BSC celebrated its Annual Meeting 2021 on Friday the 17th of December. The meeting has now become a tradition at Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), providing a stage for all BSC researchers to share their wonderful work with their co-workers. For second year in a row, and due to the global pandemic, the event was hosted online with on-site talks.
Who could have imagined a year ago that life and work as we knew it would change so drastically overnight? On March 14th 2020, just over one year ago, Spain declared the state of alarm due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ordered a 15-day complete lockdown. That lockdown lasted 3 months. The pandemic is still very much ongoing. From masks in public spaces to working from home, all of us had to adapt to new ways of living our lives. Never would I have thought that today, over 365 days later, I would consider these things a normal part of my life.
Without question, this past year has been a weird and difficult one for everyone. A year of uncertainty, for some also a year of pain. And for all of us who had the privilege (yes, the privilege!) of working from home, a year of learning. Learning to communicate, to cooperate and to interact through the web. Learning to cope with loneliness in the workspace. Learning to be productive at home. All in all, learning to telework.
On May 26, the base of the ITER cryostat was successfully mounted onto its supporting structure in the Tokamak assembly pit. The 1250-tonne component was lifted from it’s mounting frame, carried across the Assembly hall and finally lowered into the pit, culminating a ten-year process to design, manufacture, deliver, assemble and weld one of the most crucial components of the ITER machine.
The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) is the most ambitious energy project in the world, bringing together 35 different countries in the effort of producing clean energy for the generations to come. It is designed to demonstrate the feasibility of confinement nuclear fusion and develop the science and technology needed for a future nuclear power plant. After years and years of preparation, the international project officially started in 2007 and has since been building one of the most gargantuan research sites ever envisioned. According to the schedule, the first plasmas are expected in 2025.
Yet another year, the Max Plank Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) has hosted a Summer University at the heart of their facilities at Garching, near the German city of Munich. From 16 to 20 September, the course has covered the main aspects of plasma physics with emphasis on nuclear fusion, both theoretical and experimental results, and also boarding the subjects of energy production and the energetic challenges the close future holds.
One of our group members, Jordi Manyer, has had the privilege and pleasure to attend the summer school, taking place this week, and soak the knowledge some of the top researchers in IPP have to offer.
Marta Florido and Adam Teixido, both 4th year bachelor students at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya’s CFIS programme (Centre de Formació Interdisciplinària Superior), have joined us this summer with an internship program. Both internships are part of the BSC International Summer HPC Internship Programme aims to encourage students to start a research career in our multidisciplinary research center. The Severo Ochoa award funds this Programme.