News and Events

GPU Computing Seminar 22nd July - Performance Portability by Dr Alan Gray (EPCC)

posted Jul 10, 2015, 6:12 AM by Michael K Griffiths

As part of GPU Compuitng@Sheffield I will be organising a seminar series for sharing practical issues relating to GPU computing and HPC. The first of these will take place on 22nd of July at 14:30 in the Information Commons,IC-126. The invited speaker is Dr Alan Gray from EPCC.

Alan's Bio and abstract for the talk are below. I strongly encourage everyone to attend and tell anyone else who they think might be interested. The talks topic of performance portability will give some great insight into scaling of HPC applications to multi GPU environments and to write code that can easily be targetted to both CPU and GPU environments.

Alan's research career began in the area of theoretical physics: his Ph.D. thesis was awarded the UK-wide Ogden Prize in 2004 for the best thesis in particle physics phenomenology. He continued this work under a University Fellowship at The Ohio State University, before moving to EPCC in 2005. His current research focuses on the exploitation of GPUs to the benefit of real scientific and industrial applications: he has a particular interest in the programming of large-scale GPU-accelerated supercomputers. He was awarded the status of CUDA Fellow in 2014. Alan leads EPCC's GPU related activities, and is involved in management, teaching and supervision for the EPCC MSc in High Performance Computing.

Many fluid dynamics problems are made tractable through the discretisation of space and time, to allow representation and evolution within a computer simulation. The continued rise in performance of the largest supercomputers has permitted increasingly complex and realistic models. But complexity increases within the computational architectures themselves, such as the increasing reliance on multiple levels of hierarchical parallelism coupled with non-uniform and distributed memory spaces, pose a tremendous challenge for programmers. The emergence of powerful accelerators such as Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) has further increased diversity. Applications must intelligently map to the hardware whilst retaining intuitiveness and portability. We will describe our efforts to manage such issues in relation to a particular application, Ludwig. We believe that our experiences, techniques and software components may be of interest more widely. 
Ludwig is a versatile package which can simulate a wide range of complex fluids using lattice Boltz- mann and finite difference techniques. A current research focus involves combining liquid crystals with colloidal particles to create substances with potentially interesting optical properties: these simulations are extremely computationally demanding due to the range of scales involved. We will first describe a multi-GPU implementation, and present results showing excellent scaling to thousands of GPUs in par- allel on the Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. We will then go on to describe our work to re-develop Ludwig using our new domain specific abstraction layer, targetDP, which targets data parallel hardware in a platform agnostic manner, by abstracting the memory spaces and the hierarchy of task, thread and instruction levels of parallelism. We will present performance results targetDP for Ludwig, where the same source code is targeted at both GPU-accelerated and traditional CPU-based architectures. These demonstrate both performance portability and also the benefit gained through the intelligent exposure of the lattice-based parallelism to this hierarchy.

N8 HPC Network Event MULTISCALE COMPUTATIONAL MECHANICS: Friday 30th October 2015

posted Jun 26, 2015, 2:50 AM by Michael K Griffiths

N8 HPC Network Event
Structural Applications including;
Bioengineering, Materials, Tribology, Aeronautics, Civil
Engineering & more.

On 30th October 2015 the University of Sheffield, through the support of the Insigneo Institute for in silico medicine, is hosting an N8 HPC (High Performance Computing) networking event, focused on the topic of ‘Multiscale Computational Mechanics’ for structural applications.

This event will be of great relevance to both academic and industrial researchers from a variety of disciplines who are interested in the area of structural continuum computational methods, including; bioengineering, materials, tribology, aeronautics, civil engineering and more.  

Three guest speakers will share their experience in multiscale computational mechanics in the areas of biomechanics, aerospace composite structure and civil engineering: 

• Prof. Peter McHugh - Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Informatics, National University of Ireland Galway.

• Prof. Silvestre Pinho – Faculty of Engineering, Department of Aeronautics, Imperial College London.

• Dr. Lee Margetts - School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester.

There will be a networking lunch followed by further member presentations and a round table session on the opportunities of HPC in product development and commercialisation. 

Where: Mappin Hall, Sir Frederick Mappin Building, University of Sheffield

When: 30th October 2015

Time: 9:00 – 16:00

We would also like to welcome member presentations, including poster and abstract submissions for this event. The N8 HPC network event is free to attend; however, it is worth noting that places are limited. So, if you are interested in attending the event, please contact Jaye Taylor (

Further information will follow shortly along with an event link where you can confirm your attendance and submit any abstract/poster presentations.  

We look forward to welcoming you at the N8 HPC networking event.

Best wishes,

Chair: Prof. Damien Lacroix, Insigneo Institute for in silico medicine, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield

Co-Chair: Prof. Harm Askes, Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, University of Sheffield

Co-Chair: Dr. Jose Curiel Sosa, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield

OCF Big Data Sympoisum Manchester 18th June

posted May 13, 2015, 5:24 AM by

Manchester Informatics and OCF are holding a one-day Big Data Symposium on Thursday 18th June 2015 in The University of Manchester’s Kilburn building (number 39 on the campus map). The event will showcase the diversity of big data analytics in higher education, research and the public sector. Featuring presenters from Future Cities/Manchester City Council, SKA, ARM, Oracle and the University, the day aims to highlight the latest projects and themes currently being undertaken and discussed in this rapidly growing field. 

