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Showing posts from July 11, 2010

HPC will help red hot ideas at Pontypridd

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They are full of red hot ideas at the University of Glamorgan in Pontypridd – and the launch of the HPC Wales super computer project will enable them to fire up even more innovations.
Steven Wilcox, the university’s Professor of Intelligent Systems Engineering, is thrilled at the benefits HPC will bring.
“Quite simply, work which could take us up to a week currently could be done in less than an hour,” he said.
“The difference in computer power is that dramatic and it will open up a whole host of new horizons for us.”
The Department of Engineering (www.engineering.research.glam.ac.uk) at the Treforest Campus is currently studying industrial furnaces in collaboration with EU industrial partners such as Corus.
Professor Wilcox explained: “We produce computer models to replicate the behaviour of glass furnaces which produce molten bottle glass. We can use the models to study the placing of auxiliary burners, how to use fuel more efficiently and how to reduce emissions.
“Computational fluid dyn…

Carmarthen Town AFC latest column in Carmarthen Journal

The 'View from Richmond Park' column from this week's edition of the Carmarthen Journal . . .
Saturday (July 10) saw the annual fete and primary school football tournament held at Richmond Park, Carmarthen.
It provided further evidence of the commitment to developing youth talent at Carmarthen Town AFC.
Last season saw further milestones reached in the development of the youth structure within Carmarthen Town AFC.
A development centre for primary school children feeding into our academy structure has been established.
With teams at U12, LJ14, U15, U16 and U19 Youth levels, all the teams play in an organised Academy League.
Emlyn Schiavone, chairman of Town’s Academy Forum, explained: “When it was formed it was hoped that the youth of our locality would be encouraged to take advantage of the club's coaching facilities and develop the next generation of players to represent Carmarthen Town.
“As well as youngsters from Carmarthen, players from as far afield as Newcastle Emlyn,…

Aberystwyth Vice-Chancellor to retire

Professor Noel Lloyd CBE, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, has announced his intention to retire when his term of office comes to an end at the close of the 2010/11 academic year.
Professor Lloyd, who has held the post since September 2004, made the announcement at a meeting of the University’s Council.
Sir Emyr Jones Parry, President of Aberystwyth University, said:
“Noel has given long and distinguished service to Aberystwyth University. The Council has paid tribute to his service, first as Registrar and Secretary, and then Vice-Chancellor.
“His long planned retirement will leave Aberystwyth University well placed to face future challenges. Under his stewardship the University achieved its autonomous status and has developed substantially. I have much enjoyed working with Noel, and look forward to continuing to do so for the academic year ahead, at the end of which I shall wish him a happy retirement, as no doubt, he will return to his love, mathematics.”
Following the announce…

Degree milestone for Aberystwyth University

The 2010 Graduation Ceremonies being held all this week mark an important milestone for Aberystwyth University as the first cohort of students receive Aberystwyth University degrees.
In 2007 Aberystwyth University was awarded new Charter and Statues by the Privy Council. These include the powers to award its own degrees.
Three years on, Aberystwyth graduands will be wearing the new Aberystwyth University gowns.
Reflecting the University’s colours, the Batchelor’s gown, which will be worn by BA and BSc graduates alike, features red and green silk cord and red button detail on the sleeve and a black hood lined in green with a red border.
Professor Noel Lloyd, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University said: “My warmest congratulations to all those who are graduating from Aberystwyth University this week. I am delighted that the Aberystwyth University degrees will be awarded for the first time. The University has seen notable successes in the last few years, and this is another indication of…

Seven Fellows honoured at Aberystwyth

Seven Fellows are being honoured by Aberystwyth University during the 2010 Graduation Ceremonies which take place this week.
The title of Fellow is awarded to honour distinguished people who have a close association with Aberystwyth University or who have made an outstanding contribution to professional or public life in Wales.
The 2010 Honorary Fellows (in order of presentation):
Emeritus Professor Ieuan Gwynedd Jones MA, D.Litt, FRHistS, distinguished historian and former Sir John Williams Professor in History.
Mr Richard Morgan BA (Wales), former student and University Treasurer.
Mr Cynog Dafis, BA (Wales), PGCE, MEd, former student, former MP and AM for Ceredigion.
Ms Rachel Lomax, MA (Cantab), MSc (Econ), former Permanent Secretary, Welsh Office and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.
Professor Steve Smith, former Head of the Department of International Politics and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Aberystwyth University, Vice-Chancellor of Exeter University and President of UUK.

