May BEAR Newsletter

Published: Posted on

We’re excited to announce the winner of our 2024 ‘IT Needs of Active Research’ survey prize, with the £500 Amazon voucher going to a researcher in Computer Science! Matt said, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the improvement of our computing services. Winning the prize is an unexpected bonus!” We extend our thanks to Matt and all participants for their valuable input, which will shape the future of compute provision at the university. A blog post on the survey findings will be released over the summer.

Last month we supported the very successful 13th BEAR PGR Conference which delivered a great programme of talks and posters. A blog post will be made available shortly, but in the meantime you can check out a summary on Twitter/X#bearpgrconf24.

Included in this month’s BEAR newsletter:

  • BEAR Challenge – last chance to sign up
  • Training update
  • OpenFOAM Special Interest Group July session
  • Case study on using BlueBEAR to simulate how particles behave
  • BEAR drop-in sessions

BEAR Challenge – last chance for students to sign up

From 24-26 June teams of undergraduate or taught postgraduate students will get access to our Tier 2 national supercomputer, Baskerville, with its state-of-the-art GPUs to run a series of challenges giving them experience in using High Performance Computing, plus hear career talks from industry-leading experts. Please pass this on to any relevant taught students in your area (a working knowledge of a programming language is required). Further details and a booking link can be found via our Eventbrite page. Last chance for teams to sign up, closing date is Friday 31 May!

Training update

We have recently made some important updates to our Training Code of Conduct. A key point to note is that our courses are for researchers only, we have seen increasing numbers of PGTs signing up and they are not eligible to attend. Unfortunately, we are still experiencing significant numbers of no-shows. From this month we will be implementing an exclusion penalty so that anyone who doesn’t attend two courses without cancelling will not be able to attend any further courses for the rest of the academic year. On a positive note, the new Image Processing with Python and Advanced BlueBEAR courses have proved popular. Check out all current courses on our training webpages!

OpenFOAM Special Interest Group July session

On Monday 1 July between 2.00-4.00pm the OpenFOAM Special Interest Group is running a session on moving from basic programming concepts to advanced computational fluid dynamics solver development in OpenFOAM. For more details see the blog post on the OpenFOAM SIG session

Case study on using BlueBEAR to simulate how particles behave

In this month’s featured case study, Khizra Abdul Wadood (PhD student in Chemical Engineering) explains how she has used our supercomputer BlueBEAR to simulate how particles behave, with practical applications in designing more reliable and efficient processes and equipment, reducing the likelihood of inconsistencies in production e.g. pharmaceuticals. Have a read of Khizra’s case study to find out more.

BEAR drop-in sessions

We currently just have dates for virtual drop-in sessions but will be scheduling more in-person drop-ins for the coming months – check the drop-in webpage for updates, as well as details on how to join the virtual sessions. Currently scheduled dates are also listed below: 

  • Via Zoom – Wednesday 5 June, 12.00pm–1.00pm
  • Via Zoom – Thursday 20 June, 1.00pm-2.00pm
  • Via Zoom – Monday 1 July, 11.00am-12.00pm

Missed last month’s newsletter?

Find April’s newsletter here. Sign up to receive the newsletter direct to your inbox by joining our bear-updates mailing list here (UoB login required), or ask to join via email at