LANL Director Charlie McMillan, center, and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan joined by other dignitaries, cut the ribbon on the new PRObE Center at the Los Alamos Research Park Thursday. Photo by Blake Jackson/LACDC
A grand opening celebration was held Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Los Alamos Research Park attended by many dignitaries, including U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, LANL Director Charlie McMillan and NSF representative Dr. Keith Marzullo, each of whom spoke at the event.
The New Mexico Consortium, LANL, Carnegie Mellon University and the National Science Foundation partnered to create the PRObE Center (Parallel Reconfigurable Observational Environment.)
Using $10 million provided by the National Science Foundation, along with 2,048 recently retired computers from LANL, the PRObE Center will be the world’s first facility where computer systems researchers have access to a dedicated large scale supercomputer where disruptive – and even destructive – testing can be done.
Dignitaries from the various organizations attended Thursday’s event, which included a ribbon cutting ceremony and tour of the new facility.
Executive Director Kevin Holsapple of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, the Commerce & Development Corporation and representing the Los Alamos Research Park congratulated the New Mexico Consortium along with its sponsors and partners on the grand opening of the PRObE Center.
“I also want to give a special welcome to our out of town guests and I’m glad you are here on another one of our spectacular days in the mountains of Northern New Mexico,” Holsapple said. “Our organization has worked with the New Mexico Consortium since its inception to provide advocacy, encouragement and advice because NMC fits squarely into a prime area of the identified economic development targets for our community. A primary asset that Los Alamos possesses as a community is scientific and technology talent, and the proven ability to team up the talent and know-how that we have here with other very talented people and institutions throughout the country and the world in order to solve important problems.“
Holsapple explained that the PRObE Center initiative will take great advantage of what Los Alamos has to offer in addressing an important problem in the world of super computing.
“I thank and commend the National Science Foundation for their vision in being out in front on this by supporting NMC, Carnegie Mellon, and the other partners in this initiative,” he said. “This project is also a great example of the kind of activity that our organization envisioned hosting when we undertook to build this first building at the Los Alamos Research Park. This building is the first of what we expect will be multiple buildings at the Los Alamos Research Park that provide a great home for a broad variety of scientific, research, technology and educational activities close by, but outside of Los Alamos National Laboratory.“
The New Mexico Consortium utilized high school student interns to do a lot of work in assembling, testing and installing the hundreds of computers that make up the PRObE Center’s first supercomputer cluster.
PRObE provides a unique opportunity to college students who come to Los Alamos to learn about supercomputing.
PRObE will serve clientele from throughout New Mexico and the nation, many who will come to this community as part of their use of this unique resource.
The NMC provides a platform for hosting a variety of scientific and research programs and activities in Los Alamos outside of, but in collaboration with LANL.
The Algal research program that was announced earlier this year is another example.
In his remarks, LANL Director Charlie McMillan noted the progress of NMC as a partnering research entity, and asked, “… what is the next program you have coming up for our community, NMC?”