The Grainger College of Engineering’s consolidated IT support group, Engineering IT Shared Services, helps to provide the following information technology services that have been approved by the University of Illinois’ Grants and Contracts Office as cost recovery services that are eligible to be paid by grant funds:
- Research System Support
- Server Management
- High Performance Computing/Cluster Support
- Data Storage and Backup
- Web Development
- Application Development
Descriptions of these services, as well as the full catalog of Engineering IT Shared Services’ offerings, can be found on the unit’s public website (https://engrit.illinois.edu/services).
Research Services provides specialized IT support for Engineering research including non-standard software applications, high level computation, and specialized hardware and equipment. Researcher workstations, servers, virtual machines (VMs), high performance computing (HPC), high throughput computing (HTC), cluster management, storage, and more are enabled through consultation that allows the researcher to advance from innovation toward scalable infrastructure. Research Technology Facilitation and consultation enables research IT to operate efficiently and collaborates on a path toward growth and potential sustainability beyond the lifetime of a grant.
The Grainger College of Engineering has made an investment in the Illinois Campus Cluster Program (ICCP): https://campuscluster.illinois.edu/ which provides access to computing and data storage resources and frees you from the hassle of administering your own compute cluster. Any individual, research team, or campus unit can invest in compute nodes or storage disks or pay a fee for on-demand use of compute cycles or storage space. Staffing and shared infrastructure fees are partially subsidized by campus to help keep your costs as low as possible. See their website for additional Facilities Statements. High Throughput Computing (HTC) modalities are also available to campus.
The Grainger College of Engineering ICCP Investment:
- 102 infiniband interconnected compute nodes providing 2,636 CPU cores and 20 NVIDIA GPUs, comprised of:
- 8 CPU nodes - 2x Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4 (14-core), 224 cores, 2048 GB RAM (256 GB ea.)
- 76 CPU nodes - 2x Intel Xeon E5-2690 v3 (12-core), 1512 cores, 19,456 GB RAM (256 GB ea.)
- 7 GPU nodes, 2x Intel Xeon Gold 6148 (20-core), 280 cores, 1344 GB RAM (192 GB ea.), 14x V100 GPUs
- 3 GPU nodes, 2x Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4 (14-core), 84 cores, 768 GB RAM (192 GB ea.), 6x P100 GPUs
- 8 CPU nodes, 2x Intel Xeon E5-2680 v4 (14-core), 224 cores, 512 GB RAM (64 GB ea.)
- 5TB of shared storage
- As part of this investment, the 8 CPU nodes with 64 GB of RAM and the 3 GPU nodes with P100 GPUs are dedicated to instructional use.
The Instructional Services Team manages over 1,500 Engineering workstations in 110 Windows and Linux labs and 120 specialized software packages. In addition, the team provides support in the operations and maintenance of computer systems in specialized teaching and student design labs as well as a computer-based testing facility. High-demand Engineering applications can be accessed through Instructional Services' Citrix and FastX application virtualization services. The Multimedia and Educational Technology part of the team provides consultation, design, and support on audiovisual and multimedia systems for all Engineering classrooms and conference rooms. The team’s lecture/presentation capture services can be used to create content for online distribution. Instructional technology facilitation and eLearning assistance is available for Engineering faculty and instructors in identifying technologies, resources, services, and expertise to support their teaching and their students’ learning.
Technology Facilitators provide consulting and facilitation services in the areas of Instruction and Research. They are available to partner with individual faculty members and research teams to identify their IT and computing needs, advise, and help ensure those needs are met with the right technology solution whether it is offered by Engineering IT, elsewhere on campus, or beyond. If no suitable service exists, the Technology Facilitators can offer consultation on the purchase of computing hardware, software licensing, system security solutions, and more. Technology Facilitators work closely with the Instructional Services and Research Services teams, as well as Engineering IT’s enterprise-scale infrastructure specialists, with decades of combined experience in supporting a wide range of solutions with a goal of finding and implementing technologies that best suit the requirements of research or instructional projects.
Infrastructure builds and maintains Engineering IT’s on-premises large scale server and data storage services. This includes VMWare based virtual machine farms housed across three data centers used for instruction and by researchers. Infrastructure also plays a role in brokering amazon and other cloud based services.
User Services: Administrative Support
The Administrative Support Team provides The Grainger College of Engineering’s Administrative Staff and Faculty with IT consultation and support for University-owned desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. This includes ordering, configuring, troubleshooting, and maintaining computer hardware, software, and networks for the College.
Project Management Office (PMO)
The PMO staff could help by evaluating proposal content for sound project construction and quality of organization as well as clarity of meaning.
Mission Statement: Focus effort on initiatives that align with the academic mission of The Grainger College of Engineering.
Applications provide tools necessary to inform, record and improve efficiency for faculty, staff and students. We help academic, administration, facilities, financial and human resource areas bridge the gap between campus provided solutions and individual unit needs. Information on our most common applications can be found at http://it.engineering.illinois.edu/services/portal-applications-engineering.
A variety of Engineering stakeholders have expressed a desire to make more data-driven decisions and identified the need for better access to data and analysis to support those decisions. This increasingly urgent need is simultaneously expressed across many functional areas including the dean’s office, advancement, finance, undergraduate programs, and individual departments around the College. All stakeholders need a responsive and flexible source for expert knowledge of University data and the analytical skills to convert that data to relevant, digestible information they can use in making decisions.
In response to this growing need, Engineering IT has implemented a new analytics division on February 16, 2020. The information services division will be consumed by this new division and will be available to staff within The Grainger College of Engineering.
Data analytics will be available with University data that is obtainable. The data analytics service is offered at the college level currently with some functionality available at the departmental level at a future date.
- Meet with stakeholders to determine needs and identify potential data sources
- Work with stakeholders to obtain access to data
- Analyze data
- Provide report(s) based on the data
- Provide visualization(s) based on the data
- Interpret data for trends or patterns
- Provide a historical record of the data
Additionally, the analytics team provides information pulled from various sources and compiles it into a readable format based on college requirements. Data compiled is reviewed with requestors which range from deans to administrative clerks to give them the information required to make better decisions. Examples include: ASEE and US News and World Report, DARS audit, End of Term processing, Budget and Resource Planning, Scholarship reporting and countless ad-hoc reports.
The IT Architect designs and maintains the overall systems and service delivery IT architecture for The Grainger College of Engineering. The IT Architect determines the best way to integrate IT resources at the college, campus, and cloud levels and facilitates service transitions and migrations. By employing a holistic approach that incorporates knowledge of trends in information technology with strategic plans, the IT Architect develops and adapts the long term service road maps of Engineering IT Shared Services and ensures that IT services continually meet the academic and research needs of the College.
Other Available Resources
Data Management Plans: https://www.library.illinois.edu/rds/
The Research Data Service (RDS) is a campus-wide program that provides the Illinois research community with the expertise, tools, and infrastructure necessary to manage and steward research data.
Document Repository: https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/
IDEALS, the Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship, collects, disseminates, and provides persistent and reliable access to the research and scholarship of faculty, staff, and students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Faculty, staff, and graduate students can deposit their research and scholarship—unpublished and, in many cases, published—directly into IDEALS. Departments can use IDEALS to distribute their working papers, technical reports, or other research material.
Data Publication: https://databank.illinois.edu/
The Illinois Data Bank's mission is to centralize, preserve, and provide persistent and reliable access to the research data created by affiliates of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, such as its faculty, academic staff, and graduate students.