Center for Hybrid Rocket Exascale Simulation Technology (CHREST) logo.

Published June 3, 2023

CHREST: Center for Hybrid Rocket Exascale Simulation Technology


CHREST aims to advance space exploration through interdisciplinary research that will improve the operation of hybrid rocket motors and enable the next generation of low-cost space flight. By bringing together faculty and students in engineering, computer science and mathematics, and industry and government partners, CHREST will leverage UB's expertise in both exascale computing and machine learning to better describe turbulent reacting flows. These flows are critical to the combustion environment needed to operate next-generation hybrid rocket motors.

CHREST is funded by a $8.5 million dollar grant awarded from the U.S. Department of Energy. The award was one of nine new Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program III Centers selected by the energy department’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to support science-based modeling and simulation and exascale computing technologies. These nine centers are be funded by NNSA’s Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program, which engages the U.S. academic community in advancing science-based modeling and simulation technologies.

CCR will play a significant role in the project.  All of the faculty involved in the project are CCR users.  The CHREST leadership team includes Professor Paul DesJardin (who serves as director of CHREST) and Associate Professor James Chen, both of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Varun Chandola and Matthew Knepley, both associate professors in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering; Mark Swihart, UB Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE); Matthew Jones, interim director and lead computational scientist at UB’s Center for Computational Research; Abani Patra, Stern Family Professor of Computer Science at Tufts University.  Rubik Asatrayn of the Department of CBE will serve as Professor of Research for the program.  Dr. Letiia Thomas, Associate Dean for Diversity of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will serve as the Director of Diversity of CHREST.  This unique position will serve to support and prepare underrepresented students with hands-on research experiences.