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University of Leeds students get stuck in to HPC

Two students from the University of Leeds have joined OCF as part of their summer internship to expand their experience in working in a High Performance Computing (HPC) environment.

Jamie Roberts and Joshua Crinall, both currently in their second year of a four-year Masters in Computer Science, are spending a week with the OCF engineering team where they are primarily working on the decommissioning of a large HPC system in one location to rebuild at a second site. The internship is part of a broader eight-week internship programme offered by the Advanced Research Computing group at the University which aims to provide practical knowledge of HPC as well as to show how HPC supports scientific computing.

OCF's on-site system administrator Ian McKenna (centre) is pictured with Joshua (left) and Jamie (right) inside the datacentre

OCF’s on-site system administrator Ian McKenna (centre) is pictured with Joshua (left) and Jamie (right) inside the datacentre

Jamie comments: “I am excited to gain experience of working with an experienced and qualified team who deliver bespoke HPC solutions. It is a great opportunity to gain hands-on HPC experience as well as understand the architecture of the various systems. It is interesting to learn how a certain architecture suits a certain set of customer business problems. The experience so far has been brilliant, everybody has been very supportive of our learning, and the working environment is very friendly.”

Joshua comments: “It’s really helped me appreciate what is takes to get a supercomputer up and running and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the experience. HPC has always been an interesting concept to me; studying computer science, supercomputers always felt out of reach, but working with ARC and OCF has proven otherwise. I think the best thing for me is knowing my work is helping further research that would be impossible without HPC equipment. It really is the cutting edge of computing.”

Russell Slack, Operations Director said: “We are very pleased to have Jamie and Joshua as part of our engineering team. It allows us to provide valuable experience to enthusiastic students in an industry that is lacking such specific skills and knowledge.” Russell goes on to say, “I started my career with OCF as an apprentice 20 years ago and now I’m Operations Director here. It just shows that with hard work and dedication, HPC can be the industry for a successful career.”

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