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PhD Studentship - Accelerating Sparse Matrix Solvers for High-Performance Computing

University of Plymouth

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Plymouth
Funding for: UK Students, International Students
Funding amount: £19,088 - please see advert
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 19th January 2024
Closes: 15th March 2024

DoS: Dr. Vasilios Kelefouras (email: v.kelefouras@plymouth.ac.uk)

2nd Academic Supervisor: Dr. Yeaw Chu Lee (email: yeawchu.lee@plymouth.ac.uk)

3rd Academic Supervisor: Dr. Amir Bordbar (email: amir.bordbar@plymouth.ac.uk)

4th Academic Supervisor: Dr. Scott Brown (email: scott.brown@plymouth.ac.uk)

5th Industrial Supervisor: Dr. Eugene de Villiers (email: e.devilliers@engys.com), ENGYS Company, website: engys.com

Applications are invited for a 3.5-year EPSRC funded PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1st October 2024.

Funding for: UK Students, International Students

Funding amount: The studentship is supported for 3.5 years and includes full Home tuition fees plus a stipend of £19,088 per annum 2024/25 rate (TBC).

Project Description

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a cornerstone in the understanding of many scientific and technological areas such as in marine offshore renewable energy (ORE) technologies, aero-space/defence, automotive/motorsport, and others. CFD software applications incur huge computational workloads, and therefore without the use of expensive and energy-intensive High-Performance Computing (HPC) platforms, running these applications becomes impractical. Current state-of-the-art general purpose CFD software routines are often inefficient, and many are unable to utilize more than 5% of the available computing power of modern computer systems. 

The aim of this project is to improve the execution time of the sparse matrix solver of the leading open-source CFD library (OpenFOAM). This is the performance bottleneck of many modelling applications currently employed in ORE sector, automotive/motorsport and others. The optimization will target contemporary x64 CPUs and/or Nvidia GPUs. The student will investigate/evaluate various sparse matrix memory formats and optimize the code by using parallel programming frameworks such as CUDA, MPI, OpenMP, AVX intrinsics and others.

This PhD project is also supported by an industrial partner (Engys). Engys Ltd is a leading provider of open-source CFD software for the enterprise sector and developer of the OpenFOAM-based HELYX software suite. This ambitious and pioneering PhD project necessitates close cooperation between HPC experts, CFD domain scientists and engineers. At least two real-world applications (test cases) will be considered, including industrial applications and benchmarks from the CCP-WSI EPSRC project.

Non-UK applicants are also welcome to apply as the international fees may be waived for exceptional candidates.

Keywords: HPC, Parallel Programming, OpenFOAM, Sparse Matrices, Matrix-Vector Multiplication

Eligibility

Applicants should have a first or upper second class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant Masters qualification. Applications from both UK and overseas students are welcome.

The studentship is supported for 3.5 years and includes full Home tuition fees, Bench fee plus a stipend of £19,088 per annum (2024/25 rate TBC).  The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications.  Applicants normally required to cover International fees will have to cover the difference between the Home and the International tuition fee rates.  The international component of the fee may be waived for outstanding international applicants.

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Vasilios Kelefouras, v.kelefouras@plymouth.ac.uk.

To apply for this position please click the Apply’ button.

Please clearly state the name of the DoS and the studentship title that you are applying for on the top of your personal statement.

Please see here for a list of supporting documents to upload with your application.

For more information on the admissions process generally, please contact research.degree.admissions@plymouth.ac.uk

The closing date is 12 noon on 15th March 2024. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview shortly thereafter.

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