Exponent Expands HPC Capabilities With Rescale to Drive the Future Of Computational Engineering

Case Study Overview 

Exponent provides a wide variety of engineering and scientific consulting services to the world’s largest innovators. As increasing technological complexity carries both great advantages and risks, Exponent’s clients often rely on their simulation and testing expertise which require the latest high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities available. With growth in the number of clients, projects, and consultants requiring HPC, Exponent selected Rescale to provide a scalable and easy-to-use solution to drive project efficiency and improve client results.

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Conquering Computation to Understand The Real World 

Beyond its reputation for doing high-profile failure investigations, Exponent also helps clients solve their most pressing technical challenges. The engineers and scientists at Exponent span over 90 different disciplines which provide their clients with independent expertise to solve design challenges or investigate product performance across a wide range of industries. A key ingredient to these services is the use of HPC-driven design iteration and simulation. Managing Engineer Zachary Owens explains that “technological complexity in our client’s demands is growing so we need to have the computational capabilities to support them.” Clients building next-generation consumer electronics, energy, healthcare, and automotive products have increasingly leaned on Exponent’s expertise in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and thermal management. 

Staying Ahead of Mounting Complexity

The needs of these teams’ projects quickly outpaced the computational capacity of Exponent’s internal HPC hardware so the team evaluated Rescale as solution that could be right-sized for each client and simple enough for new engineers joining the team to learn and use quickly. After evaluation in 2017, Exponent began utilizing Rescale for solving it’s most challenging HPC jobs, enabling various consulting teams to expand the scope of work and new possibilities for solving client challenges. With Rescale any Exponent consultant, anywhere in the world can instantly access the latest HPC hardware and software for each clients needs.

Streamlining Productivity From The First Interaction

From the very first login, consultants were able to get started with the software they were already familiar with and run these tools on cloud-based HPC infrastructure, enabling highly parallelized computing and faster run times. Lindsey Gilman, a CFD specialist at Exponent says that ”Having the software already installed on Rescale including various versions I need saves me a lot of time. And being able to optimize the software to run on specific hardware helps to reach my job results as much as 10x faster.” With virtually-infinite capability in the cloud-optimized for efficiency, the Exponent team has also been able to increase the fidelity of their simulations with higher cell counts as high as 25 million cells. Collaborating teams can easily manage data on job configurations and large output files to be shared, searched, and secured.

Business Optimized, Client Customized Computing

In an effort to increase business value from its HPC activities, Exponent leverages Rescale to keep productivity high and standardize best practices like optimal hardware/software combinations based on requirements. This ensures strict data access and security, increased resource efficiency, and granular tracking for accounting purposes. These efficiencies have enabled Exponent to triple the number of CFD consultants doing HPC work simultaneously, giving them a seamless HPC experience from day one. After overseeing the rollout and management of Rescale, Owens describes it as a “Gamechanger. Now we can take on more and larger client projects and don’t have to make compromises to meet client demands.”