Established in 2008 by the Chinese central government, the Thousand Talents Program is designed to recognise and recruit leading international experts in scientific research, innovation, and entrepreneurship to solve issues facing the country.
“To be chosen as a foreign expert in the Thousand Talent Program came as a welcome surprise given its prestige and how highly competitive placements are,” says Professor Albert Zomaya, from the School of Information Technologies.
“It’s very humbling to receive the same recognition as past Nobel Laureates who have also been awarded this prize in previous years.”
Professor Zomaya’s research will serve as one of many concurrent projects presently focused on ways to mitigate the serious levels of air pollution in China – a problem that spurred the country’s State Council to issue the Air Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan in 2013.
His first project will explore ways to reduce the growth of the carbon footprint created by information and communication technology (ICT) devices, such as data centres and supercomputers.
The other will examine the application of distributed and high-performance computing technologies as an enabler to reduce the footprint of production and consumption by society.
“Sustainable computing can help in many ways such as decreasing emissions from ICT infrastructure, which reduces the carbon footprint of such infrastructure by making it more environmentally friendly,” explains Zomaya.
“Another is the use of large scale supercomputing infrastructure to better manage energy generation, planning and distribution.
“The use of energy informatics, along with the capabilities afforded by clouds and data centres, can help in developing better energy management ecosystems, leading to lower carbon emissions and hence improving air quality.”
Professor Zomaya will undertake both projects during his time at Tianjin University and collaborate with academics from the institution’s School of Electrical and Information Engineering.
He sees this an ideal opportunity to harvest stronger research relationships with the university as well as showcasing the expertise of the Centre for Distributed and High-Performance Computing to a global academic audience.
“This is a great opportunity to link our activities within the Centre for Distributed and High-Performance Computing with those at Tianjin University, one of the strongest engineering faculties in China,” says Zomaya.
“The collaboration will help us establish a larger team of researchers currently working on problems relating to sustainable computing as well as access to other first-class facilities.
“The diversity of capabilities needed to tackle the kind of problems that we will be investigating can only be handled by multidisciplinary teams with complementary skills and I look forward to seeing the results.”