Join the CIUK Student challenge

Are you interested in High Performance Computing (HPC) - and would you like to put your computer science learning into practice?

The 2023 Student Cluster Challenge run by Computing Insight UK (CIUK) is now open for registration. The competition is a great opportunity for you to work on a real-world challenge, get experience working with the tech industry and gain valuable new skills.

You’ll get to play around with different platforms and the latest HPC technologies. You may even get to experiment with building your own cluster!

Collaborating in a student team, you will work on hardware and software optimisation tasks set by leading digital and HPC solutions providers such as alcesflight, Boston and Logicalis.

The companies will guide you through each challenge, designed to let you put your skills into practice and widen your industry network.

Most of the competition will run online with 3-4 tasks being set every two weeks. The bi-weekly challenges are expected to take a few hours to complete and can be done alongside your full-time university studies.

Free CIUK Conference participation

The competition will culminate with a final set of challenges set at the Computing Insight UK 2023 Conference in Manchester on 7-8 December.

Free return travel to Manchester and accommodation during the 3-day CIUK Conference is provided for selected team members, who will also receive free entry to the conference.

In 2021, Team University of Bath/Bristol won the top spot in the student cluster challenge.

Speaking about their experience of taking part, Bath computer science students Joseph Dowling and Arnold Gomes said:

We had great fun participating in the challenge, and we got to work with a lot of exciting technology that we were previously unfamiliar with. Taking part in the competition allowed us to attend the CIUK conference in Manchester, where we met many folks from the industry. In just two days, we learned a lot about the HPC job market and how students can break into the industry.

Interested in taking part?

Please register your interest in joining one of our teams in case any students drop out.

Undergraduate students who have completed their first year and all graduate students can join the 2023 Student Cluster Challenge.

The competition is open to students from any discipline, and the tasks are designed so students with different levels of skills and knowledge can solve them.

Join our reserve list.

If you would like to know more about the competition, email, who will be happy to answer your questions.

Represent the UK at the ISC 2024

The CIUK cluster challenge is followed by the International Supercomputing (ISC 2024) Student Cluster Challenge in Hamburg 2024.

The winning team from the UK competition will go forward to compete with teams from across the globe at ISC’24.