Nikolaos Koutsikos

Nikolaos Koutsikos
Current Position: HPC Software Engineer, The Foundry

I have a MEng in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. During my studies there, I got involved in various research projects which were based on parallel programming and so I was exposed to small clusters and heterogeneous architectures. Soon GPGPUs caught my interest and I spent a lot of my time researching the unknown paths of GPU programming.

My occupation with these emerging technologies made me want to deepen my knowledge, and so I started looking for a specialised postgraduate programme. The MSc in HPC at EPCC was the best match for my needs, as it was the only MSc that dealt entirely with high performance computing. A programme like this would help me apply my knowledge of parallel systems within the much broader area of HPC.

The MSc in HPC was an outstanding learning experience. The lectures were given by a highly-skilled team of EPCC staff, who shared their knowledge and professional experience of the world of HPC. The courses covered a wide area of the HPC ecosystem and gave me appropriate knowledge for pursuing a career in this highly demanding field. Moreover, the University of Edinburgh’s great reputation motivates the students, since it is one of the highest rated universities internationally. As for Edinburgh, it is a great place to live. Despite being the capital of Scotland, it doesn’t have the hustle of a big city, yet you cannot get bored in a city with such a great history and wonderful places to visit.

During my studies at EPCC I had many remarkable experiences. My participation in the Student Cluster Competition at the International Supercomputing Conference 2013 (ISC13) was definitely a superb experience. The preparation by our team, and the meetings with EPCC staff and with our industrial sponsor's HPC professionals, contributed a lot to our out-of-the-class knowledge and made us work with professionalism. Our industrial sponsor provided exclusive hardware and system training that prepared us very well for the competition. ISC’13 was one of the best experiences that I have ever had, and it was accompanied by a very good result as our cluster was ranked second.

I am now employed as an HPC software engineer at a visual effects company called The Foundry, where I am working in collaboration with AMD to enable GPU acceleration on award-winning VFX software. The knowledge and experience of HPC technologies that I obtained from the MSc enables me to have a holistic view, which is valuable in my career. Moreover, the professional attitudes that I developed during my studies have helped me in my everyday work with other HPC professionals. In the long term I would like my career to evolve within a top-notch company and to take on more responsibilities in managing important HPC projects.

The MSC in HPC provides must-have knowledge on parallel systems and can be really helpful for anyone who wants to work in this field. I would definitely recommend it!

Contact us

Mr Ben Morse
+44 (0) 131 651 3398
msc@epcc.ed.ac.uk

Connect with the MSc programmes via Facebook.