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Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize 2012 recognizes three scientific teams for their advances in research and innovation

  • The work recognized this year will help understand the evolution of the Universe, sources of laser light and nanotechnologies
  • The Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize was presented during the Ter@tec 2012 conference, which brings together around a thousand specialists in scientific computing and computer simulation, at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris

Paris, June  28, 2012 -

The Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize 2012 was presented by Catherine Rivière, CEO of GENCI (the French National High-Performance Computing Organization), and Philippe Vannier, Chairman and CEO of Bull, to three teams of researchers in recognition for their contributions to improving knowledge in science, innovation and the development of computer simulation methods.

This year's Prize was awarded on 27 June at the Ter@tec conference: France's leading High-Performance Computing (HPC) event.

The Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize 2012 carries with it a first prize of €15,000 and two other prizes consisting of dedicated machine time on GENCI supercomputers.

With around 20 teams entering the competition this year, with an array of high-quality scientific projects, the Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize 2012 demonstrates the vital role that computer simulation now plays in the French research community. Through this award, co-founders Bull and GENCI are aiming to further extend and develop simulation and the processing of massive amounts of data, as well as to encourage more widespread use of the latest generations of parallel supercomputers. These techniques will play a decisive role in Europe's ability to stay at the leading edge of scientific research and innovation, and to maintain its competitive position internationally.

First Prize in the Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize 2012 has been awarded to a team led by astrophysicist Jean-Michel Alimi, Director of Research at CNRS. The award recognizes the team's significant advances in understanding the Universe; with the first ever modeling of the structure of the entire observable Universe from the Big Bang to the present day, carried out using a GENCI supercomputer. The simulation has enabled some 550 billion particles to be tracked. As a key component of an extraordinary project - known as DEUS (Dark Energy Universe Simulation) - this exercise provides exceptional assistance to large-scale projects aimed at observing and mapping our Universe. The work carried out by Jean-Michel Alimi's team will promote much better understanding of the nature of 'dark energy' and its influence on the structuring of the Universe, the origins of the distribution of dark matter and galaxies. The team also includes Yann Rasera, Asssitant Professor at LUTH (the Laboratoire Univers et Théories) and Paris-Diderot University, as well as Vincent Bouillot, Vincent Reverdy and Irène Balmes, researchers at the Paris Observatory, and Pier-Stefano Corasaniti, Senior Scientist at CNRS.

Second Prize has been awarded to a team represented by physicist Luc Bergé, a Research Director at the CEA and Head of the Radiation-Matter Interaction Laboratory. The award recognizes the team's work in optics, especially the propagation of lasers in dense materials such as silica glass. The team includes Guillaume Colin de Verdière, Senior Expert at the CEA, Sarah Mauger, Information Systems Engineer at EDF, Stefan Skupin, Head of Group at the Max-Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany, and Carl-Zeiss Junior, Professor at Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany.

Third Prize has been awarded to the team represented by physicist Yann-Michel Niquet, researcher at the Atomistic Simulation Laboratory in the CEA's Institute for Nanosciences and Cryogenics (INAC) in Grenoble. The award is in recognition for the team's work on nanotechnologies for semi-conductors, nanowires and nanotubes. The work should eventually help to speed up time-to-market for promising micro-electronics technologies. The team also includes François Triozon, Researcher at the CEA's Electronics and IT Laboratory (LETI) in Grenoble and Christophe Delerue, Research Director at CNRS and Professor at ISEN (the Institut supérieur d'électronique et du numérique) in Lille.

The organizers congratulated all the entrants for their efforts and look forward to receiving submissions from the scientific community for the 2013 Bull-Joseph Fourier Prize.


GENCI, Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif, is a legal entity taking the form of a société civile (civil company) under French law, owned 49% by the French State represented by the Ministry for Higher Education and Research, 20% by the CEA, 20% by the CNRS, 10% by the universities and 1% by INRIA, the French national institute for research in computer science and control.

GENCI is a dynamic, collective resource dedicated to:

  • Supporting the hardware housed at the three national HPC centers (TGCC, CCRT at the CEA, CINES, IDRIS at the CNRS) which currently provide access to over a Petaflops of power to the French scientific community

  • Building an integrated HPC ecosystem. GENCI represents France in the European PRACE project: at a national and local level it coordinates the efforts of players in the HPC world, most notably through the Equip@meso project that brings together ten academic and university partners in the region

  • Promoting the use of computer simulation and HPC in French academic research, in industry and through a specific initiative aimed at SMEs in liaison with INRIA and OSEO.

For more information, visit: http://www.genci.fr

GENCI Press contact
Laetitia Baudin - Tel: +33 (0)1 42 50 35 02 - laetitia.baudin@genci.fr

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Phone: +33 1 58 04 05 02
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Aurélie Negro
+33 1 58 04 05 02