OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 26, 2009—Oak Ridge Associated Universities and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have announced four winners in the first high-performance computing grants competition. The grants, open to ORAU member institutions, allow faculty and student teams the opportunity to participate in research at ORNL with the benefit of ORNL’s computing resources and staff. The grant award, $25,000 for the first year, also includes potential funding of up to two more years for a total of $75,000 provided by ORAU. The grantees are:

* Assistant Professor Shaikh Ahmed, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale—harsh-environment nanodevices technology research

* Associate Professor Yongmei Wang, Department of Chemistry, University of Memphis—gene delivery research

* Assistant Professor Ming Ye, Department of Scientific Computing, Florida State University—groundwater modeling research

* Associate Professor Oleg Zikanov, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan—materials science research

Proposals were chosen based on their scientific significance, alignment with ORNL’s cross-cutting science agenda, alignment with their institutions’ research goals, faculty-student approach, and the qualifications of the faculty members.

The first grants in this program have been awarded at a time when ORNL has reached a major computing milestone—petascale computing on the order of 1,000 trillion calculations per second with its newly upgraded “Jaguar” supercomputer. With this kind of computational capability, university researchers can now achieve scientific discovery that previously might not have been possible.

“With ORAU’s access to thousands of university researchers through our consortium, and ORNL’s significant investments in its user facilities, this grant arrangement offers great promise,” said Interim ORAU President Homer Fisher. “The funding that ORAU is providing helps enable outstanding university researchers from ORAU member institutions to have access to ORNL’s staff and impressive supercomputing capabilities here in Oak Ridge to significantly advance their research endeavors.”

“These grant recipients are among the first researchers in the world to have access to petascale supercomputing capabilities,” said ORNL Director Thom Mason. “We look forward to the scientific discoveries that will emerge from the work that they and others do at ORNL. Thanks to ORAU for funding this fantastic program.”

These university researchers and their student team members will be able to engage in research at ORNL as early as this summer.

More information about the ORAU/ORNL High- Performance Computing Grant can be found here.