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Release: Immediate

UI engineering researchers win high-performance computing project

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A project headed by two University of Iowa engineering researchers has been selected as one of 22 high-performance computing Challenge Projects from across the country to be funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) during fiscal year 1998.

The award provides the researchers with 40 gigaFLOP-Years -- the equivalent of several thousand Pentium-Pro personal computers operating continuously for a year -- of high-priority access to the most sophisticated computers in the world.

Co-principal investigators Frederick Stern, professor of mechanical engineering, and Eric Paterson, assistant research scientist at the UI College of Engineering's Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, say that the Challenge Project will enable them to perform very large scale computations which would otherwise be impossible.

In particular, their work uses high-speed computers for simulation of turbulent fluid flow, or computational fluid dynamics, around surface ships and advanced marine-propulsor concepts. Their research will one day allow engineers to develop ships and ship-related components without constructing and testing a prototype.

The project will develop the capability to simulate a naval ship advancing in waves, compute ship motions and maneuvers, and model and simulate wake signatures such that defensive countermeasure devices, such as anti-torpedo torpedoes, may be designed. The UI project enhances other Office of Naval Research projects at the university directed by Stern and Paterson and will build upon a DOD Challenge Project initiated earlier this year that has provided computational models for one of the Navy's newest ships.

Kay Howell, director of the DOD program responsible for the Challenge Projects, said that the projects address more than current defense needs. "Beyond their immediate importance, we see these projects as pathfinders that will help us to understand and project DOD high performance computing requirements beyond the year 2000. By that time, we anticipate that the computational methods being developed by many of today's Challenge Projects will have become an integral part of the projects of hundreds of users addressing virtually every major defense mission area," she said.

In addition to Stern and Paterson, co-principal investigators on the project are Edwin Rood, Office of Naval Research, Arlington, Va.; Douglas G. Dommermuth, Science Applications International Corp., San Diego, Calif.; and D.K.P. Yue, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.