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ROH-led team nominated for prestigious US award

A team including clinicians from The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) has been nominated for a top US computing award.

The ROH-led team, based in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham (UoB), is a finalist in the Life Sciences section of the prestigious HPC Wire high-performance computing awards. They were nominated by the team that runs the BlueBear supercomputer at UoB.

HPC wire is a California-based news website that reports on the world of high-performance computing (HPC). Each year, the most outstanding organisations, projects and technologies across science and industry are recognized through the HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards. These annual awards are highly coveted as prestigious acknowledgment of achievement by the worldwide HPC community and are the only awards of their kind. The winners are nominated and selected by the website’s readers across the world.

The nomination is in recognition of the team’s work on tracking bacteria carrying particulates expelled from the necks of surgical gowns in ultraclean operating theatres. The work is a combination of experimental measurements carried out in our operating theatres and complex computer simulations to track the distribution of particles in the operating theatre air.

Working with the UoB School of Chemical Engineering, clinicians developed a physical model of an operating theatre with 3D measurements of equipment and an ultrasound anemometer to measure airflow. Using University of Birmingham's BlueBEAR HPC (Lenovo, with Intel CPUs and IBM Spectrum Scale Storage, supplied by OCF Limited), within their model, they tracked air that emerges from the necks of surgical gowns that can contaminate surgical instruments, lead to infection, and increase patient suffering, which also places a greater financial burden on the NHS.

Winners of the awards will be announced soon.