Dr Jean Christophe Desplat

B.Sc., Ph.D.

Contact Details

Senior Research Fellow
ICHEC, Tower Building,
Trinity Technology & Enterprise
Campus, Grand Canal Quay,
Dublin 2

T: 015241608
E: j-c.desplat@nuigalway.ie
 
researcher

Biography

JC studied for his degree at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK where he gained a BSc (hons) in Instrumentation and Measurements, and later received a PhD for his work on "Monte Carlo simulations of amphiphilic systems" in 1996. His first experience of parallel computing dates back to 1992 on T800 transputers, and later Transtech Paramid i860XP. He later joined the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC) at the University of Edinburgh in 1995 as an applications scientist for the EC-funded TRACS programme.

JC worked nearly 10 years at EPCC, during which time he took part in a number of projects and activities ranging from user support, research, teaching at post-graduate level and research student supervision, software development, development and co-ordination of large European programmes. The highlights of these ten years include his involvement in Prof. Michael E. Cates' research group for whom he co-developed the parallel generalised Lattice-Boltzmann code "Ludwig" (see list of publications below), as well as negotiating and setting up EPCC's involvement in the DEISA and HPC-Europa projects (chair of the Technical Executive Board and co-ordinator of the Transnational Access activity).

JC joined the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) in June 2005 as Technical Manager (and employee #5) and later become Associate Director (July 2007) and Director (May 2012). His expertise has proven crucial in establishing ICHEC as one of the leading technology centres in Europe, only within a few years of its creation. Thus ICHEC has now (2013) become:
  • a leading centre in the effective use of many-core technologies (NVIDIA GPUs and Intel Xeon Phi) for business and academia. ICHEC was awarded the status of NVIDIA CUDA Research Centre in 2010 (among the first seven in the world), the HPCWire Reader's Choice 2012 for the "Most innovative use of HPC in the Financial Services", and the Intel Parallel Computing Centre (IPCC) status by Intel in 2014 (among the first six in the world);
  • a highly respected partner to industry and the semi-state sector, including such prestigious clients as Tullow Oil, MetEireann, Paddy Power, CarTrawler, and many others ICHEC currently leverages over €700k per annum from its industry engagement programme;
  • a leading centre for Training & Education in Europe, e.g., currently leading the Pillar on Training, Education & Outreach for the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE),and effectively the main architects of the PRACE Advanced Training Centres;
  • a leading provider of High Performance Computing and Platform Technology services to Academia, with a recent government mandate to provide a national platform for Big Data / Analytics (see Department for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation's Action plan for jobs 2013).
JC is one of the original authors of the e-INIS white paper describing a vision for the establishment of a National e-Infrastructure in Ireland, and a co-investigator of the €13M Higher Education Authority (HEA) PRTLI4-funded e-INIS project. He is also the Principal Investigator for a number of awards from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI, €8.6M), the HEA (€1.1M), the Dept. of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Dept. of Education & Skills (€4.2M), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, €322k) and the European Commission FP7 (€2.8M).

Over his career, JC had the opportunity to work on a number of HPC systems including T800 transputers, Transtech Paramid i860XP, Cray J90/YMP/T3D, Cray T3E-900/1200, SGI Origin 2000/3800 (CSAR), Sun Enterprise 3500/6500 and Fire 6800/15k, IBM p690/p575 cluster (HPCx), IBM BlueGene /L and /P, IBM cluster 1350 and Bull NS6320, SGI Altix ICE 8200EX (Stokes), Bull Novascale R422-E2 (Stoney) and SGI ICE X (Fionn).

J-C holds the position of 'Honorary Professor of Computational Science' at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) since 2008, and of Adjunct Professor in the School of Physics at NUI Galway since 2012. He was also a member of the Digital Humanities Observatory (DHO) Management Board (2008-2012) and of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Change Coordination Committee (2008-2013). More recently, he joined the ICT Sub-Committee of the Medical Council (2011-2013) and the UK EPSRC Research Infrastructure Strategic Advisory Team (2011-).