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TACC celebrates the New Year with new building on UT Austin's J.J. Pickle Research Campus

Published on February 20, 2007 by Faith Singer-Villalobos

The staff of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has a lot to be thankful for this New Year - newly laid brick sidewalks, beautiful landscaping, fresh paint, new offices and meeting spaces, and a state-of-the-art 6,000 square foot machine room that can be expanded as the center continues to grow.

The opening and dedication of the $21 million new home for TACC and the Jackson School of Geosciences' Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) took place on Thursday, January 11 (see event agenda). The new 94,000-square-foot building, dubbed the Research Office Complex, adjoins the Jackson School of Geosciences' Bureau of Economic Geology on The University of Texas at Austin J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

As two of the country's leading organizations in the fields of advanced computation and geophysics, both TACC and UTIG support and conduct leading scientific research for the University and the national academic research communities in their areas of expertise. The new building will allow the TACC and UTIG research staffs to flourish in their commitments to carry out pioneering research at the highest academic standards.

TACC and UTIG already work closely together on computation problems related to Earth's environment. Scientists at the institute study processes shaping the Earth, including sea-level fluctuations, climate change and geologic hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Much of their work relies on the high-end computation that TACC provides.

TACC is one of the leading advanced computing centers in the United States, serving researchers in Texas and across the nation. As demand for supercomputing has increased, TACC has grown from a staff of 13 to more than 60 people in four years, and that number is expected to double to 120 over the next four years.

The new building will offer room for further expansion as TACC researchers continue to work on projects like TeraGrid, the world's largest cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research. Already home to Lonestar, one of the country's largest academic supercomputers, TACC will soon host Ranger, a new National Science Foundation-funded system that will be one of the most powerful general purpose supercomputers in the world, with peak performance of more than 420 teraflops.

TACC's other compute, visualization, storage, network and IT resources are located in a 3,800 square foot machine room in the Commons Building at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus. This machine room houses more than 90 systems, ranging in size from dual-processor workstations supporting IT services to a 1024 processor compute cluster.

More than 600 active, funded research projects are currently benefiting from the high performance computing resources available at TACC. These projects, each led by a faculty member or senior researcher and conducted by a research team, encompass many disciplines including the natural sciences (chemistry, physics, computer science, geosciences), engineering (biomedical, mechanical, petroleum, aerospace), and business (economic modeling).

PBS&J designed the building. Flintco began construction in November 2005 and completed the project ahead of schedule and on budget. The building meets the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System.


Faith Singer-Villalobos

Communications Manager | 512-232-5771

Aaron Dubrow

Science And Technology Writer

Jorge Salazar

Technical Writer/Editor | 512-475-9411