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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:West Virginia University Research Corporation
  • Blake Mertz
  • (304) 293-9166
  • George Spirou
  • Stephen P DiFazio
  • Zachariah B Etienne
  • Aldo Romero
Award Date:09/15/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 989,408
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 989,408
  • FY 2017=$989,408
Start Date:10/01/2017
End Date:09/30/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.070
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:MRI: Acquisition of Thorny Flat Next Generation Cluster for High-Performance Computing in West Virginia
Federal Award ID Number:1726534
DUNS ID:191510239
Program Officer:
  • Stefan Robila
  • (703) 292-2303

Awardee Location

Street:P.O. Box 6845
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center
Street:4350 Northern Pike
Cong. District:18

Abstract at Time of Award

This project will enable West Virginia University (WVU), the flagship Land Grant University for the state of West Virginia (WV) with over 31,000 students, to acquire a High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster called Thorny Flat. The project will use the resource to support a broad spectrum of research efforts from cosmology to neuroscience, as well as expand utilization of the resource to non-traditional disciplines like systems ecology and biometrics. In addition, an important goal of the project is to nurture a cohort of new HPC users across West Virginia, a region in acute need of economic diversification. Moreover, the project plans to use the HPC cluster to establish collaborations that will serve to expand and transition the WV economy toward a focus on the high-level technology sector, a critical need in this disadvantaged region. Specifically, the new HPC cluster will accelerate research projects in biophysical chemistry studies with implications for drug delivery and diagnostic imaging; state-of-the-art code development for materials optimization; and simulations of binary neutron star mergers for future LIGO gravity wave observations. As well, the resource will catalyze new efforts in Appalachian watershed dynamics, business analytics, and the university's burgeoning quantitative neuroscience program, with six new hires planned for 2017. With established Centers of Research Excellence in gravitational wave astronomy, STEM education, water security, regional health disparities, and responsible natural gas utilization, the university is devoting new resources to leverage existing strengths in neuroscience and cybersecurity. The availability of high quality infrastructure, such as Thorny Flat, will be essential to the success of many of these computationally intense efforts, led by 35 faculty in conjunction with 180 postdocs, graduate students, and undergrads. Moreover, the project is committed to using the HPC cluster for training and support for both the university and state-wide research communities. For example, courses from a diverse set of disciplines will utilize the cluster as a vital training resource, and the project plans to integrate with an annual week-long HPC Summer Institute providing hands-on training to users from across the state. Furthermore, the project will broaden demand for HPC resources from less traditionally computational areas to address critical big data issues in water security, opiate addiction, and health care disparities. In parallel, the project will be cultivating the next generation of HPC coders and diversifying the pool with 7 female faculty mentors. In addition, the expanded infrastructure and development of a well-qualified HPC workforce will promote additional university partnerships with regional federal labs, as well as with regional industrial partners.

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