NSF awards NCSA $200,000 to investigate industrial use of simulation-based engineering and science

08.25.10 -

The National Science Foundation has awarded $200,000 to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) to investigate the use of simulation-based engineering and science in industry and to report on areas where scientific advances are required to achieve gains in simulation capability. This Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) project will be carried out over the next 15 months by NCSA's Private Sector Program staff.

Thanks to steady advances in computational science and the power of high-performance computers, simulation has become an essential method for research in engineering and science. Simulation-based engineering and science (SBE&S) is now widely used in industry, but these computational efforts are largely limited to current production, fail to adequately simulate multiple components as they are actually assembled, and often model only a single phase or steady state.

NCSA will use surveys and meetings to gather input from industry "power-users" of SBE&S about the advances that are needed to spur successful use and wider adoption of SBE&S. These advances might include improving existing application codes, moving legacy codes to new architectures and larger-scale supercomputers, and advancing multi-component and full-system modeling.

"Private sector engagement at NCSA has revealed significant opportunities for bringing science and industry together more completely," said Merle Giles, leader of NCSA's Private Sector Program. "It is our intention to document the industrial challenges sufficiently so as to bring scientists from both the public and private sectors together to pursue breakthroughs that are likely to lead to economic development."

NCSA will focus on large original equipment manufacturers (companies that manufacture products or components that are then sold and retailed under the purchasers brand name). The Ohio Supercomputer Center and the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California have received related grants from NSF's EAGER program and will focus on small and medium enterprises.