University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s leading research universities and is represented in this project by its supercomputing centre, EPCC (

Established in 1990, EPCC is at the forefront of HPC service provision and research in Europe. EPCC has a full-time staff of 80 and a large array of HPC systems including the 118,080 core, 2.5 Petaflops Cray XC30 UK National HPC service, ARCHER. EPCC works with a wide variety of scientific and industrial partners and is recognised worldwide for its work in HPC research and leads national, European and international collaborations. EPCC has led the UK’s technical work in all the PRACE projects to date and has been involved in numerous complex European projects including as the coordinator of CRESTA, NEXTGenIO and FORTISSIMO projects.

In addition to its role as a national HPC service provider, EPCC provides a wide variety of services to both industry and academia including: HPC application design, development and re-engineering; HPC application performance optimisation; distributed computing consultancy and solutions (with a particular focus on Grid and Cloud computing); HPC facilities access; project management for software development; and data integration and data mining consultancy.

The centre has a long history of working with HPC vendors to design leading edge novel HPC systems including the QCDOC system, the Maxwell FPGA system and the IBM BlueGene/Q. EPCC is also a part of the Intel Parallel Computing Center initiative, is a NVIDIA CUDA Research Center and is part of Cray’s Exascale Research initiative in Europe.

EPCC brings its vast experience in collaborating on large-scale projects to CompBioMed and leads WP4: Innovation and Sustainability which will establish the relationship between the CompBioMed Centre of Excellence and the wider industrial stakeholders and commercial activities. The Centre will also provide substantial contributions to the rest of the work packages, including infrastructure and expertise in developing HPC software and training.


Key Personnel

Professor Mark Parson – Executive Director of EPCC. He holds a Personal Chair in High Performance Computing and is Associate Dean for e-Research at The University of Edinburgh. He has a PhD in experimental Particle Physics and has worked at EPCC since 1994. During this time he has led a wide variety of EC Framework projects including the NextGRID, GRIDSTART and ADMIRE projects. He is an acknowledged international expert in all aspects of distributed computing and high performance computing and also leads the UK’s involvement in PRACE. He was the coordinator of the CRESTA Exascale software project, and he is currently Coordinator of the Fortissimo II Project.


Maureen Simpson – Centre Manager of EPCC. She joined in 1998 as its Business Development & Marketing Manager having previously worked in marketing management within the commercial technology and professional recruitment sector. Whilst at EPCC she has been directly responsible for the marketing and dissemination activities of the following FP6 EU projects – GRIDSTART (€1.5 million, 2002- 2005) and NextGRID (€11 million, 2004-2007). In addition to these projects she has also managed numerous other HPC outreach projects including the ERDF funded CALEDONIA project which promoted HPC to industry and is regarded as an example of Best Practice in Technology Transfer by Scottish Enterprise. She has particular expertise in events promotion and management and has organized many events that have successfully brought together academic and industrial HPC users.


Neil Chue Hong – Director of the Software Sustainability Institute, based at EPCC, The University of Edinburgh. He enables research software users and developers to drive the continued improvement and impact of research software. From 2007-2010, he was Director of OMII-UK at the University of Southampton, which provided and supported free, open-source software for the UK e- Research community. Prior to this he was a Project Manager at EPCC including as development WP leader of the EC FP6 NextGRID project. In addition to sitting on several project advisory committees, he is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Open Research Software, the current chair of the Software Carpentry Foundation, and a member of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Team on e-Infrastructure.


Dr Gavin Pringle – Applications Consultant at EPCC, The University of Edinburgh. He works as technical staff on commercial projects and in the Computational Science and Engineering support team for ARCHER, the UK national HPC centre. He worked in both DEISA and PRACE projects, with roles including WP Leader DEISA2:JRA2 Cosmological Applications, DECI UK representative, manager of DEISA’s VPH Virtual Community, and Editor of DEISA’s User Documentation. He also had significant input to the FireGrid project, which included Urgent Computing and Workflows as key elements.


Terence Sloan – Group Manager in the Applications Group at EPCC in the University of Edinburgh. He originally joined EPCC in 1994 and has extensive experience in managing and participating in novel, HPC, Grid and Data Analytics projects with UK SMEs, plc’s, as well as European and global projects. He teaches on EPCC’s MSc programmes in HPC and HPC with Data Science where he is currently the course coordinator for the “Data Analytics with HPC” and the Dissertation courses.


Dr Charaka Palansuriya – Software applications consultant. He has worked as a software developer or project leader on various Industrial and Open Source projects. These include EUDAT2020, Fortissimo, PERICLES, EGEE Network Services Development activity, BEinGRID and OGSA-DAI. His main technical interests are in data management and data analytics. He has a PhD in High Performance Computational Science.

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