Scientific discovery via HPC
Large-scale computational resources, commonly known as “supercomputers”, have become an indispensable tool for many scientific disciplines. The PDC Center for High Performance Computing at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has been providing these kinds of resources to Swedish academia and industry for twenty-five years with a constant drive to stay at the forefront of technology. PDC is a member of the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing (SNIC), which coordinates the national supercomputing resources in Sweden, and of the Swedish e-Science Research Centre (SeRC). Through SNIC, PDC is also a member of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE), which enables Swedish researchers to access the even larger European supercomputers.
Even though we are generally not aware of it, the impact of supercomputers on day-to-day life is tremendous! Supercomputers provide essential contributions to many of the challenges that our global society faces, such as helping in the quest for new and greener forms of energy, discovering new and better drugs and treatments for a whole gamut of problems from the purely physical through to neuropsychiatric disorders, developing new and more effective materials for the production of items such as electronic circuits and solar cells, as well as monitoring and understanding climate change. And these are just a few of the many areas where supercomputers are being used! (Did you know that yacht-building companies use supercomputers to design hulls for new boats nowadays?) Here we present an assortment of the research activities that are supported by SNIC’s and PDC’s supercomputing resources. Although this collection is far from being comprehensive, we hope it gives a good overview of the kind of research supported by PDC and its societal impact.
Director, PDC (2008-2020)
Improving wind farm design
Researchers from Uppsala University, KTH Mechanics and the Technical University of Denmark are studying and modelling the vortices created by the blades of wind turbines in order to design wind farms that are more efficient and effective.
Modelling proteins and protein-drug interactions
Clean power through fusion
Tracking climate change
Researchers from Stockholm University and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute have been performing simulations of the Earth's climate to help us make better long-term planning decisions about climate-related issues.
Paving the way to better health and medical care
The Biophysics group from KTH Theoretical Physics has been using the GROMACS code to perform simulations of membrane proteins which may lead to more effective treatments for addiction disorders and safer anaesthetics.
Producing nanocircuits with graphene fluoride
KTH Theoretical Chemistry researchers, along with colleagues at the University of Technology and Science in China, have been developing a new method of producing nanoscale electronic circuits that may allow us to produce even faster computers.
Greening the skies
Computational brain dynamics and function
Researchers from Stockholm University and KTH Computational Biology are collaborating with Swedish and European colleagues to produce better models of the human brain, which have many uses, such as early detection of brain-related illnesses.