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PENNSYLVANIA-WEST VIRGINIA PARTNERS IN DEVELOPMENT OF CLEAN POWER TECHNOLOGIES.


Download the PDF version of this article as it appeared in Projects in Scientific Computing, 2002.

Formed in 1999, the Super Computing Science Consortium (SC)2 is a regional partnership of research and education institutions in southwest Pennsylvania and West Virginia. New partners during the past year are Duquesne University, Pennsylvania State University and The Institute for Scientific Research in Fairmont, West Virginia. The goals of (SC)2 are to provide intellectual leadership and advanced computing and communications resources to solve problems in energy and the environment and to stimulate regional high-technology development.

PHOTO: Lynn Layman (left) and Randy Harris

Lynn Layman (left), Westinghouse Electric Company and Randy Harris, National Energy Technology Laboratory, co-directors of the Super Computing Science Consortium. "SC squared," says Harris, "began as a partnership between NETL and PSC to advance energy research and has grown to be a significant force for regional development and cooperation."

In the spring of 2000, a high-speed fiber optic network linked the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Morgantown, West Virginia and PSC. With this high-speed data channel, researchers at NETL and West Virginia University have used PSC resources to simulate fluidized-bed combustion of silane and the effects of lean-fuel mixes in next-generation power-generating turbines. In recent work (Burn Again Turbine), (SC)2 provided the computational resources for simulations of a new turbine design, called a turbine-combustor, that can provide a power reserve for periods of high electricity demand.

"PSC has been an active partner with NETL in supporting regional initiatives," said Rita A. Bajura, director of NETL. "(SC)2 makes PSC's computing capabilities available not only to the region but also to the nation to further research in the efficient production and use of coal, oil, and natural gas - the resources that provide 85 percent of the nation's energy supply."

Workforce Development & Education

Aerial view of EverGreene Technology Park

In spring 2001, with local government agencies, (SC)2 helped to establish the EverGreene Technology Park in Waynesburg, Pa. To encourage research-oriented companies wanting to locate in this primarily rural area, EverGreene offers a high-speed fiber-optic pipeline to the Internet and to PSC resources. During the past year, a materials analysis firm - expected to provide 60 high-technology jobs - committed to EverGreene and began architectural design for the site.

At Waynesburg College, (SC)2 sponsored an outreach program for researchers at small colleges, with participants from a dozen colleges in three states. The program provided information on supercomputing, cluster technology and scientific visualization. The program also presented information on how to participate in (SC)2. "The objective," says (SC)2 co-director Lynn Layman, "is to provide exposure to high-performance computing resources and to encourage participation in the grant process."

An (SC)2 summer program for middle schools included participants from three schools in West Virginia and Pittsburgh. The program presented teaching materials for high-performance computing. See . "These are lesson plans," says Layman, "that teachers can use to supplement work in physics, chemistry or mathematics."

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