Hello, I’m Eoin Kearney

Hello, I’m Eoin Kearney

Hello, I’m Eoin Kearney. I’m 23, Irish, and I’ve just completed my masters in chemistry in the Erastova group [website here] at the University of Edinburgh in molecular dynamics simulation. These consist of modelling uranium adsorption in swelling clay at various pH setups, using the HPC in Edinburgh, Eddie.

I’d always enjoyed computational work, but science indulged my curiosity for the wider physical world, and so I embarked on my chemistry degree in 2015. A combination of changing trends in science and education towards computers, and COVID-19, set me up for a great computational project this year. Though unexpected initially, I genuinely enjoyed it and once I had a taste was eager to take it forward and build on my experience. On top of that nuclear science has always captivated me and so when I saw PRACE had computational opportunities attached to nuclear fusion, I was sold.

My project, with another student, is titled ‘Computational atomic-scale modelling of materials for fusion reactors.’ It is in the atomistic modelling of tungsten reactor vessel walls, especially around defect sites induced under the extreme conditions of fusion. Its at a similar scale to my masters though more collision focused then on adsorption behavior.

In my free time I enjoy hiking and camping with my friends. Living in Scotland has given me a few opportunities to see some of the lovely, rugged landscape in the highlands, and I’d like to see more of the world. My next goal there is to complete the old pilgrimage route Camino de Santiago in Spain or at least to see the Pyrenees. Otherwise I enjoy reading, though my masters has restricted non-chemistry related topics so far!

So I applied to SoHPC and was luckily accepted, and now here I am. I’ve enjoyed the training week so far. As far as text editors go I’ve always defaulted to nano and its hard to get out of. Vim is intimidating but I’ve finally learned how to exit it, so that’s progress. The other perspectives of different training courses can reinforce basic key concepts.

The next step is learning the personality of the HPC cluster in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Mare Nostrom4 [more info here]. Its scary just how many facets I’ve skated by, like checking the available modules on the HPC! Previously I had gotten in the habit of using only those necessary and its interesting to shake up my work and see the diversity of applications these molecular modelling programs get applied to. It will be a lot to learn, but I think that’s the strongest point of PRACE; its a fast and deep dive into a complex area. It is what I will make of it.

I had some time in Scotland to see a good bit of the country, this is up near Ullapool
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