Werner Janse van Rensburg is a qualified computational chemist and obtained his PhD in 2001. He spent thirteen years in the private sector as an applications scientist within the petrochemical industry in South Africa (SASOL), where he was responsible for applications research programs in catalysis research and the establishment of the HPC capabilities within the company.
In 2014 he took up the position as Research Manager at the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) based in Cape Town, South Africa. At the CHPC he works towards fulfilling the South African government mandate for making the national CHPC facility a state of the art research enabling facility for the South African (and some African countries) research communities.
His role is focused on the uptake and productive use CHPC resources, collaboration and engagement with HPC stakeholders, training and development programs and next-generation HPC evaluation and adoption towards future deployments at the CHPC.
High Performance Computing in (South) Africa?
Werner Janse van Rensburg, Research Manager
Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC)
Cape Town, South Africa
Wednesday 19 February 2020 – 2:00 pm
HPC adoption and provisioning is well embedded across 1st world regions. This provides for established, tried-and-tested, engagement models in which e.g. research collaborations, customer-vendor interactions, skills development, ample opportunity for peer engagement and common understanding of what it takes to be successful with HPC come (quite) naturally.
Where does Africa, and in particular South Africa, fit into the global HPC picture? Is there an HPC footprint? Is there momentum established that provides opportunities for HPC development that is possibly unique compared to the tried-and-tested approaches? Should Africa be given a second thought when opportunities for HPC are explored?
In this talk Werner will be providing a realistic look into significant progress made with HPC in South Africa over more than a decade, and how this momentum has evolved to impact a number of African countries. Practical successes and challenges, sometimes associated with resource-constrained environments, will be highlighted. A strong argument will be made that ample opportunities for HPC exists in Africa, although these opportunities may be different to established norms.