This week the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the availability of $3 million that will go towards the use of supercomputers at the department’s national laboratories in an effort to tackle manufacturing challenges.
The initiative, known as the High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program allows the use of high performance computing (HPC) resources for the manufacturing sector, with a goal of addressing challenges with HPC and investigating its use to support advanced energy and manufacturing issues.
“The technologies adopted as a result of the HPC4Mfg Program can have a significant impact with potential to close the knowledge gaps in the manufacturing and energy industry,” said Mark Johnson, director of the Advanced Manufacturing Office. “This program aligns well with the technical focus areas our office is pursuing in early-stage, applied research and development.”
The selected projects will leverage the national labs’ HPC capabilities to apply state-of-the-art modeling, simulation, and data analysis to address manufacturing challenges that will aid in decision-making, innovate in processes and design, improve quality, predict performance and failure, quicken or eliminate testing, and/or shorten the time of adoption of new technologies.
The DOE plans to select several more endeavors for this fourth round of funding and seeks industry partners to participate in short-term, collaborative projects. Many companies — and their initial concepts — will be selected and paired with a national lab HPC expert to jointly develop a full proposal this summer, with final selections announced in November. Selected projects will receive up to $300,000 to support access to supercomputers and experts at the partnering national labs, which include Lawrence Livermore, Lawrence Berkeley, and Oak Ridge national laboratories.
The Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), within the department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, supports early-stage applied research and development of new materials, information and processes that improve American manufacturing’s energy efficiency, as well as platform technologies for manufacturing energy products.
The DOE has several other energy efficient initiatives underway, including LED installation in its headquarters, improving the better buildings challenge and millions of dollars devoted to solar power.