Silicon Mechanics Announces 5th Annual Research Cluster Grant

Philanthropy drives industry collaboration through donation of two high-performance computing clusters. 2016 Program Award Recipients to be announced in April 2016.

Austin, Texas, November 16, 2015 (Supercomputing, booth 373)
Silicon Mechanics, a leading provider of servers, storage and high-performance computing solutions to the world's most innovative organizations, today at Supercomputing 2015 announced the opening of its 5th Annual Research Cluster Grant (RCG) program. Two institutions will be selected, and both will be awarded a complete high-performance computing (HPC) cluster. The competition is open to all United States and Canadian qualified post-secondary institutions, university-affiliated research institutions, non-profit research institutions, and researchers at federal labs with university affiliations.

"We designed the Research Cluster Grant program to provide computational and storage technology resources to researchers who may not have been able to keep pace with technology acquisitions through traditional grant-funding programs like those at the National Science Foundation or the National Institute of Health,” said Art Mann, Silicon Mechanics' Sr. Director, Life Sciences Practice. "With the ever growing demand for more powerful IT infrastructure to support research, the RCG represents a tremendous opportunity to work with our technology partners and support these research efforts. I’m excited and truly honored to see the RCG program achieve its fifth year.”

Silicon Mechanics created the RCG in 2012 as a way of giving back to the educational community, as obtaining needed research funding for technology advancements continues to be challenging and can limit future impact at some educational institutions. In particular, the program is helping to jumpstart research efforts where access to high-performance computing is limited, outdated or was not previously available. The RCG program also provides institutions with an opportunity to showcase how collaboration across departments and researchers by providing cluster technology can positively impact research efforts through the use of cluster technology.

Previous RCG awardees include The City College of New York (CCNY) and Dordt College in 2015, Wayne State University in 2014, Tufts University in 2013 and Saint Louis University in 2012. Silicon Mechanics' partners currently committed to supporting this year’s grant include: Intel, NVIDIA, Mellanox, Supermicro, Bright Computing, HGST, Avago, Kingston, Micron, and Seagate.

At CCNY, the HPC cluster is being used for cutting-edge research in biochemistry, chemistry, biology, physics, earth and atmospheric sciences, computer science, engineering, medicine, mathematics, social science, humanities and writing pedagogy.

"For many of our research programs, this computer cluster was the missing piece that lowered the barriers that kept our work from moving forward smoothly," said David Jeruzalmi, professor of chemistry and biochemistry in CCNY's Division of Science, who wrote the grant proposal last year. "This award has touched the research of many colleagues by bringing together researchers from across CCNY, many of whom never knew that their work could be positively impacted by colleagues down the hall or in the next building over."

At Dordt College and at its research partner, Hope College, the HPC cluster supports eight STEM-based research groups and nine distinct faculty members focused on a wide variety of research activities. Those activities include bacterial statistical genetics, processing and analysis of RNA sequencing, phylogenetic trees, computational chemistry, engineering integrity, analyzing genomic sequencing data, population genetic data and more.

"Dordt has traditionally been a liberal arts school," said Dr. Nathan Tintle, Dordt College's Director for Research and Scholarship. "In recent years, however, we have ramped up our research department in partnership with Hope College and in doing so created a demand for an HPC system. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the budget to purchase a cluster that would suit our computational needs. Fortunately, Silicon Mechanics offered the annual RCG, a program that we are proud to be involved with. We feel fortunate to have been awarded this grant."

Submissions for the 2016 RCG will be accepted through December 15, 2015 through March 1, 2016. The grant recipients will be announced April 2016. Submissions will be reviewed for merit and for the potential impact the research may have on the institution's mission. Silicon Mechanics strongly encourages collaboration, within and across departments of a single institution, or across multiple institutions. Details on RCG rules, application requirements, and cluster technical specifications are available at

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture; the School of Education; the Grove School of Engineering; the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, and the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. U.S. News, Princeton Review and Forbes all rank City College among the best colleges and universities in the United States.

About Dordt College
Dordt College is a private institution of higher education, committed to the Reformed Christian perspective. With 1,400 students, the college’s STEM programs are leading enrollment growth. Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt College provides a holistic residential learning experience for students, in which they can develop Christian insight in all areas of life.