Tasting notes from Parliamentary Beer dinner last night

Splendid evening last night at the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group awards dinner staged at One Great George Street just around the corner from Westminster.
This is what we drank (tasting notes cribbed from the menu). . .
With the starter (Brown shrimps in clarified butter)-
Black Isle Organic Wheat Beer (5% abv)
Courtesy of Black Isle Brewery, Munlochy, Ross-shire, Scotland
A semi-cloudy Belgian style wheat beer brewed with orange and coriander. Either pour carefully to leave the yeast in the bottom of the bottle, or swirl the last drop around the base and pour onto the head of the beer. Naturally fermented for a second time in the bottle, in a similar way to the production of Champagne. This results in a light sediment of yeast in the bottom of the bottle. It is full of Vitamin B.
Roger Protz notes - The colour of this bottle-conditioned beer is a very pale yellow/gold that pours hazy, with a thin white head. On the nose it is very fresh in style, with a clean citrus aroma, some grassy…

Cash pot for rural businesses in Carmarthenshire

A £150,000 cash pot is up for grabs for businesses in rural Carmarthenshire.
Grants are being offered to firms wanting to improve their shop fronts and create more of an impact in the community.
The county council is behind the scheme, aimed at creating jobs and regenerating rural parts of the region.
Project leaders say it will improve the appearance of buildings in key villages and market towns and act as a catalyst for further business investment.
It is part of a multi-million million package of schemes to have received Rural Development Plan funding, which is worth around £800 million to Wales up until 2013.
Under the scheme grants will be offered to the private sector to enhance the front of their properties.
Priority will be given to applications that work in partnership with surrounding properties, creating more of an environmental impact.
The grants will be available to micro enterprises in rural parts of the county.
Applicants will be able to secure up to 50 per cent of project cost…

Boost for new Furnace school plan

Education chiefs are celebrating a £10.2 million windfall for a new state-of-the-art school in Furnace.
Carmarthenshire County Council was told today that it has successfully secured money for the ambitious project.
It means that a brand new Welsh medium primary school and nursery will be built in Llanelli.
The flagship school, which will feature the very latest developments in technology and sustainability, will be developed on land next to Denham Avenue.
It will cater for 420 pupils, with another 52 nursery places, and help to address the growing demand for Welsh language education in the town.
The funding has been awarded from the Welsh Assembly’s 21st Century Schools Programme, as part of a £144 million package of grants announced by Education Minister Leighton Andrews.
Only 13 Welsh authorities were successful in their bids, with Carmarthenshire securing £10.2m towards the £14m school.
Council Leader Meryl Gravell said she was delighted with the news.
She said: “This is wonderful news an…

Aberystwyth professor thrilled at HPC launch

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As one of the oldest and largest Departments of Geography and Earth Science in Britain, the Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, IGES (http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/iges) at Aberystwyth has always been at the cutting edge of innovations in teaching and research.
The launch of the HPC Wales super computer project (featured on this blog earlier this week) will help ensure it stays in the vanguard studying human geography and physical geography.
And, according to Professor Richard Lucas at the IGES, it will open up new avenues for collaborations with small to medium-size businesses (SMEs), Government organisations and educational institutions in Wales, as well as in the UK and internationally.
“Here at Aberystwyth, we are very excited at the potential opportunities the HPC project will open up.
“It will give us a massive competitive edge in research and analysing date and we are looking forward immensely to the project getting underway.
"At Aberystwyth, a significant element of our rese…

Full strike for Carmarthen bowling plan

Carmarthen has scored a full strike after landing close to £800,000 to develop a bowling alley and community centre at the former St Ivel factory in Johnstown.
The Towy Community Church, supported by Carmarthenshire County Council, has been successful in its bid for funding from the Community Asset Transfer Programme (CAT) – a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and Welsh Assembly Government.
It means the ambitious Xcel Bowl project can now get underway, providing yet another first-class leisure facility for Carmarthen.
Alongside the 12-lane bowling alley, the first phase of the development will also include a food bank and a furniture recycling facility to benefit local families experiencing hardship, projects that will be funded by the profits from the bowling business.
Towy Community Church leader Mark Bennett said: “We are thrilled to be able to go ahead with a project that will bring sustainable long term benefits to local people.”
The second phase of the project will include …

Safety tests on Ammanford memorials

Safety tests are to be carried out on memorials at Ammanford Cemetery.
The works are being undertaken by Carmarthenshire County Council for health and safety reasons.
The council has a legislative duty to ensure all memorials in this cemetery are in a safe and stable condition.
Testing will begin on the week commencing July 26 on memorials in the Catholic section only.
The council has met with members of the Cemetery Action Group and relatives have also been informed.
Memorials found to be in a dangerous condition will be fitted with a temporary support. Remedial works will then be carried out by local monumental masons.
Families affected by this will be contacted in writing and the cost of any re-instatement work will be paid for by the council.
Director of Technical Services Richard Workman said: “These tests must be carried out for health and safety purposes. However, I would like to reassure relatives that any headstones which fail the safety test and require remedial work will be restor…

