CHPC Student Cluster Competition students win big with Dell

It was an auspicious occasion in Midrand this recently, when Dell Computing rewarded the Student Cluster Competition winning team for the hard work they displayed at the CHPC’s National Conference in December 2023.

University of the Witwatersrand’s Reinhard Janse van Buren, Lily de Melo, Michell Nielson, and Mikyle Singh all received Dell Latitude 3540 laptops to the value of about R26,000 each. The four, together with Ithumeleng Khaka and Nhlonipho Shezi both from the University of the Free State, make the team that will represent South Africa at the internal round of the competition in Hamburg, Germany, in June this year.

Mohammed Amin, Dell Senior Vice President for META Region, travelled from Dubai to wish the students well in the competition. He further emphasised Dell’s commitment in supporting the Students Cluster Challenge.

“Dell shares in the CHPC vision of developing the next generation of high-performance computing talent for South Africa and the Student Cluster Competition is one such vehicle that prepares all the participating students for the more highly skilled jobs of the future,” said CHPC Director: Mervyn Christoffels.

Dell Computing is the technology partner of the CHPC Student Cluster Competition and provides the computer equipment the CHPC teams use in the competition. The generous support also includes an international trip to the Texas Advanced Computing Center and the Dell Labs in Texas, United States where the team of six will receive training and mentoring from some of the best technologists in the world. The team departs for Austin, Texas on 2 February.


The CHPC, annually hosts a training program for undergraduate students currently enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields at South African universities, where they spend an intensive week during the winter vacation period receiving training in aspects of high-performance computing. Students are provided with remote computing resources, hosted at the Advanced Computer Engineering Laboratory of the CHPC in Cape Town.

From the candidates that participate in this first preliminary round, ten qualifying teams, comprising of four student participants and one mentor, then participate at the centre’s national conference, with high performance computer equipment sponsored and provided for by the centre’s various vendors and sponsors. The team that wins this secondary round is then sponsored and supported to travel to Austin, Texas, in the United States of America to train at the University of Texas’s, Texas Advanced Computing Center and the headquarters of Dell Labs. Following this they travel to the International Super Computing Conference to participate at the International Student Cluster Competition in Germany against competitors from all around the world.