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Media Advisory: Groundbreaking for Institute for Geophysics and Texas Advanced Computing Center

Sept. 26, 2005

Event: Groundbreaking for new home of two research units at The University of Texas at Austin, the Jackson School of Geosciencesí Institute for Geophysics and the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

Architect's rendering, new UTIG and TACC building
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Architect's rendering of the new home of the Institute for Geophysics and the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

When: 5:30-6:30 p.m., Sept. 29.

Where: Site of the new building, adjoining the Jackson School of Geosciencesí Bureau of Economic Geology on The University of Texas at Austin J.J. Pickle Research Campus. Map is available at university maps site.

Who may attend: The event is open to the public.

Background: Construction is set to begin on a new 94,000-square-foot home for the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and the Jackson School of Geosciencesí Institute for Geophysics. The two units, which already work closely together, anticipate stronger collaboration as they help the university compete for federal research funds. Researchers at the institute study processes shaping the earth's structure and environment, including sea-level fluctuations, climate change and geologic hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis. They also develop new mathematical techniques for data processing and imaging, research that relies on high-end computation. TACC is one of the leading advanced computing centers in the United States, serving researchers in Texas and across the nation.

As demand for supercomputing has increased, TACC has grown from a staff of 14 to 60. The new building will offer room for further expansion, as TACC researchers continue to work on projects like TeraGrid, the world's largest cyberinfrastructure for open scientific research. TACC will occupy the building's lower floor, which will house a 6,000 square-foot, raised-floor machine room for computer systems.

The Institute for Geophysics will occupy the top two floors. In addition to gaining ready access to TACC's computing systems, researchers at the institute will be physically connected by covered walkways to the Jackson School's other research unit, the Bureau of Economic Geology. The new building will mark the first time the entire staff of the institute will be on The University of Texas at Austin campus. Since moving to Austin from its dockside facilities at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1982, the institute has been housed in rental space.

Designed by PBS&J and constructed by Flintco, the building is intended to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System. Construction is expected to be complete by fall 2006.

Note: An architectís rendering of the new building is available online.

For more information contact Kathy Ellins at the Institute for Geophysics, 512-471-0347, kellins@ig.utexas.edu, or Faith Singer-Villalobos at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, 512-232-5771, faith@tacc.utexas.edu.