Category Archives: HPC-SIG News

September 2016 meeting

The September 2016 meeting was held at the University of Warwick on 13 September 2016. The agenda was:

  • 10.00: Coffee available
  • 10.30: Introductions
  • 10.35: Report from the Chair
  • 11.00: Determining Return on Investment of an HPC system: Background and Loughborough experiences. Aaron Turner, Loughborough University
  • 12.15: Lunch
  • 13.15: Site Updates
    • Warwick
    • Nottingham
    • Hull
  • 13.45: An introduction to the Software Engineering Support Centre. Catherine Jones, Software Engineering Group Leader, STFC
    The EPSRC funded Software Engineering Support Centre (SESC) provides software engineering tools and advice primarily to the Collaborative Computation Projects. Catherine will outline these and describe the proposed new developments.
  • 14.15: SIG Business Matters, including future meeting dates and locations
  • 14.45: Tea
  • 15.00: Introducing a new HPC service to non-traditional users. Guy Robinson, LSE
    LSE is building an HPC service for its researchers. Guy will discuss the various challenges this has presented, in particular introducing a service where many users are encountering ‘HPC’ for the first time moving from their individual systems or the cloud.
  • 15.45: AOB
  • 16.00: Meeting close

As always, the meting was followed by refreshment and lively discussion in a local hostelry.

February 2017 meeting

The next HPC-SIG meeting will be at the University of Leeds on Thursday 9 Feb 2017, to be followed by the Archers Champions workshop on Friday 10 Feb 2017. The booking site with a skeletal agenda is at; this also has information about accommodation for anyone who will be staying over for the Champions workshop and/or comes to Leeds the evening before. Booking for the Champions workshop is now available from the Archer Champions web site.

Offers of agenda items and/or site updates are welcome – thanks to those who have already suggested items.

June 2016 meeting

The June 2016 meeting was held on 7th June 2016 at Strathclyde University. The agenda for the meeting was:

  • 10.00: Coffee available
  • 10.30: Introductions
  • 10.35: Report from the Chair
  • 11.00: Archer Champions (Josephine Beech-Brandt, University of Edinburgh), followed by an open discussion on future initiatives between the HPC-SIG, the Archer Champions and the Research Software Engineers community –
  • 11.45: e2e networking in the HPC/NeI context (Tim Chown, JISC)
  • 12.15: Lunch
  • 13.15: Site Updates
  • 13.45: Experiences with Windows HPC and Ansys Remote Solve Manager (Ricky Martin, Strathclyde)
  • 14.15: SIG Business Matters, including future meeting dates and locations
  • 14.45: Tea
  • 15.00: Challenges in managing heterogeneous systems and services. Discussion led by Simon Burbidge, Imperial College London
  • 15.45: AOB
  • 16.00: Meeting close

As always, the meting was followed by refreshment and lively discussion in a local hostelry.


Collaborations Workshop 2016 (CW16) + Hackday

Register at

The Software Sustainability Institute’s annual Collaborations Workshop 2016 (CW16) – focusses on hot topics, sharing of best pratice and nascent tools and approaches in research software. If you write, use or have an interest in software that enables better research then CW16 is your must attend event of the year!

CW16 takes place from 21-23 March 2016 at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

The main focus at CW16 will be software and reputational credit. Other themes will also be investigated, including reproducible research, data science, collaborative working, and the sharing of code and data.

You will gain:

  • An up-to-date understanding of key themes in research software.
  • A chance to share experiences and learn about the latest tools and practices.
  • An ideal hunting group to find future collaborators.
  • A rapid introduction to effective collaborative working.
  • An opportunity to improve your research related writing skills in a session hosted by a professional Science communicator.

CW16 brings together researchers, software developers, managers, funders, publishers, trainers and more to share practice, explore ideas, highlight problems and establish a community-based understanding of the current state of research software.

This will also be your chance to meet many of the Institute’s 2016 Fellows ( They act as ambassadors for software in their varied research domains: including the digital humanities, bioinformatics, psychology, Earth systems, health, physics, high performance computing and social science.

