Frequently Asked Questions

AweSim Background

What is AweSim?

AweSim is the next phase of the Ohio Supercomputer Center’s (OSC) internationally recognized Blue Collar Computing initiative, which will bring OSC’s industrial engagement into a new stage of commercialization. The initiative is a partnership between OSC, simulation and engineering experts and industry to provide small to mid-sized manufacturers with high-performance computing (HPC) based modeling and simulation (M&S) technology that will enhance innovation and economic competitiveness.

How would these services help my business?

HPC-based M&S enhances competitiveness and efficiency for manufacturers by decreasing product development time, improving quality and speeding up time to market. Rather than relying on costly and time-intensive physical testing, HPC based M&S enables manufacturers to pare down the initial phases of product testing by eliminating undesirable prototypes before the physical testing process begins.

How is AweSim different?

AweSim will improve ease of access to OSC computing resources for SMMs. In the past, industry clients have had direct access to only a couple of applications through a unique user portal or have worked with OSC to develop personalized projects. Under AweSim, the new App Store will allow small to mid-sized manufacturers to access M&S software resources directly from their desktops to address common issues, such as virtual wind tunnel testing using computational fluid dynamics.

Will OSC’s capacity for academic services be reduced with AweSim?

No, the expansion of AweSim’s services to industry will not reduce the center's capacity and commitment to provide HPC and resources to Ohio’s academic community.

What makes OSC unique from other supercomputer centers?

First, AweSim is based upon a unique collaboration between the public and private sectors. Second, the user experience offered by OSC’s AweSim initiative is unlike any other. Industrial users can access apps on-demand and have flexibility with the pay-as-you-go pricing structure, which provides companies with unparalleled ease of access to high performance computing resources that may otherwise be unattainable.

App Information

Who can use these apps?

AweSim’s apps are designed for use by small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and manufacturers alike. For a limited time after the launch of each app, Ohio-based manufacturers will have exclusive access to the app. After this time period, the apps will be available for general use.

How do you decide which apps to develop for the App Store?

The initial apps to be developed under AweSim will address needs that have been identified by industry partners in the areas of advanced materials, agribusiness and food processing, and medical technologies. Some of the proposed apps are listed below:

  1. Processing of Advanced Aerospace Materials
  2. Thermal Processing for Food Sterilization
  3. Virtual Wind Tunnel
  4. Structural Classics Explorer to model classical design configurations
  5. Virtual Test Rig, including pull, crush, drop, and pressure tests
Who designs the apps available through the App Store?

Development of the initial apps for the AweSim App Store will be completed by three Ohio-based industrial design and engineering companies: AltaSim Techonologies LLC, TotalSim LLC and Kinetic Vision.They will consult with industry users, such as P&G and small to mid-sized manufacturers, to develop the first apps that will appear on the App Store.

How do I gain access to the apps?

The AweSim project is innovative in allowing small to mid-sized manufacturers direct desktop access to these applications through the App Store. Any user with or without an existing contract with OSC will be able to access these apps through a website.

Is there a fee to use these apps?

Users employ the flexible “pay-as-you-go” payment structure to easily model and simulate potential products. Exact fees depend on the specific app and complexity of the model and simulation.

How do I know that the results from the apps are verifiable?

There are many case studies documenting the benefits of HPC M&S. For instance, Whirlpool used this technology to optimize the design of a refrigerator cabinet resulting in a direct savings of 10 percent in the materials costs for components and $2 per product in the manufacturing process. Similarly, Toyota uses HPC M&S to speed up design, increase quality and reduce R&D costs.

The purpose of AweSim apps are to greatly reduce the cost of prototyping for end users by eliminating unsuccessful designs before physical reproduction and testing of selected models begins. You can rest assured that the app results are physically verifiable. OSC’s partners in app development have expertise in the areas of engineering, physics and computational science, in addition to years of experience in industry.

How will new apps be developed in the future?

A long-term strategic goal of AweSim is that, by the fourth year, the project will be self-sustaining. Revenues generated from app sales in the first years of the project will pay for the costs of the operations and eventually for the development of new apps.

Training & Support

Does OSC offer any training for industry users?

Part of the AweSim initiative is to create a broad-based training program that will equip novice employees and manufacturing specialists alike with the skills required to master this technology. Intel will assist in formulating this training, and an OSC-led Training Working Group will determine the educational resources to be provided to users.

In addition, the AweSim project includes an initiative to market initial courses aimed at teaching students how to use these M&S tools at Lorain County and Sinclair Community Colleges.

Will OSC training for companies be included in initial costs, or will it be additional?

OSC and Intel will work with companies to offer a range of training materials as well as end-user support to assist them in integrating the software into their operations. Users who need more basic training can participate in training or certification courses, which will be complementary for the first few years of the project.

What types of expertise are available from staff?

OSC provides expertise in supercomputing applications, networking, data communications, utility computing node operation, cluster installation and HPC training. OSC has experts and support staff with experience in a wide spectrum of subject areas, including mechanical engineering, chemistry, visualization, data storage and bioinformatics. Additionally, experts from around the state who collaborate with OSC can, as deemed necessary, provide insight into specific challenges.

Can we personalize AweSim for my company?

Yes. While AweSim will make access to several apps easier and cost-effective for small to mid-sized manufacturers, OSC will continue to provide computational expertise for individual clients who desire more personalized attention in tackling specific M&S problems. OSC will also continue to offer its resources to large manufacturing clients in need of supplemental computational support.

What type of software packages can I use at OSC?

OSC typically does not run commercial versions of HPC software packages. If your company’s use of OSC’s HPC systems requires the use of commercial software, please contact OSC to discuss the possible options.

OSC has successfully worked with commercial clients and independent software vendors to enable commercial use. For example, staff have set up virtual private networks (VPNs) between OSC and commercial client sites. Through a VPN, a client can use their existing software on jobs submitted to OSC systems. As an alternative, commercial clients can have their software installed on-site for use with an OSC system.

OSC experts have experience with a variety of software: staff maintain more than 30 software applications and provide access to more than 70 different software packages. A list of applications compatible with OSC systems can be found at

Computational Resources & IP Management

What are OSC’s HPC resources?

OSC provides access to several HPC environments, including:

  • HP Intel Xeon Oakley Cluster
  • IBM 1350 AMD Opteron Glenn Cluster
  • Csuri Advanced GPU Environment
  • Mass Storage Environment
What are my storage options for data?

OSC offers flexible storage options for industry users. OSC has a Mass Storage Environment with more than two petabytes of disk storage and has offered industry users packages, including up to 500 Gigabytes of production-level storage.

Who retains Intellectual Property rights for content?
  • App users own the rights to data/the results from their app runs.
  • Nimbis retains rights to the prototype front-end web pages and e-commerce site.
  • OSC possesses Intellectual Property (IP) in the behind-the-scenes code, consisting of the prototype App Kit and App Runtime.
  • For the developed apps, OSC has rights to the user interfaces, while app developers own the IP related to the behind-the-scenes, domain-specific algorithms.
  • Partners, such as Intel, that provide optimization assistance or training content would be formally recognized as contributing to the relevant apps, but would not own any related IP.

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