Research and Development

Scientific Profile

In addition to the IT services for the HZDR, the Department of Information Services and Computing (FWC) is driving a number of research and development topics in a variety of research areas.

Embedding into Helmholtz Funded Research

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In the current funding period of the Helmholtz Association (PoF IV - program oriented funding) our department is involved in the research topic "Data Management und Analysis (DMA)" from the research program "Matter & Technologies". We contribute our experiences in the areas of research data management, high performance computing and artificial intelligence.

Research Data Management

HZDR operates multiple research infrastructures and as such also has the responsibility for the data generated by those experiments. We develop solutions in these areas as internal projects but also as part of national and international collaborations.

Project parts are:

Third-party funding of these activities

Machine Learning / Parallel SImulations

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The Department of Information Services and Computing (FWC) supports scientists in generating, using and optimizing computational simulations of complex physical phenomena. A special fiels of expertise is in the area of many-core computing (e.g. GPUs or Intel Xeon Phis). The current focus areas are:

  • A Helmholtz AI Local Unit has been established at the HZDR to support the scientists of the research field Matter in in the application of artificial intelligence. It consists of a Young Investigator Group headed by Dr. Nico Hoffmann and a Helmholtz AI Consultant Team headed by Dr. Peter Steinbach.
  • Co-development of software in the vicinity of PIConGPU
  • Optimization of ultra-fast CT reconstruction for the ROFEX Detector
  • Dynamic analysis of laser beam profiles in laser driven particle accelerators to mitigate impeding damage to the laser optics
  • Combining multiple methods for determining the molecular structures in a liquid solution via a web application
  • Analysis and optimization of the runtime behavior of (parallel) applications used at HZDR (e.g. OpenFOAM)

Software Development

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FWC operates a competence cluster for software development services within the framework of HIFIS (Helmholtz Federated IT Infrastructure Services) at the HZDR. This includes a development platform, training and support for high-quality, sustainable software development.

In-Situ and Ex-Situ Visualization

The Department of Information Services and Computing (FWC) operates a virtual reality laboratory for displaying large data sets of simulation or experiment data in 3D. We also develop interactive user interfaces for analyzing and manipulating this data. One area of long standing expertise is interactive simulation of fire-fighting missions using immersive visualization (VR).

IT-based CollaborationPowerwall

The Department of Information Services and Computing (FWC) is an active participant in various groups around the topics of identity management solutions in federated environments as well as information-security in cloud computing environments

Committee Work

The Department of Information Services and Computing (FWC) represents HZDR in various IT committees:

  • The Helmholtz Incubator "Information und Data Science" connects experts from all Helmholtz Centers and supports the digital transformation of the research activities of the Helmholtz Association.
  • The OpenACC committee develops a directive based programming model for platform portable parallel applications.
  • The SPEC HIgh Performance Group develops standardized benchmarks to measure and compare the capablilities of compuer systems.

Conferences and Workshops


  • On the topics mentioned "Information and Services" is actively participating with own publications.