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 technology scene. At that time, the Centre’s core mission was the delivery of HPC resources to academia, including training and education activities. ICHEC has since supported over 1,400 researchers.

In 2009, ICHEC initiated a comprehensive programme of industry engagement using a two-pronged approach combining technology co-development and commercial service provision. The former has led to fruitful collaborations with Intel, Xilinx and DDN around their latest technology platforms; the latter has seen ICHEC bring its Technical Computing expertise to MNCs and SMEs in areas as diverse as the oil & gas, financial services, renewable energy, medical devices 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). Following the award of contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) through Irish technology company Skytek, ICHEC has embarked on the development of a portal for ESA Sentinel and other Earth observation data, providing access to both archived products, real-time data and on-demand processing, developing services of notable societal and economic value.

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.

We currently have a number of vacancies for HPC and Big Data specialists, as well as systems administrators and domain experts (incl. remote observation). We are also interested in establishing new collaborations with like-minded groups and organisations worlwide.

About J.C. Desplat

JC studied at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK where he received a PhD for his work on “Monte Carlo simulations of amphiphilic systems” in 1996. His first experience of parallel computing dates back to 1992 on T800 transputers.

He later joined the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) in 1995, where he spent nearly ten years. The highlights of his employment in Scotland include his involvement in Prof. Michael E. Cates’ research group for whom he co-developed the parallel generalised Lattice-Boltzmann code “Ludwig” that enabled a number of high impact publications, as well as negotiating and setting up EPCC’s involvement in the DEISA (Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications) and HPC-Europa projects.

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 (2012). His expertise has proven crucial in establishing ICHEC as a highly respected centre for High-Performance and Technical Computing within only a few years of its creation.

Over his time in Ireland, JC has secured grants to the total value of €23.3m (c. $26.3m) from a number of Irish Government Departments and funding agencies as well as from the European Commission’s FP7 and H2020 programmes. He also raised a further €3.4m (c.$3.9m) from commercial services.

JC holds the position of “Honorary Professor of Computational Science” at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) since 2008, and of Adjunct Professor in the School of Physics at NUI Galway since 2012. He was a member of the Digital Humanities Observatory Management Board (2008-2012) and of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Change Coordination Committee (2008-2013). More recently, he was a member of the ICT Sub-Committee of the Irish Medical Council (2011-2013) and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Research Infrastructure Strategic Advisory Team (2011-2015). JC was awarded the distinction of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government in 2016.