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International PhD programme in NUMERICal Simulation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NUMERICS (International PhD programme in NUMERICal Simulation)

Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2020-09-30

Numerical simulation and scientific computing will face major challenges in the coming years, such as the development of hardware and software architectures able to deliver very high computing power, the development of specific simulation algorithms that run on HPC computers, the generation of data from “simulation experiments”, data analysis with adequate multi-D visualisation systems, statistical analysis, modelling methods combining different scales and physical models and the management of large and complex data sets (BigData).
CEA has been recognized as an expert in scientific and technological research in this strategic area but ambitions to increase its competitiveness by renewing its research organisation and training capabilities, thus developing its expertise, accelerating development, and internationalizing its position. In this context, the NUMERICS project promotes cutting edge research in scientific domains with real prospects yet still poorly developed at CEA by proposing an innovative PhD training that focuses on “numerical simulation and scientific computing” as transversal research activities that will act as leading stake for CEA and further outline the existing PhD programme. The NUMERICS project relies on internal structures (among which e.g. Maison de la Simulation at CEA/Paris-Saclay) that act as stimulating base camps for all PhD students (research, training, expertise sharing, mutual exchanges). The NUMERICS PhD project targeting 50 international fellowships all along the programme duration will further stimulate the development of European research and human resource capacities, knowledge transfer between academic institutions and industrial stakeholders and thus strengthen the competitiveness and innovation of EU industries in this competitive area. Training
NUMERICS PhDs to the high standard set out in the programme will ultimately lead to producing a new generation of researchers able to answer the societal challenges covered by CEA.
"Since the beginning of the program, 3 calls for selections have been organized (deadllines 31 May 2018, 31 May 2019 and 31 May 2020). 18 junior researchers have been recruited at Calls 1 & 2. For the 3rd call in 2020, 21 researchers have been selected and should start their research before the end of 2020.
The thematic areas covered by the PhD projects of the selected researchers are very diverse and cover all domains of expertise at CEA. They range from climate and environmental sciences, complex fluids and processes, electronics, nanoelectronics and spintronics, energy systems, batteries and materials for energy, health and life sciences, high energy physics, astrophysics and plasmas, instrumentation, computer sciences and softwares, to solid state physics, materials and structures. The 39 selected researchers are of 27 different nationalities and contribute to the diversity of the PhD fellows recruited at CEA.
Career guidance and additional training proposed by the programme included the organization of a 2-day training session entitled ""Conducting your PhD and determining your career project"" for 1st year PhD fellows. The course aimed at helping the participants to conduct their PhD work as a scientific and professional project. In addiiton, it aimed at showing them the assets of research training to facilitate their professional integration in the long run."
The work will now be centered on the follow-up of the individual PhD projects, ensuring that the fellows effectively fully benefit from their scientific environment. As of Sept. 30, 2020, 39 fellows have been selected (out of 50 for the entire project) and 18 have been recruited. Twenty-one fellows are expected to be recruited before the end of 2020. Training sessions for the fellows have begun on the thematic: “PhD students: build your thesis and your career plan” (2 days) and “Leading a scientific project” (3 days). This effort will be continued. Second year PhD fellows have all published at least one publication. Exciting results on the individual PhD projects are now expected with future socio-economic impacts and societal implications (e.g. materials for the future, climate studies, personalized health devices, innovative therapies for disabled). With the development of the NUMERICS PhD projects at CEA, scientific links will further be established with new laboratories/institutions outside France, thereby contributing to enhance the global reach in science and technology.
Flyer for call 3