Asee peer logo

Deploying a High Performance Computing Cluster at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Engineering Physics & Physics Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics & Physics

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Evan C. Lemley University of Central Oklahoma

visit author page

Professor Lemley teaches thermo-fluid engineering and works with undergraduates to perform fluid dynamics research that is mostly focused on small scale flow problems. He is currently an Assistant Dean of Mathematics and Science and a Professor of Engineering and Physics at the University of Central Oklahoma, his home institution for more than fifteen years. Previously, Professor Lemley worked as a mechanical engineer in the power industry. His bachelor’s degree is in physics from Hendrix College and his M.S.M.E.
and Ph.D. were earned at the University of Arkansas.

visit author page

author page

Thomas Chen

Download Paper |


This paper is focused on the deployment and use of a high performance computing HPC cluster at the University of Central Oklahoma, which is a predominantly undergraduate institution (PUI) and a Carnegie Master’s Level - Larger Programs Classification. In January 2015, UCO received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant to fund an HPC cluster to enhance and extend computationally oriented research and education. By July of 2015 the Buddy Cluster (so named for the school mascot) was deployed and ready for early users. In September 2015 there were only a handful of users compared to January 2017 when a total of 150 users have been registered on the system. The Buddy Cluster has been used for a wide range of engineering and other applications such as bioinformatics, computational fluid dynamics, heat transfer, biomedical applications, image processing, and statistical analysis. Note the bulk of the use of Buddy is by the Department of Engineering and Physics Department at UCO. Although the topics discussed are general, the paper addresses how engineering physics programs can deploy and make use of similar clusters.

This paper will discuss the impacts to computational research and the research infrastructure at UCO. The process to acquire and deploy the Buddy Cluster will be detailed including the process to solicit proposals from and choose a cluster vendor. The process to get users working in the cluster environment - including internet browser-based access and use of certain cluster software and the use of more standard command line access and use - are discussed.

Lemley, E. C., & Chen, T. (2017, June), Deploying a High Performance Computing Cluster at a Predominantly Undergraduate Institution Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28105

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015