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Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize 2012 awards three scientific teams for their advances in research and innovation

Posted on 01 July 2012 by Pierre Picard

The works recognized this year will help understand the evolution of the Universe, sources of laser light and nanotechnologies

The Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize 2012 was given by Catherine Rivière, CEO of GENCI (the French National High-Performance Computing Organization), and Philippe Vannier, Chairman and CEO of Bull, to three teams of researchers in recogncition for their contributions to improving knowledge in science, innovation and the development of computer simulation methods. This year’s Prize was awarded on 27 June at the Ter@tec conference: France’s leading High-Performance Computing (HPC) event.

The Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize 2012 carries with it a first prize of €15,000 and two other prizes consisting of dedicated machine time on GENCI supercomputers.

With around 20 teams entering the competition this year, with an array of high-quality scientific projects, the Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize 2012 demonstrates the vital role that computer simulation now plays in the French research community. Through this award, co-founders Bull and GENCI are aiming to further extend and develop simulation and the processing of massive amounts of data, as well as to encourage more widespread use of the latest generations of parallel supercomputers. These techniques will play a decisive role in Europe’s ability to stay at the leading edge of scientific research and innovation, and to maintain its competitive position internationally.

First Prize in the Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize 2012 has been awarded to a team led by astrophysicist Jean-Michel Alimi, Director of Research at CNRS. The award recognizes the team’s significant advances in understanding the Universe; with the first ever modeling of the structure of the entire observable Universe from the Big Bang to the present day, carried out using the CURIE supercomputer of GENCI. The simulation has enabled some 550 billion particles to be tracked. As a key component of an extraordinary project – known as DEUS (Dark Energy Universe Simulation) – this exercise provides exceptional assistance to large-scale projects aimed at observing and mapping our Universe. The work carried out by Jean-Michel Alimi’s team will promote much better understanding of the nature of ‘dark energy’ and its influence on the structuring of the Universe, the origins of the distribution of dark matter and galaxies. The team also includes Yann Rasera, Assistant Professor at LUTH (the Laboratory Universe and Theories) and Paris-Diderot University, as well as Vincent Bouillot, Vincent Reverdy and Irène Balmes, researchers at the Paris Observatory, as well as Pier-Stefano Corasaniti, Research Scientist at CNRS.

Second Prize has been awarded to a team represented by physicist Luc Bergé, a Research Director at the CEA and Head of the Radiation-Matter Interaction Laboratory. The award recognizes the team’s work in optics, especially the propagation of lasers in dense materials such as silica glass. The team includes Guillaume Colin de Verdière, Senior Expert at the CEA, Sarah Mauger, Information Systems Engineer at EDF, Stefan Skupin, Head of Group at the Max-Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany, and Carl-Zeiss Junior, Professor at Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany.

Third Prize has been awarded to the team represented by physicist Yann-Michel Niquet, researcher at the Atomistic Simulation Laboratory in the CEA’s Institute for Nanosciences and Cryogenics (INAC) in Grenoble. The award is in recognition for the team’s work on nanotechnologies for semi-conductors, nanowires and nanotubes. The work should eventually help to speed up time-to-market for promising micro-electronics technologies. The team also includes François Triozon, Researcher at the CEA’s Electronics and IT Laboratory (LETI) in Grenoble and Christophe Delerue, Research Director at CNRS and Professor at ISEN (the Institut supérieur d’électronique et du numérique) in Lille.


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