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Previous flagship projects

The CHPC selects Flagship Projects that meet the following criteria:

The flagship project should aim to resolve a major scientific/socio-economic challenge in South Africa. Its fundamental drive should therefore address in part a well-identified major scientific/technological problem in a specific field or a noteworthy political and/or socio-economic South African or African problem.

The project must take immediate advantage of the CHPC computational resource (with no more than two months of porting) and performance of the calculations/simulations must be done in a parallel fashion. The project must furthermore demonstrate its ability in driving innovative tools that lead to grand scientific impact and benefit a wide range of researchers within the eResearch context.

The results of the project are expected to be of general scientific interest and ought to be captivating enough to attract the attention of major high-profile scientific journals. It will receive 24 months of CHPC support after completion of the research.

Flagship project results must show potential to form part of a visualisation team that will develop a CHPC-supported high school science outreach programme to market the project and CHPC to the public.

The project must play a significant role in promoting the relevant scientific discipline. The CHPC values meaningful partnerships and therefore strongly encourages a multi-disciplinary and/or multi-investigative team. A consortium of researchers based in South Africa will enjoy preference.

The flagship project should contribute to human capital development in general, not only through the mentoring of students and post-doctoral fellows on the research team, but also through the hosting of specialised workshops for relevant Special Interest Groups (SIGs).

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The CHPC was privileged to award the following researchers with prestigious Flagship Project grants for the period April 2007 to March 2009:

  • Prof B. Hewitson (UCT) and Prof F. Shillington (UCT) - Regional Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Modelling / Environmental and Geographical Science.
  • Prof P. Ngoepe (UL) - Large-scale simulations of energy storage materials.
  • Prof Marius Potgieter (NWU) - Computational Space Physics and Astrophysics.

The CHPC also supported other Flagship Projects (for the period April 2008 to March 2010) and collaborates with these niche research groups to address grand challenges in specific scientific domains:

A South African High Performance Multi-physics Computational Fluid Dynamics Solver - Dr A. Malan, CSIR

  • Electromagnetic Computer Simulation for the MeerKAT and SKA - Dr D. Davidson, University of Stellenbosch (US)
  • Modelling HIV-1 evolution - Dr C. Seoighe, National Bio-informatics Network and UCT
  • Modern South African Astronomy and Cosmology: Confronting the Simulated and the Observed Universe - Dr K. Moodley (UKZN); Dr C. Cress, University of the Western Cape (UWC); Prof B. Bassets, UCT and the National Astrophysics and Space Science Programme (NASSP)
  • Monte Carlo simulations of technological tools for quantum information processing and communication - Prof F. Petruccione, University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN)
  • Nuclear Collisions and Data Grid for the Physics Community - Prof J. Cleymans and Dr A. Muronga (UCT) and Dr Z. Vilakazi, iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator-Based Sciences (L.A.B.S.)


Computational mechanics and electro-elasticity towards improved understanding of the Biomechanics of Myocardial Infarction and the development novel therapies, University of Cape Town (July 2010 - June 2013)

  The aim of this collaborative research project between the University of Cape Town and the CHPC is the development and utilisation of high performance computing (HPC) tools to study the biomechanics of myocardial infarction (MI) and emerging MI therapies based on bio-material injection into the infarct. The biomechanical mechanisms of MI and the efficacy of these new therapies are not well understood. The presented problem is highly complex, including the representation of the architecture of cardiac soft tissue with dispersed biomaterial at micro if not nano scale, the highly nonlinear elastic myocardial mechanics, and the electro-sensitivity of the myocardial muscle. Comprehensive treatment exceeds conventional computing resources in terms of problem size and complexity of the developed codes to capture the physical phenomena with sufficient accuracy. HPC will form an imperative platform for this research towards the advancement of MI therapies and prevention of heart failure.


More CHPC Flagship projects:


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Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 14:59

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While striving to be a world-class service provider and an outstanding research facilitator, the CHPC recognises the importance of promoting its own research and innovations.

The ACE (Advanced Computer Engineering) Lab's primary focus lies in the pursuit of research avenues within HPC. This includes a mandate to port important codes to novel architectures, including FPGA and many-core solutions, to build a relevant skills and knowledge base of current technologies, to create our own functional hardware, software tools and HPC methodologies and to provide a service for transitioning such technology to local users.

The ACElab is currently involved in a number of projects pursuing these goals on a range of hardware architectures and software ideologies in collaboration with local and international institutions.


Current ACElab Projects:

  • The evaluation and development of products and technologies for HPC through the ACE Lab's test-bed cluster.
  • An investigation into the optimal configuration for a petascale cluster at the CHPC.
  • Research and development into Cloud computing at the CHPC.
  • An evaluation of the Convey Hybrid-Core system for use in bioinformatics.
  • Providing an off-line environment for testing configuration changes before they are made to the production clusters.
  • Providing easy access to compute facilities used for training and courses run at the CHPC.
  • Organising the CHPC Student Cluster Competition. 

Acelab Contacts:

David Macleod

Tel: +27 (0) 21 658 3974

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


David Macleod
Tel: 021 658 3974
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

David Macleod
Tel: 021 658 397


Last Updated on Friday, 15 February 2013 16:54

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Flagship projects

In the past five years, the CHPC Flagship Project grants have provided the partnership framework to support the development of several noteworthy research projects.

As a result of this fruitful partnership, the projects have made significant progress in fulfilling their research missions. The CHPC currently has one running flagship project.

Current Research project:

Computational Research Initiatives in Imaging and Remote Sensing, University of the Witwatersrand (July 2010 - July 2014)

Through this flagship project, the CHPC aims to produce high level research in the project areas, graduate students with degrees at masters and doctoral levels, and to develop programmes for efficient processing of hyperspectral satellite data.

Read more about previous flagship projects.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 14:54

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CHPC Cyberinfrastructure

The CHPC is one of three primary pillars of the national cyberinfrastructure intervention supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

The South African National Research Network (SANReN) and the Data Intensive Research Infrastructure of South Africa (DIRISA) complement the CHPC through the provision of high-speed, high-bandwidth connectivity, and the effective curation of a variety of notably large databases.



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Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2013 15:01

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CHPC in the News

Documentation for users:

Tsessebe Cluster Unavailable

Graphical Processing Unit Cluster Unavailable

CHPC SAGrid Cluster Available

Dirisa Storage Unit Unavailable

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