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The University of Bradford transforms heritage preservation and Archaeological Research with HPC

By Julian Fielden, Managing Director of OCF.

We’ve recently been working with archaeologists and computing scientists at the University of Bradford who are benefitting from the University’s first high performance computing (HPC) system.  This new HPC environment (designed, integrated and supported by OCF) is transforming heritage preservation by revolutionising the capacity for data collation for archaeological purposes.

With the new HPC cluster, the University’s archaeological team working on its ‘Curious Travellers’ project, can more effectively preserve by record, endangered or destroyed heritage sites across the world, for example, the Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Kathmandu and Notre Dame.

The ‘Curious Travellers’ project was created by the University’s archaeological department in response to challenges brought about by natural disasters and the deliberate destruction of heritage sites.

By collating hundreds of images from local people, travellers and tourists, researchers at Bradford are able to create accurate 3D models of ancient monuments and sites, producing accurate representations without artificial or artistic reconstructions.

In our recent work with the University of Bradford, Professor Vincent Gaffney from the School of Archaeological & Forensic Sciences told us that computing technology is not only broadening the scale at which archaeologists work, but also is making an unprecedented volume of extremely accurate data available for multinational analysis.

For Bradford, we designed, integrated and configured Lenovo ThinkSystem servers with a mixture of GPU technologies and Intel Skylake processors, offering improvements in a number of areas including memory bandwidth, core count and throughput. We also used OCF’s Software stack which is made up of Open Source tools including XCAT for management, Grafana and Icinga for monitoring and reporting and Slurm for Scheduling.

The new centralised HPC service is available to all departments across the University, already being used by bioinformatics through to heritage reconstruction. HPC is providing opportunities to discover new therapies, chemical processes and materials as well as developing greater insights into complex chemical theory.

The University of Bradford’s commitment to using HPC technology to support the development of research is having a positive impact on the world, as increased computational power becomes more readily available and enables vastly improved research capacity. OCF is proud to be helping the University with its research through HPC.

If you’d like to hear more about our work with the University of Bradford, please click here

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