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North Dakota State University and Lawrence Livermore National Lab Announce Research Partnership

December 14, 2012 – Fargo, N.D. –North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, Calif., announced that they have entered into a memorandum of agreement to collaborate on research and development projects involving computational-based modeling and simulation for energy and energy-related applications. NDSU President Dean Bresciani, and LLNL Director Dr. Penrose Albright finalized the agreement, which was announced by U.S. Senator John Hoeven at a signing ceremony at NDSU on Dec. 14.

Senator Hoeven said collaboration between the national lab and NDSU’s advanced computing capabilities through the NDSU Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology (CCAST) is expected to lead to opportunities for NDSU students and faculty participating in the R&D partnership.

Photo of the signing of the agreement“Using high-performance computing, NDSU and LLNL will collaborate on research and development projects aimed at boosting energy production from shale formations like the Bakken,” said Hoeven.

“The energy challenges of today and tomorrow require new kinds of partnerships to develop and use new kinds of technology,” said LLNL Director Dr. Penrose (Parney) Albright. “We look forward to a close partnership with NDSU faculty, staff and students bringing advanced supercomputing to real world problems in fossil energy and sustainability.”

“Collaboration between NDSU and LLNL is expected to include faculty, staff and students on research projects, once funding is secured,” said NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani. “This will provide a tremendous opportunity for students to gain experience in the use of advanced supercomputers for science and technology development.”

Potential research may include enhancing productivity for tightly-bound liquid hydrocarbons, such as those found in the Bakken oil shale formation in North Dakota. Other potential research projects could include high-throughput chemical design and development of new, novel materials for energy applications.

“These collaborations provide additional opportunities for faculty and research teams at NDSU to use supercomputing capabilities for research with potential national impact in a variety of areas,” said NDSU Provost Bruce Rafert.

The research partners at NDSU and LLNL plan to develop and refine high performance computer-based simulators of reservoirs of tightly bound hydrocarbons such as oil and gas found in shale formations. In another collaboration, NDSU and LLNL plan to seek funding for projects to harness the power of advanced supercomputing to develop new materials and methodologies for robotic-driven rapid experimentation. NDSU has one of the largest laboratories for high-throughput, combinatorial chemistry for polymers, coatings and other materials. The proposed goal is to build new capabilities in computational chemistry and cheminformatics for commercial and industrial applications.

Upon securing funding, the research team plans to design and evaluate potential catalysts for commercial energy applications. Such research may include gas-to-liquid fuel catalysts, gas separations processes and energy conversion. Research may include design of new functional polymers and coatings for energy applications.

“High performance computing represents a critical shift in how research is conducted,” said Dr. Philip Boudjouk, vice president for Research, Creative Activities and Technology Transfer at NDSU.  “Nationally, there is expected to be an increasing need for interdisciplinary research teams, as well as for scientists who are algorithm and code developers, informatists and for programmers who are scientists. Researchers and students at NDSU will have the opportunity to develop and expand these skills through NDSU’s supercomputing facilities and through this research collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,” said Boudjouk.

Supercomputing facilities at NDSU provide opportunities and tools for faculty and students to conduct next generation research. “We assist researchers in energy, materials, environment, health, security, and in other areas of national research priority,” said Dr. Martin Ossowski, director of the Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology at NDSU.

About Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

About NDSU
North Dakota State University is a leader in both high throughput experimental applied chemistry and in coatings development.  Researchers at NDSU have created first-of-a-kind materials (e.g., liquid silica) and catalysts, polymers, and coatings used in defense applications and in commercial applications. The Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology (CCAST) at NDSU, provides high-performance computing infrastructure for the university, its Research and Technology Park and their industrial partners, and engages in its own original research. NDSU, Fargo, North Dakota, USA, is notably listed among the top 108 U.S. public and private universities in the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education’s category of “Research Universities/Very High Research Activity.”

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