Federal Science Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger Tours HLRS

Keyvisual image main
German Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger (l.) met with HLRS director Prof. Michael Resch.

The German Federal Minister for Education and Research experienced first-hand how simulation supports science, engineering, and industrial R&D.

On July 28, 2023, as part of a five-day summer tour across Germany, Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger paid a visit to the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS). The summer tour highlighted some of Germany's most innovative research projects, start-ups, and companies, focusing on key technologies for the future, including artificial intelligence, supercomputing, and biotechnology.

Prof. Dr. Michael Resch, director of the High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart, welcomed Minister Stark-Watzinger. As he explained in a brief introductory presentation, HLRS’s main activities include providing world-class supercomputing infrastructure, services, and training for simulation, artificial intelligence, and visualization, particularly for engineering applications, industry, and public administration.

After this introduction, Minister Stark-Watzinger entered the HLRS computing room and viewed Hawk, one of Germany’s fastest supercomputers. With a peak performance of almost 26 petaflops, Hawk enables advanced research in a wide range of fields, including climate and weather simulation, engineering, and basic scientific research across a range of disciplines. Stark-Watzinger then entered the CAVE, HLRS’s immersive, 3D visualization facility. Members of the HLRS visualization department demonstrated how simulation and virtual reality have assisted in the design of a hydropower facility and a cleanroom for packaging pharmaceuticals, and showed how urban digital twins, highly detailed virtual models of cities and regions, can support city planning and the analysis of air quality.

The German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is a key funder of HLRS, providing core support for HLRS’s facilities and operations together with the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Science, Research and Art. BMBF funds HLRS through the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS), the alliance of Germany’s three national supercomputing centers.

— Christopher Williams