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National Center for High Performance Computing to be established at FAU

The Joint Science Conference (GWK) of the German federal states has just announced that FAU will receive funds to establish a National Center for High Performance Computing (NHR@FAU). It will be part of a nationwide network with (initially) seven other centers. The federal and state governments will provide a total of up to 625 million € in funding for the entire project over the next 10 years.

Scientific support for broad application groups, promoting the further development of HPC techniques and tools, and training and education activities will also be funded in addition to HPC systems and operating costs.

“With the new NHR@FAU center, our university will become one of the leading locations for high performance computing in Germany. FAU can build on its international reputation for scientific computing – the researchers benefit in particular from the intensive and successful cooperation between computer science and application fields. In the long term, the center will also open up completely new possibilities for research, teaching, and learning in machine learning and artificial intelligence,” says Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger, President of FAU.

Within the NHR network, FAU will contribute its internationally recognized expertise in complex simulations of atoms and molecules, hardware-efficient parallel programming, and HPC training. Cross-cutting activities in these areas are already bundled at FAU within the Atomistic Structure Simulation Lab and the HPC Performance Lab.

The successful grant proposal was a joint project by computer science, chemistry, biology, and materials science groups at FAU:

  • Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wellein, professorship for High Performance Computing and head of the HPC division at RRZE
  • Prof. Dr. Petra Imhof, Chair of Computational Chemistry
  • Prof. Dr. Erik Bitzek, Chair of Materials Science
  • Prof. Dr. Rainer Böckmann, professorship for Computational Biology
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Görling, Chair of Theoretical Chemistry
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Rüde, Chair of Computer Science 10 (System Simulation)
  • Prof. Dr. Heinrich Sticht, professorship for Bioinformatics

The proposal was reviewed by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the NHR Strategy Committee of the GWK. In addition, applications from RWTH Aachen, ZIB Berlin, TU Darmstadt, TU Dresden, the University of Göttingen, KIT Karlsruhe, and the University of Paderborn were successful.

The admission into the NHR program opens new possibilities for FAU as Prof. Wellein explains: “Already next year we will invest almost 9 million € in a new parallel computer, which will not only provide a massive increase in compute resources for scientists at FAU and all over Germany but can also be operated in a particularly energy-efficient way. I am particularly pleased that we will be able to establish a team that will be able to support the operation and use of the system at the highest professional level.

Within the Free State of Bavaria, NHR@FAU will complement the resources of the Leibniz Computing Center (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. It will also help to further intensify the established cooperation between RRZE and LRZ in the field of high-performance computing. During the first five years, the center’s funding will be borne equally by the Free State of Bavaria and the federal government.

Further information on the NHR network: https://www.nhr-gs.de

Press releases of GWK and the Free State of Bavaria:

Contact: Prof. Gerhard Wellein, hpc@fau.de