User story

All the user stories.

Polymer recycling unveiled: Supercomputing and molecular dynamics paving the way to circular economy

Plastic bottles
In his PhD, Mats Denayer (General Chemistry Research Group of Vrije Universiteit Brussel) developed a new computer-based protocol to predict whether polymers will dissolve in certain liquids (solvents). Proven valid, the program can be used for polymer recycling. Mats' research fits within the context of transitioning to a circular economy through the development of (polymer) recycling processes.

Fuel and operational flexibility in micro Gas Turbine combustors for sustainable energy production

Image from a simulation of a combustor with flames
Finding means to fight climate change is a major target of today's scientific research. To this aim, it is essential to limit greenhouse gas emissions, for instance by replacing fossil fuels with alternatives such as biogas or hydrogen, or by combining power and heat generation. Maintaining complete and stable combustion in such unconventional conditions is not straightforward. In this user story, Alessio Pappa explains how his research can help design better combustors for sustainable energy production.

Faster processor communications to better understand fluid turbulences

A schematic view of wind over a car
Whether it's designing more efficient wind turbines ⚡, faster cars 🏎️, or more fuel-efficient aircraft ✈️, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is an essential tool for researchers. To obtain accurate results, it is sometimes necessary to describe complex structures with great precision, which can require very substantial computing resources; hence, the use of supercomputers. However, implementing CFD methods efficiently on HPC infrastructures is not straightforward, as a lot of communication is inherently required between the different processing units of the supercomputer. In this user story, Pierre Balty, from Ph. Chatelain’s lab, explains where this limitation comes from and how they work on efficient parallelisation methods, pushing back the limits of what is possible in CFD.

From Good to Great: The Advantages of Upscaling from Tier-2 to Tier-0 for Research

User Story Tim Lebailly - Comparison of our approach with other self-supervised methods from the literature
Upscaling your resources from Tier-2 to Tier-1 or Tier-0 can be a huge advantage and accelerator for your research 🚀🚀! Tim Lebailly, PhD student at PSI, aims to improve current machine algorithms for AI. He went from Tier-2 to Tier-0 infrastructure for his research. According to Tim, moving up from Tier-2 to Hortense (Tier-1) was very straightforward: “It’s very similar hardware. Only the scheduler is different, but that’s a detail.”  Tim also had to conduct numerous experiments in parallel. If he attempted this while using Tier-1, he used the entire GPU partition exclusively, causing some jobs to remain in the queue for a long time. The next logical step for Tim was to apply for compute time on LUMI, the fastest Tier-0 supercomputer in Europe. Tim: “Thanks to the scale of LUMI, I only utilise a small fraction of the supercomputer's capacity, enabling me to schedule all my jobs simultaneously. In that regard, the user experience is really nice.” Want to know more? Read all about Tim's upscaling journey by clicking the title above or via

Atlas Copco - Understanding physics at the microscale in filter media with supercomputing

Streamlines flow through a filter medium coloured by velocity magnitude

Exploration & optimisation of design at Atlas Copco
Atlas Copco specialises in the design, development and manufacture of, amongst others, industrial compressors and expanders, vacuum solutions and air and gas treatment equipment. 
Customers tend to be companies in various industries, from food and beverage, oil and gas, semiconductor, transportation, and construction to medical applications.

User Story Mpacts: leveraging expertise

Spatial sorting and the effect on the computational time
Besides computing infrastructure, VSC also offers a wide range of services to its users. One of these services is helping users to improve their software so it can run more efficiently on the VSC infrastructure. In the case of Mpacts, VSC recommended sorting the particles so that particles close in (simulated) space are also close together in computer memory. This programming technique made the software more efficient and, thus, faster.
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