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European engineering research centre supports Covid-19 research

A group of researchers from High-Performance  Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) and a consortium partner from the EU funded EXCELLERAT project, SSC-Services, are supporting the population research for Covid-19 with a newly developed intelligent data transfer platform.

SSC has developed a platform that is being used to assist the German Federal Institute for Population Research (Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung, BiB). The technology enables the BiB to upload data, start simulations and download results. This data platform supports the work of BiB researchers in predicting the demand for intensive care units during the COVID-19  pandemic. 

‘Organisations face various issues while dealing with high performance computing (HPC) calculations, HPC in general or even the access to HPC resources,’ said Janik Schüssler, project manager at SSC Services. ‘In many cases, calculations are too complex and users do not have the required know-how with HPC technologies. This is the challenge that  SSC has taken on. The BiB's researchers had to access HLRS’s Hawk in a very complex way. With the help of our new platform, they can easily access Hawk from  anywhere and run their simulations remotely.’

The research group’s aim is to simulate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections and need for intensive care units caused by the pandemic, in order to realistically forecast future demands. EXCELLERAT, the European Centre of Excellence for Engineering Applications, made this collaboration possible by bringing SSC and  HLRS together to develop and implement the platform. 

The creation of the intelligent data transfer platform drew on the strengths of both partners: HLRS’s new supercomputer ‘Hawk’ delivers the compute resources that are necessary for the simulations, and SSC is developing a data exchange and data transfer platform within the EXCELLERAT project to ease the use of HPC resources and make the data transfer more efficient. This platform has been made available to the BiB.

EXCELLERAT – the European Centre of Excellence for Engineering Applications, is an EU-funded research project, which serves as a single point of access for expertise on how data management, data analytics, visualisation, simulation-driven design and co-design with HPC  can benefit engineering, especially in the aeronautics, automotive, energy and manufacturing sectors.

‘This platform is part of EXCELLERAT’s overall strategy and tools development, which not only addresses the simulation part of engineering workflows, but provides users the necessary means to optimise their work’, said Bastian Koller, project coordinator of EXCELLERAT and HLRS’s managing director. ‘Extending the  applicability of this platform to further use cases outside of the engineering domain is a huge benefit and increases the impact of the work performed in EXCELLERAT.’ 



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