The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center is now open

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December 4, 2012 - 8:42am
NWSC ribbon cutting ceremony, 15 October 2012
At the 15 October NWSC Grand Opening, UCAR President Tom Bogdan (at left), Governor Matt Mead of Wyoming, National Science Foundation Director Dr. Subra Suresh, and University of Wyoming Vice President of Research & Economic Development Dr. Bill Gern cut the official ribbon to launch operations at the new facility. —Photo by Marijke Unger, CISL

Randy Bruns and Al Kellie
Randy Bruns, CEO of Cheyenne LEADS and CISL director Al Kellie admire the Cheyenne Big Boots sculpture on the NWSC grounds. Bruns presented this art installation on behalf of the Cheyenne community at the conclusion of the grand opening ceremony. —Photo by Marijke Unger, CISL

The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC) in Cheyenne, Wyoming officially opened on 15 October 2012. The grand opening ceremony brought together officials and dignitaries from the institutions that collaborated to make the NWSC a reality. Speakers at the ceremony included NCAR Director Roger Wakimoto, Governor Matt Mead of Wyoming, National Science Foundation Director Dr. Subra Suresh, UCAR President Tom Bogdan, and University of Wyoming Vice President Dr. Bill Gern, who addressed an invited group of the NWSC's supporters and partners.

"This is a great day for scientific research, for the University of Wyoming, and for Wyoming," said Governor Mead. "Wyoming is proud to be part of the collaboration that has brought one of the world’s fastest computers to the state. The center will have a positive impact on our future, through the research done here and by sending the message that Wyoming is honored and equipped to be the home of this amazing facility." The photo at right shows the ceremonial ribbon cutting. A news release with details about the event and the supercomputing center appears in the NCAR/UCAR publication AtmosNews.

Following the official unveiling of the fully operational Yellowstone supercomputer, Cheyenne LEADS CEO Randy Bruns presented the NWSC with a Cheyenne Big Boots sculpture that was unveiled outside the front door. The lower photo at right shows the NWSC sculpture painted with images of weather phenomena, computer model visualizations, the NSF research aircraft operated by NCAR, and solar events that produce space weather. The Big Boots public art project is comprised of numerous eight-foot-tall cowboy boots that are each uniquely painted by a different artist and are on display throughout Cheyenne. By donating this sculpture, local supporters welcomed the NWSC into a group of community organizations that includes the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Development Authority, the Cheyenne Artist Guild, Laramie County Library, and Laramie County Community College.

Approximately 300 visitors toured the NWSC on its opening day. Three of NCAR's education staff, along with NWSC's Aaron Andersen and Gary New, offered guided facility tours for members of the press and visitors throughout the day. The interactive exhibits in the visitor center will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (except holidays).