VESTEC Project Poster at ISC 2020 digital conference

Author: Nick Brown
Posted: 23 Jun 2020 | 15:10

This week ISC, one of the largest conferences in the supercomputing calendar, should have been running in Frankfurt. It’s a funny feeling because, as I type, I realise that if it wasn’t for COVID-19 then, instead of being stuck at home, I would have been busy navigating the Messe Frankfurt, going from one session to another.

I was really disappointed when I heard that ISC wasn’t going ahead in its usual format as I always really enjoy the conference, but a consolation is that at least part of the conference is happening virtually. This was especially helpful for me, as my project poster had been accepted and I was still keen to present it.

Project posters describe both an overview and the status of projects that are currently going on in the HPC community. My poster presents the VESTEC project, a three-year European funded project led by DLR, and in EPCC we lead a Work Package. The project is all about fusing HPC with real-time data to provide next-generation capabilities to urgent decision-makers for disaster response. These disasters can be very wide ranging, from wildfires to accidents and health emergencies. Therefore, even though the project started in late 2018 and runs until autumn 2021, it is especially timely given the COVID pandemic.

This is quite a significant research undertaking with nine partners from across Europe, which includes both academia (eg EPCC, the Sorbonne University, and KTH) and industry (eg DLR, Intel, and Kitware).  The consortium is very diverse with numerous areas of expertise ranging from HPC all the way to visualisation and data-reduction, and it is really interesting to see all the different areas of technology work together. At just over halfway through the project, we are currently at a really exciting phase. Everything is coming together in order to enable us to demonstrate our hypothesis and evaluate how well HPC and real-time data can be combined to assist in disaster response.

My Poster describes the project in detail, and although this week it is only available to registered attendees of ISC, it will be made publicly available in the coming weeks.

Also on the topic of conferences, it is important to highlight that we are running our second UrgentHPC workshop at SC2020, which explores the use of HPC and data science for urgent workloads. We currently have an open call for papers, with accepted papers being published in IEEE TCHPC.


Nick Brown, EPCC