Computational Foundry to make Swansea a hub for computational science research

Swansea University is devising advanced plans for a new centre for world-class computational science research, to be based on the Bay Campus.

Swansea’s massive growth in computational science builds on its world-leading research in this field, and will meet the demand that will be generated by initiatives like the BT Test Bed, backed by Sir Terry Matthews, entrepreneur, business leader and Swansea University graduate.  

The new centre, called the Computational Foundry, will look to attract leading researchers to Wales, and will place Swansea at the heart of a thriving regional ecosystem of digital companies and research.

400 x 300The aim is to build capacity and critical mass to provide leadership globally in computational science.  The University will build on existing strengths to create a cluster of research excellence that will deliver significant economic and societal benefits and a boost in research funding secured by and invested in the region.

The expansion will enable the computational science at Swansea to grow and deliver new, meaningful and lucrative research, alongside existing teaching and outreach activity.

It will act as a beacon for research collaborations with private and public partners, and encourage and enable academics to locate their research in the commercial world, developing a strong entrepreneurial culture around research and development

The Foundry will provide a platform for economic growth for the region through knowledge transfer and associated spin out activity.

The Foundry’s research and innovation facilities are expected to include:

•    Innovation and collaboration spaces for academic-industry engagement;
•    Research laboratories for project work, particularly industry collaborations;
•    Teaching space for the next generation of digital entrepreneurs;
•    Office space for research staff and administrators;
•    Offices and laboratories available for use by businesses and research users.

Research laboratories, currently under discussion, could include:

•    A Maker Lab: based on the proven FabLab model to provide physical prototyping facilities, and to support events such as hackathons;

•    A (Cyber) Security / Networking Lab to allow researchers to investigate cyber security in flexible scenarios without impacting on the “outside” digital ecosystem;

•    A Vision and Biometrics Lab to support the growing demand for biomedical data and human actions analysis through computer vision research;

•    A Theory Lab to support "Verification and Correctness", in particular for software verification (mobile phone security, railway control systems), quantitative and qualitative analysis of system designs (electronic payment systems), and the development of certifiable tool suites for discrete and continuous data satisfiability testing (SAT).

•    A Techealth Lab for testing computing in healthcare systems;

•    A User Experience Lab to support research understanding how people interact with technology, informing design that impacts on medical safety, supported living for older people, and new devices for people living in areas lacking technology

•    A Visualisation Suite to support the interpretation of big data sets. This suite will support interdisciplinary projects in areas such as biology, geography, physics, medicine and the arts and humanities.