After more than a decade of planning, alternative sites and lawsuits, Berkeley Lab opened its new center for computational science Thursday. The 149,000-square-foot Wang Hall houses the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), one of the world’s leading supercomputing facilities for open science, and the Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, or ESnet, the world’s fastest network dedicated to science.
“It’s a miracle that we sit here today for the opening,” said Berkeley Lab Deputy Director Horst Simon at the dedication ceremony. He recalled that he had discussed the building with former lab director Stephen Chu in 2003. “This building will really change computational science.”
In addition to NERSC and ESnet, Wang Hall hosts research programs in applied mathematics and computer science. Researchers from UC Berkeley will share space with Berkeley Lab’ Computational Research Division, working on computer science programs.
“It’s a unique academic ecosystem,” said UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks at the dedication ceremony. Work in Wang Hall will focus on climate change, energy research and astrophysics, along with other areas of science.