CECAM celebrates 50 years of computational science activities
11 Sep 2019
- Marion O'Sullivan



This week marks the 50th anniversary of CECAM (Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire), which was formed to promote advanced computational research and its applications for important areas of science and technology.

Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire (CECAM) 50th anniversary logo



A conference is underway in Lausanne, Switzerland, bringing together colleagues and friends of CECAM to discuss current challenges and reflect on the future of the science it supports. Today (11 September) anniversary celebrations are being held to reflect 50 remarkable years of computational science activities.


Although originally founded in Paris, and with its headquarters now in Lausanne, today there are 17  CECAM 'nodes' in countries across Europe. One of these nodes is hosted in the UK by STFC's Scientific Computing Department (SCD) at the Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire.

SCD's Leon Petit is on the Board of Directors for CECAM. He said:

“Computational materials science delivers fundamental components for many of the things we rely on every day, such as electronic semiconductors, magnetic materials for refrigeration, and nuclear fuels. At STFC our research focuses on using computer simulations to develop and test these materials, and we also train and support researchers working in these areas. For many decades STFC has supported CECAM in its mission to promote fundamental research on computational methods and their application to science and technology, and I am very pleased and proud that we are leading the CECAM-UK-Daresbury node."

The Daresbury node is funding and organising a range of scientific software hands-on courses and workshops, including some CECAM flagship events, both in the UK and in collaboration with other CECAM nodes. The Daresbury CECAM node's workshop and training program leverages the support that SCD provides to the UK scientific community through CoSeC and the Collaborative Computational Projects, at the same time accentuating its international dimension. The node is also a partner in ECAM, a H2020 e-infrastructure centre of excellence funded by the European Union, and is involved in several work packages, organizing/funding software development workshops, as well as engaging with industry through scoping workshops in collaboration with the Hartree Centre.

In recent years, computer simulation has emerged as one of the vital elements required for many scientific advances, linking theory to experiments and enabling new statistical techniques to extract data. SCD has vast expertise and capability in this area and five of its members are representing STFC and the Daresbury node at the conference and celebration events. They are:

​Paul Durham, who is a member of CECAM's Council; Leon Petit, who is a CECAM Director; together with Ilian Todorov, Alin Marin Elena and Martin Horsch from the Computational Science and Engineering Division, all of whom support CECAM through the Daresbury node's training programme, Co​SeC and other activities.  

 More information:

CECAM-UK-Daresbury node

CECAM 50 Celebrations

Contact: O'Sullivan, Marion (STFC,RAL,SC)