Pictures from HPC Wales launch

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Pictures from the launch of the HPC Wales - High Performance Computing Wales - project.
The launch in Cardiff was attended by Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones, Minister for the Economy and Transport, Lesley Griffiths, Deputy Minister for Science, Innovation and Skills, and Professor Noel Lloyd, chair of Higher Education Wales and vice-chancellor of Aberystwyth University.
See earlier posts starting at -
http://sirgarblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-40m-super-computer-project-for.html

North Wales firm welcomes HPC Wales project

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The development of HPC Wales will make a massive difference to creative media companies in Wales, according to Alan Moult, director of North Wales-based Motion Blur Ltd.
The Pwllheli-based firm has an international reputation and a strong client base supplying the creative industries with digital art and computer 2D and 3D animation.
Mr Moult said: “Due to the geography, running a business in Wales, particularly here in Gwynedd, North Wales has always been extremely challenging.
“The internet has changed things, largely for the better, but not always. This instantly accessible, global market and delivery conduit has also brought stiff competition, making it hard to compete in a difficult climate.
“HPC on the ‘doorstep’ could go a long way in redressing some of the balance.”
Motion Blur has collaborated with Glyndwr University in Wrexham on a number of occasions and hopes to build on its successful links with the academic world.
Motion Blur has a strong track record. The firm won a Promo Cym…

Global examples show why HPC Wales is crucial

See earlier posts starting at -
http://sirgarblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-40m-super-computer-project-for.html
Global industry examples of companies using HPC Technology
Wal-Mart uses HPC modelling to optimise its supply chain, including performing daily stock analysis across its entire worldwide shop network
Fed-Ex uses HPC systems to simulate and plan the delivery of millions of items around the world each day through its fleet of 600+ aircraft and 75,000 vehicles
The NASDAQ Stock Exchange uses HPC to process over two billion transactions daily at rates of more than 200,000 transactions per second. Technology costs were reduced by 70% in the last three years using commodity HPC hardware.
Motorola uses HPC to produce models and simulations of wireless devices and radio links needed to develop global telecommunications services. The effects of buildings and geographical features on wireless signals can be accurately predicted using HPC enabling potential problems to be designed out
Texaco us…

Background on £40m computer project for Wales

See previous post -
http://sirgarblog.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-40m-super-computer-project-for.html
High Performance Computing
High Performance Computing refers to any computational activity requiring more that a single computer to execute a task. Supercomputers and computer clusters are used to solve advanced computation problems and are employed for specialized applications.
Major applications include; Data storage and analysis; Data mining; Simulations; Modelling; Software development; Visualisation of complex data ;Rapid mathematical calculations.
Academic expertise
HPC Wales is already opening up new International linkages and bringing new expertise into Wales. Glyndwr University has already arranged the appointment of two new visiting professors:
Prof Luciano Tarricone, of the University of Salento in Italy), a computational electromagnetics specialist, who has focused on the application of high performance computing to this field and has published several books on it.
Prof Terry He…

New £40m super computer project for Wales

A major project announced today (July 12) represents a major advance for supercomputing in Wales and is set to deliver significant long term benefits to business, industry and the Welsh economy.
High Performance Computing Wales (HPC Wales) is a £40million five year project to give businesses and universities involved in commercially focussed research across Wales access to the most advanced and evolving computing technology available.
HPC Wales will invest in state-of-the-art computing technology, infrastructure and facilities on a pan-Wales basis, high level skills development and training and provide tailor made support services to business.
The availability of this technology is set to have a major impact on the economy, on business competitiveness, on innovation, high value R&D in higher education institutions and skills development. It is set to create more than 400 jobs across key industry sectors.
With support of £24 million from the Welsh Assembly Government, including from t…

An appeal for help from Americymru

The race is on in the bid to raise funds for the Left Coast Eisteddfod in America.
The organising committee of the Left Coast Eisteddfod have been in a well-publicised race for grant cash.
Readers of this blog can help.
Ceri Shaw of the Americymru website has emailed me with the following appeal -
Here are the latest ranking announcements (see below).
There are only 36 hours to go and the race is becoming fiercely competitive.
We need another 50 on the board by 3 pm (PST) 11 pm (UK time).
It's do-able :)
Please keep contacting people directly and individually.
It might also be an idea to encourage them to join Welsh and Celtic groups and post appeals to vote, together with our voting urls, on group walls?
Current ranking 182 with 1200 votes.....1220 on the board.
Another great effort overnight but the pace has picked up and we need to redouble our efforts.
We have stayed in this race for 27 days but everything hangs on what we do in the next 24 hours.
Let's start our sprint to the finish …