World’s 5th fastest supercomputer accelerates MEM professor’s research in flexible solar photovoltaics

Ganesh Balasubramanian, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics, is one of the first users of Frontera, the fifth most powerful supercomputer in the world. 

The development of Frontera, which is located at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin, was funded by the National Science Foundation. According to TACC, Frontera provides computational capability that makes it possible for investigators like Balasubramanian to tackle much larger and more complex research challenges across a wide spectrum of domains.

User access to Frontera began in June 2019. At that time, Balasubramanian began employing the machine’s immense computational capabilities to study the dynamics of organic photovoltaic materials. TACC published an article highlighting the work done by Balasubramanian and other researchers to develop efficient ways to create next generation flexible solar photovoltaics that can exceed the energy-producing potential of today's devices.

"We hope to harness Frontera's ultrafast computational capabilities to accelerate our search for better organic photovoltaics," Balasubramanian told TACC. "[Optimizations] require enormous computing efforts across several compute nodes, and supercomputing systems like Frontera are the best choice for this purpose.”

Balasubramanian’s research focuses on topics ranging from advanced energy and structural materials to nanoscale transport and mechanics. He is also affiliated with Lehigh's Institute for Institute for Cyber Physical Infrastructure and Energy (I-CPIE) and Institute for Functional Materials and Devices (I-FMD).

To learn more about his groundbreaking work, read the full article here.

—Isabela Madrigal is a student writer for the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science

 Joydeep Munshi, Ganesh Balasubramanian and Ankit Roy

From left, research assistant Joydeep Munshi, assistant professor Ganesh Balasubramanian and research assistant Ankit Roy