Although the event is free, registration is required. To register, please click here.  Please note that demand has been very high and places are limited.

Please see below for a list of confirmed speakers and the day’s agenda. More information can be found on the event website.

Poster submissions are accepted for the event, if you would like to submit a poster simply tick the box indicating you wish to do so on the event registration form and state the title/theme of your poster.

Keynote Speakers

·         Prof Magnus Rattray, Professor of Computational and Systems Biology, University of Manchester


·         Miles Deegan, Engineering Project Manager, SKA

·         Tim Harris, Software Developer – Architect, Oracle

·         John Goodacre, Director of Technology and Systems, Arm Ltd

·         Michael Gleaves, Head of Business Development, Hartree

·         Mark Elliot, Senior Lecturer in Social Statistics, University of Manchester

·         Chris Brown, OCF

·         Steve Turner, Manchester City Council

·         Norman Paton, Professor in School of Computer Science, University of Manchester




9.30am – 10am

Registration and coffee




Keynote Presentation
Prof Magnus Rattray, Professor of Computational and Systems Biology, University of Manchester – “Biology in the era of Big Data”

11am – 12pm

Mark Elliot, Senior Lecturer in Social Statistics, University of Manchester – “Big Data, Privacy and all that stuff”
Miles Deegan, Engineering Project Manager, SKA - “21st Century Radio Astronomy and its data challenges – a progress report on the SKA”
Norman Paton, Professor in School of Computer Science, University of Manchester- “Data Wrangling: The Elephant in the Room of Big Data

12pm – 1.30pm

Lunch, networking and posters

1.30pm – 2.30pm

John Goodacre, Director of Technology and Systems, Arm Ltd – “EUROSERVER: Riding the perfect storm”
Michael Gleaves, Head of Business Development, Hartree – “Hartree Centre – Data one of the four forces of change”
Chris Brown, OCF – “The Connected World”



3pm – 4pm

Tim Harris, Software Developer – Architect, Oracle – “Can Big Data be In-Memory”
Steve Turner, Manchester City Council – “Data in the Urban Environment”


Panel session


Wrap up


Drinks, networking and posters



Summer Schools at The Hartree Centre Summer 2015

posted May 8, 2015, 1:12 AM by   [ updated May 8, 2015, 1:18 AM ]

Big Data & Analytics Summer School

Learn about the opportunities and challenges that Big Data & Analytics presents including the chance to get hands on.

 That Hartree Centre is hosting a one week Summer School on the subject of BIG DATA and ANALYTICS from 29 June – 3 July at STFC Daresbury Laboratory.

This Summer School is aimed at those who wish to get started in the emerging world of Big Data and Analytics. As well as plenty of opportunity to try out some of the tools and techniques in hands‐on lab exercises you will also hear about the wide variety of applications and styles of Big Data and the social implications of its use.

Tools used and discussed will include Hadoop, IBM SPSS Modeller and IBM Streams. There will also be an opportunity to try some open source tools. Some of the practical sessions will make use of the recently installed Big Data cluster at the Hartree Centre.

Registration fees for this one week School are only £150! Register now to reserve your place.

Visualization Summer School

The Hartree Centre is hosting a one week Summer School on visualization from 15-19 June at STFC Daresbury Laboratory, Warrington.  

The leaders for the School are Hank Childs (Lawrence Berkeley and Oregon University) and Hamish Carr (Leeds University) and during the week students will learn the skills necessary to develop applications that enable you to assimilate complex information quickly and easily and discover the latest visualization tools.

With a combination of tutorials and hands-on practical sessions overseen by prominent national and international tutors – and registration fees of just £150 for the week – this Summer School is not to be missed if you are interested in the subject of visualization.


Emerging Technology 'EMiT' conference at The University of Manchester 30th June 2015

posted May 8, 2015, 1:02 AM by   [ updated May 8, 2015, 1:02 AM ]

Following on from the success of last year’s inaugural meeting, The University of Manchester are holding the 2015 Emerging Technology 'EMiT' conference ( on 30th June and 1st July 2015 in Manchester and organised by the University of Manchester.

Focusing on emerging computational technology EMiT 2015 is a ground-breaking conference showcasing how this technology is revolutionising today’s research across all research fields as well as influencing tomorrow's applied computing.

The aim of EMiT is to bring together leading key figures in the computing communities, the end users of new software & hardware in industry and universities along with the vendors from across the international arena to address the following objectives:

·         identify latest trends in hardware development for novel computing;

·         share how best to exploit Emerging Tech for application;

·         focus on new techniques, their development and transfer to new areas.

