University of Texas at Austin


Leading US and UK Research Institutes Hold First International Workshop

By John Holden

Published Jan. 26, 2023

In what is anticipated to be the first of several workshops, the Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at UT Austin joined The Alan Turing Institute in London this week to launch an exciting new research partnership. As one of the leading computational science research institutes in the US, the Oden Institute first established a connection with the Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence, back in 2020 after formalizing a partnership with researchers from the Turing’s Data-Centric Engineering program. 

However, this is the first time researchers from the two societal-leading institutes have had the opportunity to meet in person since the partnership was announced almost three years ago. 

The aim of this inaugural workshop, therefore, is to lay foundations for the direction of future research. 

Leading experts from both institutes will use this introduction to get a better understanding of the research expertise and project legacy of each “in order to identify where collaboration would add the greatest value to both organizations and countries; and delineate in more concrete terms the areas and research activities for collaboration as well as identify promising funding sources to support joint research activities.”

"This partnership is very exciting as The Alan Turing Institute is the leading institute for data science in the UK, perhaps even in Europe,” said Per-Gunnar Martinsson, Professor of Mathematics at the College of Natural Sciences, core faculty at the Oden Institute and Group leader for the team of 15 researchers who traveled to London this week from UT Austin.  

I am greatly looking forward to interacting with leading minds in data science in the UK, and to forging new collaborations.

— Per-Gunnar Martinsson

“Combining its expertise with the Oden Institute's strength in growth areas like scientific machine learning, digital twins and high-performance computing, I believe we have a unique opportunity to really move the needle in computational science.” Martinsson said. “I am greatly looking forward to interacting with leading minds in data science in the UK, and to forging new collaborations."



In addition to Martinsson, the team includes 11 Oden Institute faculty Chandra Bajaj, George Biros, Tan Bui-Thanh, Omar Ghattas, Graeme Henkelman, Joe Kileel, Michael Sacks, Takashi Tanaka, Richard Tsai and Ufuk Topcu. 

The group also includes Oden Institute PhD candidates and Postdocs Kevin Miller, Cyrus Neary, Kate Pearce and Jonathan Wittmer. 

Like the Oden Institute, the Turing is committed to applying its expertise in the search for solutions to societal grand challenges. With this in mind industry partners working with both institutes are also participating in the event. 

Professor Mark Girolami, Chief Scientist at The Alan Turing Institute, said: “We’re delighted to be working closely with the Oden Institute to advance computational and data centric engineering research, including our joint work on digital twins. This type of research will transform how we interact with our physical world, improving healthcare outcomes for patients and working towards achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions. There’s a lot more work to be done and we look forward to tackling these issues together.”

The two institutes agreed the following three areas of focus for this first workshop based on mutual areas of interest and strength:

  • Theoretical Foundations
  • Computational Medicine
  • Digital Twins

The workshop is jointly funded by The Alan Turing Institute, the Oden Institute, the UK office for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the UK Science and Innovation Network at the British Consulate-General in Houston.