The Department of Energy (DoE) is hoping that investing in research and development (R&D) for supercomputers will help the department achieve its clean energy goals.

The department announced that it is allocated $28 million in funding for five research projects to develop software that will “fully unleash the potential of DoE supercomputers to make new leaps in fields such as quantum information science and chemical reactions for clean energy applications.”

“DoE’s national labs are home to some of the world’s fastest supercomputers, and with more advanced software programs we can fully harness the power of these supercomputers to make breakthrough discoveries and solve the world’s hardest to crack problems,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “These investments will help sustain U.S. leadership in science, accelerate basic research in energy, and advance solutions to the nation’s clean energy priorities.”

The funding awards were made through the DoE’s Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program and will bring together a variety of experts in science and energy research, applied mathematics, and computer science to take maximum advantage of DOE’s supercomputers, allowing them to quicken the pace of scientific discovery. The projects are sponsored by the Offices of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) and Basic Energy Sciences (BES) within the Department’s Office of Science through the SciDAC program.

The DoE said the selected projects will focus on computational methods, algorithms, and software to further chemical and materials research, specifically for simulating quantum phenomena and chemical reactions. Research teams will partner with either or both of the SciDAC Institutes.

The DoE provided a list of the selected research institutions, as well as the research proposal title. The selected research institutions and projects are:

  • California Institute of Technology: Traversing the “death valley” separating short and long times in non-equilibrium quantum dynamical simulations of real materials;
  • Florida State University: Relativistic Quantum Dynamics in the NonEquilibrium Regime;
  • Berkeley National Laboratory: Large-scale algorithms and software for modeling chemical reactivity in complex systems;
  • University of California, Santa Barbara: Real-time dynamics of driven correlated electrons in quantum materials; and
  • University of California, Riverside: DECODE: Data-driven Exascale Control of Optically Driven Excitations in Chemical and Material Systems.

The DoE said the research projects were chosen by competitive peer review under a DoE Funding Opportunity Announcement open to universities, national laboratories, and other research organizations.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.