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CityU pioneers new powerful computational platform

A new state-of-the-art High-Performance Computing (HPC) facility offering the most powerful computational platform ever assembled for a higher institution in Hong Kong has been launched at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).

This HK$20 million facility named “CityU Burgundy” will dramatically increase computational power on campus and boost researchers’ ability to make scientific breakthroughs, especially in strategic interdisciplinary research areas One Health, Digital Society, Smart City, Matter and the Brain, as cited in our new Strategic Plan 2020–2025.

The name of the facility aligns with CityU’s corporate colour and reflects our bold and creative mindset for tackling contemporary challenges.

The President of CityU stated that high-performance computing is a strategic tool for science, industry and society, positively impacting everyday life and helping to address the critical challenges of our times. This new powerful infrastructure will enhance research capabilities and boost scientific breakthroughs. In turn, it will enable the university to strengthen competitiveness by attracting more world-class researchers to join its community, he added.

In comparison with the old HPC at CityU, the new HPC has increased computational power by almost 10 times with a combination of massive computation and graphical processing units, all of which are interconnected at high speed. The HPC capacity will support many computationally intensive research areas by cutting short the computational time from months to just hours. The theoretical maximum processing power is 1.1 petaflops, which is considered the most powerful among institutions in Hong Kong and Macau.

‘CityU Burgundy’ has flexible and scalable HPC configurations, according to the Chair Professor of Information Engineering and Dean of the College of Engineering. The facility is further extended with cloud services. For security concerns, Burgundy run on isolated high-speed networks, with a parallel high-speed file system. It provides the best-secured services to computing, he said.

CityU Burgundy will energise several CityU areas of excellence including artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, quantum chemistry, chemical pathology, molecular dynamics, neuroscience, corpus linguistics, psychology, energy, weather, and mechanical and materials sciences.

Recently, OpenGov Asia reported that CityU was granted over HK$23 million in research funding from the inaugural Senior Research Fellow Scheme (SRFS) and Research Fellow Scheme (RFS) under the Research Grants Council (RGC).

The success in securing funding for the development of four research projects is testimony to the university’s research strengths and recognition of the University’s efforts in fostering interdisciplinary research. The funding will be used to support four CityU scientists to advance research into mathematical theories for kinetic equations, flexible electronic technologies, nanomechanics and strain engineering, and novel light-generation technologies.

The Chair Professor of Mathematics was granted the title “RGC Senior Research Fellow”. He will use the SRFS grant to develop analytic techniques that can be applied to studies on solution behaviour and fluid dynamic limits of some typical kinetic models.

The Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering was conferred an “RGC Research Fellow”. The research project he leads will address the growing need for advanced applications of flexible electronic technologies.

The awardee of the RFS and Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering will investigate the mechanics and deformation behaviour of a few covalent crystal solids at the nanoscale level, such as diamond, silicon and silicon carbide (SiC).

The RFS awardee and Associate Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering will focus on advancing alternating current electroluminescence (ACEL) research to enable efficient and sustainable light generation.

The awardees were selected based on the contribution and potential impact of the proposed research project, their proven research track record, and their leadership and vision, as well as the support of their university. Each SRFS and RFS awardee will receive a fellowship grant of about HK$7.8 million and HK$5.2 million, respectively, over 60 months.

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