HPC-SIG Meeting, Queen’s University Belfast @ Queen's University, Belfast
Jul 1 @ 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM


We’re aiming for a start time of 10.30am and a meeting close around 4.30pm.  We’ll confirm the agenda and update the booking page with venue details next week.

For those of you planning to stay in Belfast before or after the event, we’ll update the meeting page with information about meeting up and social activities nearer the time.  

If you’ve any questions, please drop us a line.

The venue

Riddel Hall is #17 on this map,731083,en.pdf

Getting to and from the venue

From within Belfast

To get to QUB itself see

The meeting venue is Riddel Hall.

Taxis can drop right to door.

There are buses from City Centre up the Stanmillis Road but taxis would be much easier from the airport. We’ll look to co-ordinate with people’s arrivals and departures in order to share taxis, etc.

Getting to Belfast

This should be doable in a day for many, and information on flights that get to Belfast in time are outlined below, and in most cases there are return flights on the same day.

Travel time from Belfast City (George Best) is 30 minutes by bus, from Belfast International, 50 minutes. Taxi times may be shorter.

Region Served Starting Airport Destination airport Start  Time Arrival Time Carrier Comments
Midlands Birmingham   08:05 09:05 easyJet  
  Birmingham   06:45 07:45 Flybe  
  Nottingham   08:45 09:50 Flybe  
North West Liverpool Belfast International 07:05 07:55 EasyJet  
  Manchester Belfast International 07:00 08:00 EasyJet  
  Manchester Belfast International 06:30 07:35 RyanAir  
  Belfast International Liverpool 18:00 18:50 EasyJet  
  Belfast International Liverpool 19:20 20:10    
  Belfast International Liverpool 21:45 22:45    
  Belfast International Manchester 21:00 22:00 EasyJet  
Yorkshire Leeds Bradford Belfast City (George Best) 08:00 09:00 Flybe  
  Belfast City Leeds Bradford 18:35 19:35 Flybe  
  Doncaster Belfast City 07:15 08:15 Flybe No return on same day
South West Bristol   07:00 08:10 easyJet  
      08:00 09:10 easyJet  
  Exeter Belfast 06:35 09:25 Flybe Via Manchester. Direct available on Sunday.
Wales Cardiff   06:10 07:15    
South Heathrow    07:10 08:30 Aerlingus  
  Gatwick   06:25 08:00 EasyJet  
  Luton   07:10 08:30 easyJet  
  Stanstead   07:45 09:05 easyJet  
Scotland Edinburgh   07:05 07:55    
  Glasgow   08:15 09:00    
  Abderdeen         Not for morning session, possible day before


Unconference @ IT Services, Birmingham
Jul 17 @ 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Un-conference Conference: How to support and develop the ‘technical community’


This is a concept workshop to look at what it will take to attract the ‘next generation of technical service engineers’ – be it system administrators, system engineers, or dev/res ops. This indicates part of the problem in that we cannot even get a standard definition of the job never mind the issues in terms of attracting the next generation interested in the challenge of running and developing supercomputing/research computing facilities!


The aim is to provide a forum for existing UK technical leads to gather and be able to discuss any topic that they are interested in (with a technical theme associated, not necessarily whether the latest series of Game of Thrones needs re-writing!). However, the attendees will steer the event regarding the actual content and the topics rather than the organisers.


We are hoping that as a pilot you will be in a position to identify whether these events are useful. If so, providing insight regarding how to attract participation (in the same way the RSE networks have now become more established) and create a community that will benefit everyone in terms of developing their services to support the various communities, raising the awareness of the diversity of the roles within the sector and how we can look at providing the necessary incentives to attract the next generation into this arena.


Provisional topics could include challenges facing research computing delivery (diversity of what is now expected to be available with the recent Cloud/Big Data/AI explosion); requirements for training / certifications; career opportunities (how to be recognised without having to enter the realms of management); data management/security; team development etc. These are deliberately unstructured to allow ideas and creativity to flow. To start with we might suggest a few topics and possibly get a facilitator/speaker to start the ball rolling, but this is optional – we’d welcome your advice in advance of the session.


At the moment this invitation is primarily to academic sites, but we realise to be truly representative it should also have industry and vendor engagement. But we would like the attendees to suggest formats etc. that would be beneficial. 


We hope that you would like to be involved in this inaugural pilot and can spare a day to kick around a few ideas with like minded professionals to see whether there is any mileage in these events to develop the technical community.