Compute Canada


HPCVL member institutions, Queen's University, Royal Military College and St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Ryerson University and Seneca College in Toronto, and Loyalist College in Belleville. Dedicated to providing researchers at member institutions and researchers at other institutions in Canada with the secure High Performance Computing (HPC) resources they need to conduct innovative research in a broad spectrum of disciplines within the sciences, engineering, medicine, social sciences and the humanities, HPCVL has implemented support programs with the assistance of its partner, Sun Microsystems, and the Government of Ontario.

Excellent examples of the innovative research being conducted using HPCVL resources have been reviewed in the HPCVL newsletter Labnotes which HPCVL has been publishing since 2001. Current and back issues of Labnotes may be found at:

Some examples of the research areas undertaken with HPCVL resources include but are not limited to:


The Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) is putting a massive set of information about people with brain conditions into a single, searchable database. Dubbed Brain-CODE, the system will allow scientists to sort through reams of complex information to seek out patterns and similarities that link brain conditions. The Brain Institute hopes to extend access to the system to scientists across the country and around the world as it grows. The Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network (OCBN) is designed to enable the co-ordination and amplification of the proteomic and genomic biomarker research efforts throughout the province of Ontario to better service academia and industry, whether provincially, nationally or internationally.

Quantum/Computational Chemistry

Chemistry is a well-established HPC field and is crucial to modern pharmaceutical discovery, medicinal chemistry and biotechnology, as well as materials science. HPCVL researchers are using HPC to help design new drug molecules and new fluorescent dyes. Computational chemistry has traditionally been a large user of HPC. The development of new computational chemistry methodologies that can be applied in many areas is a good example of how HPCVL researchers are using HPC.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

CFD has applications in many areas ranging from aircraft design to drug delivery. In each case, the flow of fluids and particles are modeled to reproduce actual conditions. HPCVL researchers are using HPC to develop and test models that can be used by industry to speed developments and improve design efficiencies. Some of the focus is on applications to geophysical flow, the dynamics of bio-fluids, and aeronautical engineering.

Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering applies the physical sciences and life sciences such as biology, microbiology and biochemistry, together with mathematics to processes that convert raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms.

Applied Parallel Computing

The availability of new devices and increased user demands, particularly for 3-dimensional modeling, results in higher computational burdens and the need for novel techniques and systems to be developed for the effective use of parallel computer systems (HPC systems). HPCVL researchers are utilizing HPC and developing new methodologies and tools in Applied Parallel Computing to address this problem.


The Sudbury Neurtrino Observatory (SNO) is recording and analyzing data that has provided revolutionary insight into the properties of neurtrinos and the core of the sun. Results reported from this project have been selected by Science magazine as being in the top 10 scientific breakthroughs and as the second most important breakthrough for science in the years 2001 and 2002, respectively.


Biosciences is an interdisciplinary field that lies at the intersection of biology, medicine, and computer science. It combines aspects from these fields to gather, sort and analyze large masses of biological information in a meaningful way. HPCVL researchers are utilizing HPC resources to analyze this data and develop new methodologies to help in that process. For instance, researchers are investigating the interactions among the full set of proteins in real organisms using HPCVL.

Electrical and Civil Engineering

Researchers in Electrical and Civil Engineering have a variety of research applications in of planning, designing, and operating projects. They serve to protect public and environmental health, as well as improving existing infrastructures.


In applied mathematics, important connections are sought with other disciplines that may inspire interesting and useful mathematics, and where innovative mathematical reasoning may lead to new insights and applications.


Further Information

Contact Dr. Ken Edgecombe, Executive Director, HPCVL