The COE Opens High Performance Computing Lab

The College of Engineering is pleased to announce the opening of its highly anticipated High Performance Computing (HPC) Laboratory. Provided by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base, the HPC Laboratory will enable the College’s faculty and students to bring the power of high-performance computing to bear on some of the most enduring challenges facing engineers.

Consisting of a master node and eight computer nodes with 140 cores total that can be doubled with hyper-threading, the HPC Laboratory is able to perform computations that would take a single computer weeks or even months. HPC is extremely useful to engineering in its ability to perform “multivariable assessment and optimization,” and thus to create a design that has been optimized according to a variety of variables.

Examples of the usefulness of this technology include improving the design performance of small flying vehicles (micro-UAVs), using brain signals to predict patient recovery after brain surgery, and simulating air pollution diffusion from various sources within an urban community. “The implications of high-performance computing are immense for research in biomedical, fracture mechanics, fluid dynamics, engineering systems, network and security, and anything that requires large data crunching,” said Hamid Rahai, interim associate dean of research in the COE.