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Massively Parallel Computing and Massive Impacts for ChE [Blog Series]

November 29, 2012

This is Part 9 in the ChEnected series "We Are ChE: Entering a Golden Age". It is authored by Incoming 2013 AIChE president Phil Westmoreland. 

Chemical engineers saw the value of computers for their work early, as described in the previous post. For ChEs today, computing power has taken two directions, toward powerful simulations on one hand and powerful use of data on the other. In this post, I’m writing about simulation and how supercomputing is making valuable predictions possible.

Simulation and predictions

“Simulation” for ChEs usually means either predicting properties, such as enthalpies or crystal shapes, or predicting system behavior, such as with a process design model.

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Phillip R. Westmoreland

Phillip R. Westmoreland is Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State Univ. (NCSU) and Executive Director of the NCSU Institute for Computational Science and Engineering. His chemical engineering degrees are from NCSU (BS, 1973), Louisiana State Univ. (MS, 1974), and MIT (PhD, 1986). He worked in coal research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1974–1979), as a ChE faculty member at the Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst (1986–2009), and as a program director at the National Science Foundation (2006–2009).

An AIChE Fellow, Phil began service as public...Read more