Summer of HPC 2017: Awards Ceremony at IT4Innovations

The PRACE Summer of HPC (SoHPC) Awards Ceremony 2017 was held on 31 October 2017 at IT4Innovations, Czech Republic. The PRACE Summer of HPC, now in its fifth year, is a placement programme that allows twenty university students from all scientific disciplines to spend two summer months at HPC centres (PRACE partners) across Europe. Two exemplary students were awarded prizes based on their participation in the Summer of HPC 2017.

In addition to allowing students to complete their projects in a multidisciplinary and international environment, the aim of the Summer of HPC programme is to promote and disseminate scientific culture among the younger generation of researchers, making sure that students participating in the project can become the next generation of “computational scientists”. Furthermore, through the sharing of their experience on social networks and the Summer of HPC blog, the programme aims to ensure that the students themselves become ambassadors of supercomputing at their respective institutions, and of their peer groups.

Over the years, Summer of HPC has gained credit at leading universities in Europe. The tutor references that follow the projects are given particular consideration in the selections for PhD studies, or for access to certain courses of study. The programme itself is very much appreciated by the international scientific community and, in addition to helping students to create a network of reference, often allows students who have followed the programme to continue the projects even after the end of the study period.

SoHPC is part of PRACE’s commitment to foster HPC, to train HPC specialists, and to promote simulation science. PRACE wishes to inspire and encourage the next generation of software engineers, system administrators, and users of HPC systems, in order to keep Europe at the forefront of supercomputing.

Each year two participants are awarded for the excellence of their work. The winners of this year, Arnau Miró Jané – who conducted his project at CINECA, Italy, and Mahmoud Elbattah – who conducted his project at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Arnau had the following to say about the Summer of HPC Programme:
Summer of HPC has been an amazing experience not just for meeting lots of people and new friends around Europe but also for gaining useful insight and knowledge about HPC. I would definately encourage people to apply and spend probably one of the best summers visiting around Europe and, of course, working on HPC.

Mahmoud had the following to say about the Summer of HPC Programme:
My SoHPC experience proved quite positive and useful. I liken it to exploring a new land; exploring HPC, the field of climatology, and certainly the beautiful city of Thessaloniki!

Mahmoud Elbattah (left) and Arnau Miro Jane (right)

PRACE Summer of HPC 2017 Best Visualisation Award:
Arnau Miró Jané – Web Visualization of the Mediterranean Sea

  • Arnau’s video is understandable for a layperson’s audience and links to current events such as climate change. The video will be an excellent example to show students who do not have a connection yet to HPC, what powerful tools are currently available, without becoming too technical.

Arnau Miró is from Granollers, Catalonia, Spain, and is a PhD student at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Terrassa, Spain, working in the field of Aerodynamics and Computational Fluid Dynamics. He is also a collaborator in the Computer Applications in Science and Engineering (CASE) department at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC).

Arnau spent the summer at CINECA working on the project “Web visualization of the Mediterranean Sea”. He developed the “OGSTM-BFM Viewer” web application which allows for interaction of NetCDF output data as a time series, where the variables to present in a visualisation can be easily filtered and selected based on the properties the user wishes to study.

  • Here you can watch his video presentation:

PRACE Summer of HPC 2017 HPC Ambassador Award:
Mahmoud Elbattah – Automated Extraction of Metadata from Climate Simulations: Helping Researchers Share, Discover, and Use Data

  • Mahmoud has shown himself to be a hard worker with a keen interest in various aspects of HPC. Mahmoud showed his enthusiasm for HPC by going above and beyond what was expected from him in the project. He created an extra website ( with a visualisation that can be used for several purposes. He was an active blogger, and we hope to see more of him in the near future.

Mahmoud Elbattah, originally from Egypt and currently a PhD student at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), spent the summer at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. His project was on Automated Extraction of Metadata from Climate Simulations so as to help researchers share, discover and use climate data generated by simulations.

Further to this project, Mahmoud showed great curiosity in learning more about the world’s most powerful supercomputers. He looked extensively into the Top500 lists and applied various clustering algorithms to investigate potential structures of the Top500 supercomputer characteristics and properties. He then went on to create an interactive visualisation that can help explore how the world’s centre for supercomputing has been changing since 2005. His visualisation identifies which countries dominated the possession of supercomputers from 2005 to 2017 and can be found at the following links:,,

  • Here you can watch his video presentation:


In addition to the scientific value of their experience, students have enjoyed the full freedom to develop their project according to their own inclinations, being able to experiment with new solutions following their own passions. They have also benefitted from the competence and availability of tutors to follow and direct them in their choices.

More information to join the programme can be found on the programme’s website:

About IT4Innovations

IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Center provides state-of-the-art supercomputer technologies and services to both Czech Republic and international research teams from academia and industry. Currently, IT4Innovations runs two supercomputers – Anselm (installed in the summer of 2013) and Salomon (installed in the summer of 2015). IT4Innovations is also a research centre with strong international links. The core topics of IT4Innovations research are advanced data analysis, developing parallel scalable algorithms, solving challenging engineering tasks, and modelling for nanotechnology.


The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) is an international non-profit association with its seat in Brussels. The PRACE Research Infrastructure provides a persistent world-class high performance computing service for scientists and researchers from academia and industry in Europe. The computer systems and their operations accessible through PRACE are provided by 5 PRACE members (BSC representing Spain, CINECA representing Italy, CSCS representing Switzerland, GCS representing Germany and GENCI representing France). The Implementation Phase of PRACE receives funding from the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement RI-312763 and from the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (2014-2020) under grant agreement 653838 and 730913.

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