As well as presentations from a wide variety of speakers, the conference will also feature international keynote speakers:

·         Prof. Stephen Furber, Professor of Computer Engineering, University of Manchester - "SpiNNaker and Human Brain Project"

·         Prof. Laura Grigiori, Director of Research, INRIA, France - "Communication avoiding algorithms"

·         Dr John Linford, Scientist, ParaTools Inc “Kppa: A high performance source code generator for chemical kinetics”

·         Dr Filipo Mantonvani, Technical Co-ordinator, Barcelona Supercomputing Centre - “High Performance Computing based on mobile embedded processors”

The conference exhibition will include demonstrations and displays from leading suppliers such as NVidia, Intel, HP, OCF, Polyhedron, STFC, and EAO giving delegates the opportunity to discover the latest products and future technology roadmaps.

A full programme ( along with registration details ( is available on the EMiT website ( 

  Early bird registration will end on the 10th of May 2014 and the conference fee includes the conference dinner.  If you have any questions please contact

CUDA Workshop on 19-20 May

posted Apr 29, 2015, 3:35 AM by Norbert G Gyenge   [ updated May 19, 2015, 12:04 AM by ]

The aim of the course is to provide a basic understanding of principles of CUDA GPU programming and GPU programming with directives using OpenACC. Prior knowledge of CUDA or Parallel programming is not required. Previous knowledge of C/C++ is required in order to get the most out of the course. Familiarity with concepts such as pointers, arrays and functions is essential. The course consists of approximately 3 hours of lectures and 4 hours of practical training each day.

The course will be given by trainers from the NVIDIA Education Centre.

Registration is required using the link below:

A maximum of 30 participants is allowed on a first come first serve basis. 

Date: Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th May 2015
Time:  9.30-17.30 (Tue), 9.30-17.15 (Wed)
Venue: Hadfield Building, HB-E61; Pool Computer Room E61

Introduction to CUDA Training Session on May 5th

posted Mar 31, 2015, 3:56 AM by

GPUs have evolved from a fixed pipeline graphics processing hardware into powerful programmable co-processing units capable of performing general purpose computing (sometimes referred to as GPGPU or General Purpose Computing on GPUs). In comparison with traditional CPU systems a GPU is capable of far higher (theoretical) peak performance within a smaller power window and as such many of the Top 500 supercomputers are looking at using GPU architectures.

This course will introduce the background of GPU hardware and provide hands on training for program development using the NVIDIA CUDA programming API. The training will introduce the CUDA language and optimisation techniques and provide guidance on how to access GPU hardware within the University of Sheffield Iceberg cluster.

No prior parallel programming knowledge is required however participants must be familiar with programming in C/C++.

A maximum of 40 participants is allowed on a first come first serve basis. Registration is required using the link below:

Date:  Tuesday 5th May 2015
Time:  0930-1700
Venue: Arts Tower, room 1012, Pool Computer Room.

For technical GPU programming help, please check the community at.

HPC @sheffield 2015 - 26th March

posted Feb 19, 2015, 7:55 AM by Deniz Savas   [ updated Mar 3, 2015, 8:31 AM ]

Our annually held HPC@sheffield Research Computing event will take place on Thursday the 26th of March in Firth Hall. 

This major event is aimed at research students and staff to inspire and inform them about many exciting research activities that are taking place by using the local and national high performance computing facilities.  

The emphasis of this year's event will be the “global grand challenges” and will feature presentations on research and research techniques that are used to address these challenges with the aid of high performance computing.    The presentations will cover "grand challenges" in the fields of Physical Sciences, Engineering, Healthcare and Social Sciences, culminating in the final presentation about a unique, high-technology project to design and build a car that will break the 1,000mph barrier and set a new world land speed record.

Attendance is free but registration is required.

Please follow this link for further information and registration.


Software Carpentry Bootcamp using MATLAB - 18th-19th March, 2015

posted Feb 9, 2015, 9:22 AM by Deniz Savas   [ updated Feb 20, 2015, 3:33 AM ]

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: This event is now fully booked up.  However, you may still add yourself onto the waiting list which will allow us to send you an advanced notification if and when we decide to rerun it.
Join Software Carpentry professionals and MathWorks engineers as they provide hands-on, example-driven training on programming skills, debugging, version control, algorithm testing and writing of efficient, compact code.

Sheffield University is proud to host this two-day "Software Carpentry" event that will take place in HICKS Building. 
Attenders are required to have basic understanding of MATLAB  and must be either research students or members of staff.  
As spaces are limited it is essential that only those who are certain to attend register for this event via the following link: 

SIMULIA UK Academic Forum - 11th February, 2015

posted Feb 4, 2015, 2:17 AM by Deniz Savas   [ updated Feb 5, 2015, 6:26 AM ]

2015 SIMULIA UK Academic Forum 

(i.e. ABAQUS Software Providers ) 

 Insigneo Institute - University of Sheffield

11th February, 2015

In Sheffield University we provide the ABAQUS Finite Element Methods package that is provided by SIMULIA.

This software is readily available on our HPC server iceberg. We also provide the licenses for the usage of this package on personal computers within the campus. 

SIMULIA Academic Forum provides attendees with a fantastic platform for academic users of abaqus and other simulia products to meet with their peers and industry to share their knowledge and experiences of advancing methods and technology for finite element analysis, multiphysics, process automation, design optimization, and simulation management. 

Further Details

To register your place please tell us which event you want to attend by emailing:

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