2014 Research Report

For more than 25 years, Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) has nurtured its users with a powerful resource for accelerating discovery. The research featured on these pages provides a small snapshot of some of Ohio’s most innovative, and potentially life-changing, studies.

Friendly OSC staff members

The Ohio Supercomputer Center strives to propel Ohio’s economy, from academic researchers to industrial partners. To that end, Ohio possesses one of the most potent combinations of statewide cyberinfrastructure elements in the world: high-end supercomputing, research leadership and innovative workforce education programs.

Car simulation

Small and mid-sized manufacturers are under constant economic pressure to deliver high-quality, low-cost products. Many large manufacturers have embraced simulation-driven design to achieve a higher degree of competitive advantage.

The Ohio State University Driving Simulation Laboratory

The Ohio Supercomputer Center’s Virtual Environments and Simulation Group involve an interdisciplinary team of research scientists, computer scientists and clinicians.

The team, which includes colleagues who have been working together for more than two decades, applies high performance computing and advanced interface technology to virtually explore complex computational data.

O-H-I-O in a laboratory

OSC has earned a national reputation for exceptional training and education programs.

OSC advanced materials research icon Advanced Materials

Simulation of cracking concrete slabs

Most American highways are constructed as a Portland cement concrete (PCC) slabs that are poured and finished on a layered roadbed. Such pavement structures are subjected to millions of applications of traffic wheel-loads, as well as numerous cycles of temperature and moisture variations, and eventually succumb to cracking. 

The amorphous silica nanochannel (red and yellow) confining a stream (red and white) of electrolyte-water solution

Microdevices, such as Labs-On-a-Chip (LOC) systems, are used for biomolecular detection and custom chemical synthesis, among other applications. Over the last decade, LOC systems have evolved from a single channel to systems capable of integrating thousands of reaction vessels, conduits and valves. 

Simulation of two vesicles in equilibrium with surfactant molecules in solution

Liquid crystals are at the heart of the technology inside most computer, tablet and smartphone displays today, and researchers are finding more applications for liquid crystals every day – in fields, such as advanced photonics, sensors, bio- and medical molecular devices, and smart materials for new energy applications. 

Simulation of inter-atomic potentials

Developing new materials and engineering their novel properties have been the driving forces behind many revolutionary modern technologies. The emerging capabilities in predictive modeling and simulation have created an opportunity to implement the “materials-by-design” paradigm.

Simulation of colloidal suspensions

Colloidal suspension is the term for a substance that is microscopically dispersed throughout another substance and is found in many every day products – food, cosmetics, drugs.

OSC biological sciences research icon Biological Sciences

Distribution of binding sites for several transcription factors (TFs 1- 6) in the genome of maize

Erich Grotewold, a professor of molecular genetics and horticulture and crop science at The Ohio State University, is leveraging the resources of the Ohio Supercomputer Center as part of his studies to address fundamentally important questions in plant research.

computational chemistry image

At the Ohio State Center for Catalytic Bioscavenger Medical Defense Research II, chemists Thomas J. Magliery and Christopher M. Hadad lead a team that employs sophisticated methods of protein engineering, high-throughput screening and computational chemistry.

Illustration of genetic markers flow chart.

As one of the most common childhood learning disabilities, specific language impairment – a delay in mastering language skills, despite normal hearing, education and intelligence – affects about 5 to 7 percent of all kindergartners. 

Red blood cells

Malaria affected 219 million people around the globe in 2010, according to the World Health Organization. This life-threatening disease, caused by plasmodium parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes, killed about 660,000 people in 2010 – mostly African children under the age of five.

Illustration of ight and dark bands across the axis of the fibril.

By investigating the mechanisms of bone formation, researchers at the University of Akron may help develop treatments for bone-related diseases such as osteomalacia, more commonly known as rickets, and osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder in which bones break easily.

