Queen’s University Belfast

Queen’s University of Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), established in 1845, is the 9th oldest University in the UK and a member of the Russell Group, which covers the top research-driven universities in the UK covering 12% of the higher education sector in the UK. Queen’s is ranked in the Top 1% of Universities in the World (QS World Rankings). According to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) Exercise, Queen’s is ranked 8th in the UK in terms of research intensity and 17th in the UK in terms of research power. The School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EEECS) is ranked 5th in the UK in terms of research excellence in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and among the top 100 in the world (QS World Rankings 2012). 100% of the School’s research impact and 72% (CS) to 93% (EEE) of the School’s research output was judged as world leading or internationally excellent.

The activities of this project will be hosted in the High Performance and Distributed Computing (HPDC) Research Cluster in the School of EEECS. Research in the Cluster has produced 80 publications in flagship (Core A*/A, top decile SCIMAgo, top decile Microsoft Academic) journals and archival proceedings in Computer Science and Computer Engineering. This research has also attracted approximately €9 million (as PI share, from a €18 million total grant value) of highly competitive external research funding from EPSRC, EU FP7 and EU Horizon2020 programmes, and the private sector. These grants support a prolific team of 17 Early Career Researchers, including two Marie Curie Fellows and a Newton Fellow. The Cluster has a strong and diverse network of collaborators including 20 academic partners, 16 industrial partners, and 4 principle supercomputing centres, from 14 countries.

The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT is a £30M UK “Innovation and Knowledge Centre” (IKC) funded by EPSRC, TSB and InvestNI, with industry and university contributions of £7M and £8.8M respectively. CSIT, with 80 people, has since been designated an EPSRC/GCHQ “Academic Centre of Excellence”, is the UK’s largest academic research centre in Cyber Security and one of the largest in Europe. CSIT has extended the original ECIT experience through the creation of a US-style membership model where international companies such as Intel, IBM, Cisco, Infosys, Allstate, BAE Systems, Thales and Chemring, pay an annual fee to join its Industrial Advisory Board. This helps inform and prioritise the research undertaken.

The Director of the HPDC Cluster at Queen’s currently coordinates NanoStreams (a €3.3m FP7 project on micro-servers for real-time analytics) and two large national EPSRC projects (ALEA, SERT) on energy accounting for many-code distributed and embedded systems and software for Exascale systems, respectively. He is also the technical coordinator of the H2020 RAPID project (a €2.2m effort on provide ubiquitous remote accelerators for Cloud services). The HPDC Cluster has thus built extensive experience in coordinating and/or leading FP7 and H2020 projects.

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