UKHEC: UK High End Computing

The UKHEC (UK High End Computing) funding has ceased, however, the University of Edinburgh alongwith the University of Manchester and the Council for the Central Laboratories of the Research Councils’ (CCLRC) Daresbury Laboratory, continue to collaborate and have established a consortium to support UK academic research using high performance computers (HPC).

Growing interest in Grid computing, and the desire to develop a UK Grid, resulted in a greater need for collaboration between the different HPC centres in the UK. The UKHEC project represents one of the first collaborative projects to be developed, involving Daresbury Laboratory, EPCC and Manchester computing. The project aimed to investigate emerging areas of computing and to inform and provide advice to the user community in hardware and software developments, in new tools, in best practice code development and in data management.

One of the major components of the project involved hosting seminars on topics of interest to the HPC user community. As a result, various workshops and seminars were organised across the three centres, considering topics such as object-oriented programming, scientific visualisation and Java for high-performance computing.

In addition, the collaboration aimed to maintain expertise in a variety of programming paradigms to enable coding in styles which were efficient for specific platforms. Hence UKHEC monitored and disseminated international developments in hardware and software. Key areas of interest included computational Grids, OpenMP, Java for HPC, benchmarking new HPC systems, data management for HPC and Beowulf commodity class computers.