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Energy Department Announces Ten New Projects to Apply High-Performance Computing to Manufacturing Challenges

February 17, 2016 - 9:30am


The Energy Department today announced $3 million for ten new projects that will enable private-sector companies to use high-performance computing resources at the department's national laboratories to tackle major manufacturing challenges. The projects range from improving turbine blades in aircraft engines and cutting heat loss in electronics to reducing waste in paper manufacturing and improving fiberglass production. Led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory as strong partners, the High-Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) Program is forging these new partnerships to increase the efficiency of manufacturing processes, accelerate innovation, and improve the quality of clean energy products.

Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy David Danielson and other U.S. Department of Energy and industry experts discussed the projects today during an online media presentation highlighting the HPC4Mfg Program and projects.

"Access to supercomputers in the Department of Energy's labs will provide a resource to American firms inventing and building clean energy technologies right here at home that no international competitor can match," said Assistant Secretary Danielson. "The HPC4Mfg initiative pairs leading clean energy technology companies with the world-class computing tools and expertise at our national labs to drive down the cost of materials and streamline manufacturing processes. The ultimate goal of their collaboration is to increase our global competitiveness in the race to develop clean energy technology and jobs."

This effort will also advance President Obama's National Strategic Computing Initiative, which the President unveiled in July 2015, calls for public-private partnerships to increase industrial adoption of high-performance computing.

Each of the ten new Phase I projects have been selected for approximately $300,000 to fund the national labs to partner closely with each chosen company to provide expertise and access to high-performance computing systems aimed at high-impact challenges.  

Under the HPC4Mfg program, the ten selected projects will leverage the national labs' high-performance computing capabilities to apply modeling, simulation, and data analysis to industrial products and processes to lower production costs and shorten the time it takes to bring new clean energy technologies to market. Another overarching objective is to keep the United States at the forefront of innovation by accelerating advanced clean energy technologies and energy-efficient solutions that improve our nation's economic competiveness in manufacturing.  These ten Phase I projects are aimed at lowering the barrier of entry for industry to use high-performance computing and validate its use in improving manufacturing.

View the ten project descriptions here.

LLNL established HPC4Mfg in March 2015, launched four "seedling" projects, and put in place a formal governance model.  Lawrence Berkeley and Oak Ridge National Laboratories joined in September 2015 to support the Phase I solicitation, which was originally announced by Danielson at the American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Summit in Washington, D.C. that month. 

The Advanced Manufacturing Office within the Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy created and funds this program.  The HPC4Mfg projects also support the Energy Department's broader Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative to increase U.S. competitiveness through manufacturing clean energy technologies, boosting energy productivity and leveraging low-cost domestic energy resources and feedstocks.