CIT professor part of national earthquake engineering network
Thomas Hacker with images that illustrate his role in NEES.
Thomas Hacker, assistant professor of computer and information technology (CIT), is a co-principal investigator for a grant that funds a national earthquake engineering network. The $105 million National Science Foundation grant is the largest in Purdue University’s history. It establishes a center at Purdue for the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) to connect 14 research and equipment laboratories and the earthquake engineering community through groundbreaking cyberinfrastructure, education and outreach efforts. Purdue's center is expected to commence operations on October 1.
For the project, Hacker is co-leader for information technology and a member of the strategic council, which defines strategies and oversees all operational aspects of the network.
In the early stages of the project, Hacker is working to transition NEES data, software, and information technology from the San Diego Supercomputer Center to Purdue, and to develop and deploy the NEEShub — a cyberinfrastructure based on HUBzero technology.
Hacker describes cyberinfrastructure as the combination of instruments, sensors, high performance computational systems, massive data storage systems, data resources, and visualization facilities, all tied together by high speed networks. Cyberinfrastructure links researchers across the globe to create virtual research communities to accomplish goals that would not be possible by any single information technology system.
“Each of the 14 NEES sites in the network has unique capabilities, instruments, and research areas,” he says. “The goal of the cyberinfrastructure effort is to create a comprehensive national network to bring these elements together in a collective approach that is greater than sum of its parts. The CIT High Performance Computing and Cyberinfrastructure Research Laboratory (HPC-CRL) is playing a critical role in the project.”
The high performance computing and network facilities in the lab are supporting development and transition activities for the NEES project, and students in the HPC-CRL are working with the Purdue NEES team to develop and deploy cyberinfrastructure for the project.