CW16 is an ‘unconference’ event, which means that you get to control the direction of the workshop by voting for the topics we discuss.

The workshop’s themes will run through the schedule. They will be discussed in keynotes, lightning talks, and demos, and debated during discussion sessions. At the end of the workshop, some of the themes will be picked up by the CW Hackday.

The CW Hackday focus will be on topics ideas from the workshop although you are free to bring your own ideas and data. There will be prizes for the best team efforts. The Hackday will start on the evening of 22 March after the main CW16 event. Please note attending the Hackday only is possible but requires registration; a nominal fee to cover catering applies.
The workshop is the premier annual research software related event run by the Software Sustainability Institute, it is consistently rated 90% by attendees for usefulness and enjoyability; many new ideas and collaborations in interdisciplinary research have started at Collaborations Workshops.
To find out more about the topic for this years CW take a read of – 

Register for CW16 and the CW Hackday at – we look forward to seeing you!

ARCHER Champions workshop

Anybody interested in becoming an ARCHER Champion to attend our initial ARCHER Champions Workshop which will take place in Edinburgh on 16th – 17th March 2016.
The aim is to create a network of ARCHER Champions that would look to:
* Provide a support network between staff members whose role involves advising users on access to local, regional and national HPC resources
* Help to promote a coherent access structure to HPC resources across the UK, with coordination between tiers
* Support and promote activities designed to provide career development to research software engineers seeking a career in HPC
* Support and promote activities to broaden the UK HPC user base to new disciplines and communities
* Participate in ARCHER Champions Workshops communities
* Promote common training material and techniques
To enable us to get a wide range of attendees we have bursaries available. If you would like to be considered for a bursary please note this in the ‘Additional Information’ field on the registration form.
Further information can be found at:
The registration form is available at:


Memorandum of Understanding
High Performance Computing Special Interest Group (UK)

The Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (US)

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) sets forth the terms and understanding between the UK High Performance Computing Special Interest Group (HPC-SIG) and the US Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC), to share information and collaborate internationally on research and development in the area of advanced scientific computation.

Founded in 2005, the HPC-SIG  was established to promote the value of advanced research computing facilities in UK Higher Education. By meeting and sharing experiences it promotes best practice in the design, management and support of advanced e-infrastructures, in order to secure their role as a vital research service across all academic disciplines. The HPC-SIG constitutes over 40 full member Universities and 15 affiliate organizations.

Founded in 1989, the Coalition for Academic Scientific Computation (CASC) is an educational nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with more than 74 member institutions representing many of USA’s most forward thinking universities and computing centers. CASC is dedicated to advocating the use of the most advanced computing technology to accelerate scientific discovery for national competitiveness, global security, and economic success, as well as develop a diverse and well-prepared 21st century workforce.

This MOU outlines the purpose and structure of the partnership and establishes a commitment towards good practice in the way the partners work with each other. It is an opportunity for international collaboration in the area of advanced scientific computation.

CASC and HPC-SIG agree to:

  • Maintain an open invite to a number of members to attend each other’s meetings to share experience and promote best practice around areas of common interest.
  • Where appropriate, work collaboratively on addressing emerging challenges in HPC and advance scientific computing.
  • Share relevant announcements from each other’s mailing lists e.g. open research calls, relevant vacancies
  • Foster collegial partnerships which may result in co-hosted workshops, meetings.
  • Facilitate and support existing collaborations between Academics within member’s sites.
  • Highlight to relevant stakeholders within the US and UK areas of mutual concern and/or interest.

The goal of our organizations’ activities and research is the advancement of scientific knowledge, quality and impact and does not have a commercial objective.  The results of the research will be published or broadly shared in the relevant communities.

This Agreement constitutes the entire and only agreement between the parties relating to the research, and all prior negotiations, representations, agreements and understandings are superseded hereby, and may not be assigned by either party without the prior written consent of the other party.