The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) provides academics and industry with world-class support and facilities in computational science that help them to address some of the biggest challenges in science.
This is the age of data, but how can data’s value be maximised to aid research and innovation in fields ranging from energy to engineering, from particle physics to the life sciences? And what will the computing landscape of tomorrow actually look like?
STFC provides organisations in academia and industry with world-class expertise and support in computational science. Specifically, we enable all types of organisations to develop software, tame data mountains, discern patterns in complex datasets and harness computing to improve prediction and forecasting.
Scientific computing department
Our scientific computing department provides academia and industry with large-scale high performance computing (HPC) facilities, as well as computing data services and infrastructure. The department includes world-leading experts in computational chemistry, computational engineering, software engineering, petascale storage and many other disciplines.
Distributed Research Utilising Advanced Computing (DiRAC)
The DiRAC facility provides the particle physics, nuclear physics, astronomy and cosmology research communities with access to HPC and theoretical modelling technologies that can tackle the most intractable of research challenges.
The Hartree Centre offers industry access to world-class HPC capabilities and complementary software skills. The centre is home to Blue Joule, the UK’s top supercomputer and the largest in the world dedicated to software development – capable of completing a thousand trillion calculations a second.
A Grid for Particle Physics (GridPP)
GridPP provides data processing, data modelling and data analysis services as part of a global network for the Large Hadron Collider, as part of the LHC Computing Grid and European Grid. We also host one of the Tier 1 supercomputers that make it all possible.
Complementing these core capabilities
We host the Centre for Environmental Data Analysis (CEDA), a joint initiative with the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), supporting researchers in environmental science, furthering archival practices in the field of environmental data and developing new technologies that can improve access to data.
We host the UK Solar System Data Centre (UKSSDC), which harnesses grid computing technologies to facilitate access to national and international datasets for the UK’s solar system science community.
Through all these mechanisms, we complement the contribution made by the other research councils, driving innovation and achievement in the vital sphere of computational science and leading-edge computing.
STFC national facilities
These facilities provide the large-scale experimental instrumentation needed to underpin a wide range of research activities in a number of key areas of science and technology, including physics, chemistry, biology and earth sciences.
General themes include studies of the structure and dynamics of condensed matter, molecular and plasma systems using high intensity light and neutron beamlines.
STFC centres for doctoral training in data intensive science
Eight centres for doctoral training in data intensive science were set up for students starting in October 2017.
STFC provided funding for this first cohort of 98 students. With further funding from the National Productivity Investment Fund, STFC was able to fund a further cohort of 27 students starting in October 2018.
The centres are:
- STFC Cardiff, Bristol and Swansea Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science
- DISCnet – Data Intensive Science Centre in the South East Physics Network
- UCL’s Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science
- Durham Data Intensive Science CDT
- Cambridge Centre for Doctoral Training in Data Intensive Science
- STFC Manchester CDT in Data Intensive Science
- Scottish Data Intensive Science Triangle (SCOTDIST)
- University of Liverpool LIV.DAT.