I’m Aimee Morgans – a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Imperial College London. My research is on fluid dynamics and aims to reduce the environmental impact of energy generation and transport. My main topics are thermoacoustic instability and bluff body aerodynamics, the applications of these being low NOx gas turbines and efficient road vehicles.
My interest in running very large flow simulations has built up over the last decade. My research background is quite pen-and-paper, yet I felt welcomed into the world of HPC right from the start. Academic colleagues were generous in providing access to in-house codes, and of course these days the use of open source codes for fluid dynamics is increasingly widespread. When I needed more computational resource than could be provided by my university, I found it easy to get advice on the scaling evidence and tests needed to apply for national facility access. I requested to join the UKCTRF around 2 years ago, and this was approved.
The HPC scene includes a very diverse range of backgrounds, and I am very much a user of codes that require HPC. I have found that the views of code-users like myself are very much valued – I now serve on research council panels assessing proposals for access to HPC facilities. As a female I can say that I have found the HPC scene in the UK very open and friendly. The value of access to HPC facilities on my scientific research has been immense – by combining very large flow simulations with mathematical models for specific features of the flow, I have been able to tackle a far more diverse range of fluid flow problems than if I was using either of these approaches alone. I can say with certainty that some of my most important papers have resulted from my access to HPC facilities.