Our group leader’s reflections to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

From left to right, top: Lara San Martin, Marta Florido, Alba Gordó. From left to right, bottom: Ruth Mora Soto and Mervi Mantsinen

Our Fusion group is hosted by Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), which is one of the many research centers in Spain and worldwide that still have steps to take to reach gender equality.

Despite the recent progress there is still a great deal to do in this area given the fact that only about 25% of the BSC workforce is female and among the research groups only about 20% are led by female scientist. Moreover, none of the nine directors of the center is a woman, while the situation with the Governance Boards has improved slightly over the past years, with 18% and 27% of women currently in the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee and the Scientific Advisor Board, respectively. Our gender and diversity plan to improve this situation is available here.

Our Fusion group is one of the few groups at BSC led by a woman researcher, i.e. myself ICREA Research Prof. Dr Mervi Mantsinen.

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Impressions from the Virtual School on Numerical Methods for Parallel CFD 2020

Lecture by prof. Alfredo Soldati in the 2020 Virtual School on Numerical Methods for Parallel CFD

In December 2020, CINECA‘s School on Numerical Methods for Computational Fluids Dynamics (CFD) moved online for the first time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemia. This annual PRACE training event gathered top international researchers who presented state-of-the-art fluid simulation models and conducted several practical sessions using specialized parallel codes in Marconi100 and Galileo supercomputers.

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Our contributions to the historic fusion experiments at Joint European Torus (JET)

View from the control room of the JET tokamak during an experiment (picture from the pre-covid era)

The fusion community is living interesting times as the Deuterium-Tritium (D-T) campaign at the Joint European Torus (JET, UK) approaches. This is the type of plasma with the greatest fusion cross section and, therefore, the one with the highest chances of providing commercial fusion energy. This campaign will serve as a testbed for ITER‘s future experiments, the experimental fusion reactor that should provide 10 times the energy which is actually used to operate the machine. 

One of the main focus of study for the fusion community is the so-called isotope effect. This is the impact that different atomic masses of the hydrogen (H) isotope, D and T, have on the plasma behaviour, or more precisely, on its confinement.  At the moment, such valuable experiments can only be done at JET. There is a big international team conducting these experiments, however, we would like to emphasize in this post the role of some of the Spanish scientists involved in these experiments and, in particular, the role of our Fusion Group members, Mervi Mantsinen and Dani Gallart. The role of these scientists is different in each case, nevertheless, the final goal is always the same, make fusion energy a reality some day.

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Our group manager selected for the EPS Plasma Physics Division Board

Mervi Mantsinen, ICREA Research professor and our Fusion group manager at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), has been selected for the European Physical Society Plasma Physics Division Board.

Mervi will start her tasks in the board in June 2021, together with five other newly selected members. The term will be four years from summer 2021 to summer 2025, renewable by mutual agreement for a second four-year term.

“It is a honour and a recognition by many people to be selected for this position of trust, which involves taking part with an active and visible role in many top-level decisions in the field”, Mervi states.

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My experience at BSC Fusion Group

My name is Ruth Mora Soto and during last summer I was working in my high school research project in an internship at the Fusion Group (CASE) in Barcelona Supercomputing Center.

As part of BSC´s second promotion of Bojos per la Supercomputació, I was fortunate to count on BSC support in my “Treball de Recerca” (TR), a compulsory research project at the end of my secondary studies. As Fusion was an area I had always appealed, I decided to take advantage of such project to deepen into it. Therefore, I was put in contact with the Fusion group and had the opportunity to do an internship in there in order to carry out my TR.

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EUROfusion webinar series on GPU topics

EUROfusion has organized a series of monthly webinars to address several GPU topics to help the fusion community to use this architecture on new supercomputers. The webinars consist of talks from programing paradigms to the developers’ experience, vendors’ technical talks, etc.

All the talks are recorded and there are publicly available on YouTube EUROfusion channel. Presentation and questions slides can be found on EUROfusion website.

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