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20 February 2020

Materials and Molecular Modelling Hub receives £4.5m boost in EPSRC funding

King’s and partner universities have received £4.5 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to carry out pioneering research to simulate the properties of new and existing materials and molecular systems.

Circuit board
MMM hub logo

Formed in 2016, the Materials and Molecular Modelling (MMM) Hub provides high-performance computing (HPC) capacity to facilitate research on material properties. It is a partnership, led by UCL, of major universities from across the UK and researchers affiliated with the London Thomas Young Centre for the Theory and Simulation of Materials.

Professor Carla Molteni, Director of the Thomas Young Centre at King’s, commented

The £4.5 M EPSRC funding for the second phase of the MMM Hub builds on the current research success of the MMM community, which in London has grown around the Thomas Young Centre. It will provide substantial computational capabilities to address new complex and exciting challenges, from sustainable energy to healthcare, as well as a platform for inter-disciplinary collaborations across institutions and industry engagement.

Current research interests of the MMM Hub include a focus on how changes to the recycling of metals can reduce the environmental damage caused by metal extraction, developing the next generation of materials for solar energy generation, and furthering the understanding and prevention of surface degradation (such as corrosion and wear) on a range of different materials.

Molecular and materials modelling play an increasingly important role in explaining, predicting and designing the properties of materials at the heart of modern technologies, underpinning a variety of experimental research.

Researchers at King’s have greatly benefited from phase 1 of the MMM Hub, which enabled provision of the “Thomas” HPC facilities with over 17,000 processing cores. This impacted upon nearly all areas of modern computational materials science, enabling high-profile work into the development and control of copper-oxide superconductors and insights into catalytic reactions and the activation mechanisms of neuroreceptors.

The newly-granted phase 2 EPSRC funding will provide a new state-of-the-art HPC facility, which will enable continued excellence in the field of materials and molecular modelling, and further King’s contribution towards the UK eResearch ecosystem and strategy.  

King’s has a wide and varied expertise in materials and molecular modelling across the Physics and Chemistry departments in the Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences and in the Randall Centre for Cell & Molecular Biophysics.

Professor Michael Luck, Executive Dean of NMS, commented,

We are delighted that the EPSRC has recognised and supported our important materials research. This new funding will enable the development of a new high-performance computing facility and transform the way we use and understand materials. The Materials and Molecular Modelling Hub has already achieved so much in such a short space of time. We are proud to be part of such a forward-thinking collaborative research community. It’s great that Professor Carla Molteni and Dr George Booth are leading this work for NMS.

In this story

Carla Molteni

Professor of Physics

George Booth

Reader in Theoretical Physics