Lecture by JC Desplat (ICHEC - Irish HPC center)

High-Performance Computing: so much more than just supercomputers.
The Irish perspective.

The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) was established in 2005 as the national High-Performance Computing (HPC) centre in Ireland, a country with a thriving technical scene. At that time, its core mission was the delivery of HPC resources to academia, including training and education activities. Over the past decade, ICHEC has supported over 1,400 researchers.

Over the past several years, ICHEC has developed a comprehensive programme of industry engagement using a 2-pronged approach supporting both technology co-development and commercial service provision. The former has led to fruitful on-going collaborations with Xilinx, Intel and DDN around their latest technology platforms, while the latter has seen ICHEC bring its expertise to MNCs and SMEs in areas such as the oil & gas, financial services, renewable energy and analytics.

Finally, ICHEC also extended its reach to the Public Sector, with flagship collaborations with Met Éireann (the Irish national weather forecasting agency) and the Central Statistics Office (Ireland’s national statistics institute).

ICHEC’s strength comes from its people, its expertise. Small countries cannot afford to compete with larger countries on hardware Infrastructure, nor can they justify such investments. Instead, ICHEC has chosen to focus on the effective use of HPC methodologies and novel technologies with application to strategic areas such as energy efficient programming for IoT, remote observation for precision agriculture and planning, high-resolution modelling for renewable energy, and of course big data. Novel technologies underpin innovation and HPC methodologies are key to unlocking their potential.

ICHEC is one of the partners of the SESAMENET consortium, of which the VSC is a founding member.

Job and collaboration opportunities

ICHEC currently has a number of vacancies for HPC and Big Data specialists, as well as systems administrators and domain experts (incl. remote observation). ICHEC is also interested in establishing new collaborations through suitable mechanisms such as H2020.


JC studied for his degree at Sheffield Hallam University (UK) where he received a PhD for his work on “Monte Carlo simulations of amphiphilic systems”. He later joined the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) in 1995. JC worked nearly 10 years at EPCC, during which time he took part in a number of activities ranging from user support, research, teaching, software development, development of European programmes (DEISA, HPC-Europa).

JC joined the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) in 2005 as Technical Manager (and employee #5) and later become Associate Director (2007) and Director (May 2012). JC holds the position of Honorary Professor of Computational Science at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies since 2008 and of Adjunct Professor in the School of Physics at NUI Galway since 2012. He was also a member of the Digital Humanities Observatory Management Board (2008-12), the Environmental Protection Agency Climate Change Coordination Committee (2008-13), the ICT Sub-Committee of the Irish Medical Council (2011-13) and the UK EPSRC e-Infrastructure Strategic Advisory Team (2011-15).

j-c.desplat@ichec.ie, +353 1 5241608 ext. 21


Postponed (to be rescheduled February 2016)

Venue: Multimediaroom, building S9, Campus De Sterre, Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Gent

Registration coming soon