HPC-SIG Meeting – Rutherford Appleton Laboratory [Hybrid]

04/03/2024 – 05/03/2024 all-day
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Science and Technology Facilities Council
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

Registration page is available at  https://www.tickettailor.com/events/hpcsig/1091658 – deadline for registrations for in-person tickets is midday on Tuesday 20th February.

It is anticipated that this will be a fully hybrid event.




It is important that ALL attending bring photo-ID when visiting RAL to register with security and be allocated your pass. Acceptable forms of ID are listed below (this does NOT your institutional ID card for example):
  • UK/Foreign Passport
  • UK/Foreign Driving Licence
  • UK Biometric Residence Permit
  • STFC/UKRI Photo Identity Pass


Draft agenda below.

Day 1 – Monday 4th March
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Welcome and Chair’s Business
13:30 Talk: “HPC at RAL”, Jonathan Churchill, STFC
13:45 Talk: “Cyber Security and HPC”, Dr David Crooks, Scientific Computing Division, STFC
14:15 Refreshments
14:30 Talk: “Data Centre Cooling”, Joe Bishop, Cambridge and Richard Horler, NBI
15:00 Fishbowl panel
15:45 Facility tours (please make sure you register for the appropriate ticket type!)
17:00 End
19:00 Dinner at a restaurant in Didcot
Day 2 – Tuesday 5th March
09:00 Refreshments
09:30 Welcome to day 2
09:45 Talk: “Federated access to Isambard-AI – Requirements for attribute release by IDPs”, Alex Stuart and Christopher J. Walker, Jisc and Dr Christopher Woods, University of Bristol
10:15 Technical lightning talks (5-7 minutes each):

  • “A is for Access: Having fun with LD_PRELOAD” , Sam Gallop, NBI
  • “Backstage at the Daemonic Symphony: The architecture of the HTCondor batch scheduler”, Matthew West, University of Exeter
  • “Using hardware timestamping for more accurate network time”, Christopher J. Walker, Jisc
10.40 (option1)

Technical Stream
Chaired by Simon Atack

Discussion on the lightning talk topics

10:40 (option 2) Management/Strategic Stream
Chaired by Polly Eccleston and Steven Chapman

  • “EDIA in Research Computing Cyber-Infrastructure”, Matthew West, University of Exeter
  • “EDIA and HPC-SIG plans overview”, Polly Eccleston, University of Bristol


12:15 Close and notices
12:30 Lunch
13:30 Optional workshop on SONiC Network OS
15:30 Close


Information from our hosts regarding your visit:

How to get to the STFC Rutherford Appleton Labs (RAL)

The address, maps and directions for how to reach RAL can be found on the UKRI/STFC web site  here: https://www.ukri.org/who-we-are/stfc/locations/rutherford-appleton-laboratory/how-to-get-to-rutherford-appleton-laboratory/#contents-list

Suggestions for places to stay

There are a number of hotels in and around Didcot and the surrounding areas.


If you are planning to attend the HPC-SIG dinner on evening on March 4th which will be in Didcot, you may find it more convenient to stay at 1 or 2 Both of these will require a taxi or car to get to RAL. Centre of Didcot is about a 3 mile walk.


3 and 4 are a bit closer to RAL (about 3.5 mils) and further from Didcot. There are buses that run along the A4130 from Didcot to RAL or again you’ll need a taxi or car.


There are other options you can find on google maps as well, if these aren’t suitable.


1/ Premier Inn Oxford South Didcot Hotel – Milton Interchange, A4130, Milton, Abingdon OX14 4TX


2/ Courtyard by Marriot Oxford South – 6 Milton Gate, Milton, Abingdon OX14 4FP


3/ Milton Hill House – Мilton Hill, Steventon, Milton Hill, Abingdon OX13 6AF


4/ The Kingswell Hotel – Reading Rd, Harwell, Didcot OX11 0LZ



Site Map at RAL

When you arrive at the Harwell Campus go to the RAL main reception building marked below to register and receive a site badge. Please wear this at all times while on site and return it to reception or security when you leave on the Tuesday.


Reception will direct you to the Visitor Centre and the car park that’s in front of it.


We are still (as of 17th Jan) arranging facility tours but I’ve marked where the R89 Data centre is for now where the Data Centre tours will be.


Map of RAL for HPC-SIG Meeting

Click to expand:.