in terms of community, industry engagement and training to ensure that this Hub eases the barriers for new entrants to the field and serves the UK MMM community as a whole.

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