Investigating the running abilities of Tyrannosaurus Rex using N8HPC

What if you were told that you could out-run one of the largest and most terrifying bipedal animals to have ever evolved and walked the Earth…the T-Rex? Well, today new research written by Dr William Sellers (University of Manchester’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences) and published by PeerJ states just that! With the paper suggesting that maybe the T-Rex couldn’t even move faster than a gentle jog, let alone run.

This discovery coming from the University of Manchester, suggests that the size and sheer mass of the T-Rex would render it physically impossible to move at any speed higher than 7.7mph, which is slower than the average man’s running speed, which is around 8.4mph. Any speed higher than that would cause the T-Rex’s legs to simply break during chase due to its immense weight.

Their research utilised the Tier 2 HPC facility N8HPC, which underpins world-class research, to generate intense and detailed simulations to test Dr Sellers’ findings. A team led by Dr Sellers himself  combined two popular bio mechanical techniques – multi-body dynamic analysis (MBDA) and skeletal stress analysis (SSA) to create a more refined model which he and his team (Stuart B. Pond, Charlotte A. Brassey, Philip L. Manning, and Karl T. Bates) used to prove their theory.

Dr William Sellers’ results disrupt the idea that the T-Rex was primarily a high-speed pursuit predator. A topic which has been an intensely debated subject matter amongst the palaeontology community for decades. The research suggests a less athletic lifestyle for the T-Rex and even throws into question their hunting methods.

Furthermore, their results bring into question the maximum running speeds of other large two-legged dinosaurs such as: Giganotosaurus, Mapusaurus, and Acrocanthosaurus.

Dr Sellers has stated that the ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex is one of the largest bipedal animals to have ever evolved and walked the earth. So it represents a useful model for understanding the biomechanics of other similar animals.’

Dr William Seller’s research can be found in PeerJ.

Accelerated discovery of two crystal structure types in a complex inorganic phase field enabled by N8 HPC

Professor Matthew Rosseinsky (alongside a group of researchers from the University of Liverpool) is the co-author of a new paper, published on June 7th in the leading journal, Nature. As well as their use of the national HPC service, ARCHER, important to the Rosseinsky group’s research was their use of the regional N8 HPC.

The work of Dr Rosseinsky’s group at the University of Liverpool has led to a development of a computational tool that combines human-like chemical understanding and knowledge with ab initio methods. Using the tool, they predict and synthesise complex metallic oxides with entirely new crystal structures.

Dr Matthew Dyer from the University of Liverpool who made use of N8 HPC as part of their research was hugely complimentary of the service, stating:

The computing resources available to our group through the N8 HPC consortium made an important contribution to the calculation of energy versus composition plots which guided experimental synthesis to regions of compositional space likely to contain new materials. This accelerated the discovery of two new phases in the Y-Sr-Ca-Ga-O phase diagram, both with new crystal structures which do not belong to previously reported crystal structure types.

Their research was funded by the EPSRC and undertaken at the University of Liverpool. The Rosseinsky group’s research targets the synthesis of new materials, in order both to discover new physical and chemical properties for improvement in our fundamental understanding in sectors such as separation and catalysis, storage and generation and communications and separation. You can read the paper here, on Nature’s website.

ARCHER2 Information Gathering Survey

Do you want to help shape the future of ARCHER? Then here’s your chance! ARCHER is looking for potential users and, more particularly, software developers to express their
thoughts on what the service might become in the future. EPSRC and NERC welcome input from HPC communities, users and stakeholders to help understand the scientific and HPC needs of our communities. By participating in this survey, you are helping to define the requirements of the successor to the current service, ARCHER. The survey can be accessed here and will close at midnight on Sunday 25 June 2017, so don’t hesitate to respond!

N8 HPC: Polaris reduced availability 25th and 27th April

N8 HPC will be affected on Tuesday 25th and Thursday 27th April by maintenance work on the chilled water system which is used to cool it.

It’s worth noting that Polaris will be considered “at risk” on those days. Furthermore, there may be periods where commands like “qstat” & “qsub” will fail and there may be pauses when accessing files while they apply operating system updates.

Additionally, the compute nodes will be unavailable on the 27th April and will be drained of jobs ahead of the work.

Please accept our apologies for the impact this might have on your research. If you have any problems or concerns, please get in touch via our Twitter @N8HPC

Call for Access to the European HPC Service (PRACE)

15th Call for Proposals for Project Access 
PRACE has recently announced its 15th call for proposals for Project Access. The current call provides access to various European Tier 0 systems from Bull, Cray, Lenovo and IBM. These comprise of a mixture of standard X86, Knights Landing and GPU platforms. Joint submissions from academia and industry are particularly welcome. Projects can involve single runs that scale on large numbers of cores (or accelerators) or analyses that require many runs on fewer cores (ensemble simulations). The deadline for submissions is 30th May 2017. Further details regarding the call can be found here.

Note that PRACE 2.0 (the second phase of the service) was recently launched and access to UK researchers is currently not affected by Brexit. The service comprises of 5 hosting partners who provide access to machines and 17 general partners who contribute to the operational costs. Of the general partners, the UK makes the largest yearly financial contribution to PRACE and therefore the research councils (EPSRC, BBSRC, NERC) are keen to see a return on this investment.

5th SHAPE Call
In addition, SHAPE is another PRACE initiative that aims to promote HPC uptake in SMEs. Academics and SMEs can apply together through a joint project. As well as access to PRACE systems, projects benefit from contributed PRACE support. It is strongly recommended that you contact the SHAPE team to discuss your proposal before submission. Further details regarding the call can be found here.

Good luck!

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