OSC enery and the environment research icon Energy and the Environment

Simulation depicting the effect of impinging and reflecting shocks on coherent structures in the boundary layer

The interactions between shock waves from supersonic aerospace vehicles and the airflow immediately adjacent to their exterior surfaces, referred to as shock boundary layer interactions, can have significant effects on the design and performance of wings, control surfaces and propulsion systems.

Optimized structures of reduction of carbon dioxide to alcohol

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is considered an atmospheric trace element, yet also is recognized as a greenhouse gas that has increased significantly since the advent of industrialization.

Total pressure loss comparisons downstream of the trailing edge in an airfoil passage

The flow in the endwall region of a compressor or turbine airfoil passage contains a complex system of vortices, which interact with each other and produce undesirable effects, including the disruption of cooling flows and the generation of aerodynamic losses.

A chart showing complementarity of cosmic rays and neutrinos

The earth and other celestial bodies are continually bombarded by extremely fast-moving, subatomic particles known as cosmic rays, gamma rays and neutrinos.

Simulation of a possible unit cell of monodentate urea adsorption on Ni(1 0 0)

Coal is currently the largest source of electricity generation in the United States, while gasoline and diesel fuel power most vehicles. However, coal, gasoline and diesel fuel are non-renewable resources, and the combustion of these fossil fuels produces various pollutants. As a result, alternative, non-polluting energy sources such as hydrogen are desirable.

OSC industrial engagement icon Industrial Engagement

Model of thermal energy transfer from full, printed circuit boards

Demand for electronic devices of increasingly smaller sizes and with substantially improved processor and graphics functionality has resulted in higher-density power requirements. Consequently, significant increases in heat generated are being registered at the component, board and system levels.

Screen shot of a TotalSim simulation application.

A research team recently sought to transform how professionals and students make and learn about advanced manufacturing components through a “simulation-as-a-service” app based on cloud resources and software access. Their application allows users to remotely access software and compute resources using a virtual desktop-as-a-service system for advanced manufacturing processes. 

Fuel cells

Since the early 1990s, the promise of fuel cells has been onsite power generation with the same round-the-clock availability that has long been the exclusive province of the electric utility industry, but without the cumbersome distribution grid. Engineers at Technology Management, Inc.

Plastic container simulation

KLW Plastics, a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of containers, recently partnered with Kinetic Vision and the Ohio Supercomputer Center to evaluate the effectiveness of advanced modeling and simulation technologies to optimize its container products by lightening their weight, while maintaining the required strength.

Fan simulation

Despite the broad reach and the growth in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools and methods over the past two decades, the ability to access this technology remains outside the reach of many small and medium manufacturers (SMM) – the so-called “missing middle.” 

OSC research landscape Research Landscape

Computer cluster

Modern high performance computing systems allow scientists and engineers to tackle grand challenge problems in numerous fields, such as astrophysics, earthquake analysis, weather prediction, nanoscience modeling and biological computations. In concert with the many use cases, the field of computer architecture, interconnection networks and system design is undergoing rapid change.

A group of university students

In a social group, some information is shared by everyone and other information is known only to some members. For example, when analyzing the interactions of college students’ academic performance, it is not likely that a student knows the IQ and/or SAT scores of all the other students in the class.

Comparison of real and synthetic intersection

Object recognition is an important problem that has many applications that are of interest to the Air Force. Object recognition is a key enabler to autonomous exploitation of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data, which can make the automatic searching of millions of hours of video practical.

Ohio State University’s 400 Terawatt Scarlet laser

A new generation of powerful lasers has recently become operational, like the 400 Terawatt Scarlet laser at The Ohio State University (a Terawatt is equal to one trillion watts). These lasers can drive matter to extreme temperatures and densities, applying pressures well over a billion atmospheres. 

Professor Giorgio Rizzoni, graduate student Casie Clark and the Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3

The Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 (VBB3) is a streamlined electric land-speed race car designed and assembled by undergraduate and graduate students at The Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research (OSU CAR).