Feb 5 – 7, 2014
BSC, Barcelona UPC, Campus Nord
CET timezone


The objetive of this course is to give a panorama on the use of hpc-based computational mechanics in Engineering and Environment through the projects BSC are carrying on. This panorama includes the basics of what is behind the main tools: computational mechanics and parallelization.

Learning outcomes:

The students who finish this course will be able to take active part in such projects both in academia or industry.

Target group: 

Level: For trainees with some theoretical and practical knowledge

BSC, Barcelona UPC, Campus Nord
Vertex Building, room VS 219
details at http://bsc.es/education
Course Program Outline:


Day 1 - morning  09:00 - 13:00:

Introduction to Computational Mechanics I (4h):

What is behind a simulation code? Main concepts.

The Physical system and its Mathematical description

Day 1 - afternoon 14:00 - 18:00:

1/ Parallel algorithms for Computational Mechanics (2h):

What is parallelization in a simulation code? Paradigms and scenarios.

Description of parallelization schemes. Parallel algebraic solvers and solving strategies.

2/ Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD): driving and sailing (2h):

CFD is one of the fields of Computational Mechanics where HPC and parallelization is more influential, due to the Physical complexity of the systems. This talk describes incompressible flow applications in automotive industry and yacht design. The Physical description includes turbulence modelling, free surface and floating rigid bodies.

Day 2 - morning 09:00 - 13:00:

Introduction to Computational Mechanics I (4h)

The Physical system and its Mathematical description (cont.)

Discretization: divide and conquer

Discretization: algorithms and codes

Hard and soft.

Day 2 - afternoon 14:00 - 18:00:

1/ N-bodies Contact Detection and Resolution (2h) The talk is divided in two main subjects:

First, the contact detection algorithm prevents interpenetration between bodies by estimating the time of collision. The algorithm includes efficient search methods to drastically reduce the number of operations when we estimate the time of collision between a pair of bodies.

Second, the contact resolution algorithm changes the velocity of the bodies in contact  in order to prevent interpenetrations. This subject also includes methods to reduce the execution time. Also, other aspects of the n-bodies contact are described to improve and to have a more robust method to solve the interaction between rigid solids.

2/ Introduction to numerical combustion (2h)

The energy market is leading towards cleaner solutions in order to reduce pollutant emissions from combustion systems.

Nowadays, numerical simulations have become an important tool to provide insight into the dynamics of flames as well as the overall performance of the entire combustion device. In particular, turbulent combustion is a complex phenomenon involving the interaction of chemical reactions and heat release with turbulent flow structures. This interaction leads to the development of a wide range of time and length scales, coupled to hundreds of species and reactions, so the requirements in HPC are an essential aspect to address this problem.

This session addresses some fundamental aspects of combustion modelling with emphasis on HPC and practical examples of gas turbines.


Day 3 - morning 09:00 - 13:00

1/ Scientific visualization (2h)

Since Galileo Galilei, the visual representation of scientific data has been a key component of science, either advancing thanks to it or directly causing advances. Nowadays, the field of scientific visualization is growing fast, thanks to the technological explosion and a renewed interest of society in design and aesthetics. In this course we will survey the field of data visual representation, discuss about available tools, and touch on design and narrative topics that researchers can learn on their own to improve their graphical communication skills.

2/ Biomechanics: Cardiac Computational Modelling (2h)

From an engineering point of view, Biological systems are amongst the most complex Physical systems in Nature. Multiscale, multiphysics, great variability, large uncertainties, numerical issues, validation difficulties and extremely complex mathematical models are amongst the common features of computational biomechanics. Considering that all these problems usually show up altogether, the use of HPC-based simulations in biomechanics is a must.

In the BSC's CASE department, we focus in simulations at organ level. The "Alya Red Cardiac Computational Model" is a paradigmatic example, which will be deeply described in the talk.

Day 3 - afternoon (14:00 - 18:00) - PARALLEL SESSION A

1/ HPC Challenges in the Oil Industry, Part 1: Geophyisical Imaging Tools (1h) 

An introduction to the numerical methods involved in the modelling, migration and inversion of seismic and EM data for hydrocarbon exploration. Talk will include: why the geophysical exploration matters, what are the main challenges today and the future trends and how HPC is mandatory for many geophysical problems.

2/ HPC Challenges in the Oil Industry, Part 2: Hardware-aware Geophysics (1h)

From methods and algorithms for geophysical exploration to HPC software on modern architectures. Talk will include: main issues to be tackled for HPC applications for Oil Industry, current programming models and paradigms for such applications and current state of HPC environments and future trends.

3/ Supercomputing for fusion energy applications (2h)

Future energy requirements set an unprecedented challenge for our society. Fusion energy is uniquely placed to meet the growing energy demand.

Presently, an international fusion research and development project called ITER is building the world's largest experimental tokamak nuclear fusion reactor in Cadarache, in southern France. It aims to demonstrate that fusion energy is scientifically and technologically feasible. With a budget of about 12.000 million Euros, ITER is second only to the International Space Station as the most expensive international scientific undertaking.

Computer modeling plays an important role in fusion research in preparation of ITER. It is used to address numerous aspects in present-day fusion experiments, and is heavily used in the ITER design as well as in the preparations for ITER operation. In this talk illustrative examples of computer modeling in the fusion energy field are discussed, with special emphasis in applications requiring supercomputing resources.

Day 3 - afternoon (14:00 - 18:00) - PARALLEL SESSION B

1/ Atmospheric transport modelling (2h)

Example case: volcanic ash dispersal and civil aviation - Atmospheric transport models are used to simulate the dispersal of any substance in the atmosphere. Applications include dispersal of pollutants or air quality modelling, among several others. In paricular we focuss on volcanic ash dispersal and its impacts on civil aviation.

2/ High-resolution meteorological modelling using CFD (2h)

Example case: assessment of wind energy resources - CFD is the pivotal tool to increase the spatial resolution of mesoscale Numerical Weather Prediction Models. This talk describes how turbulent CFD models are used to assess winds and turbulence in the microscale, focussing on the evaluation of the wind resource for eolic energy.