August 2016 national eResearch newsletter

Welcome to the August 2016 national eResearch newsletter!


AeRO expands to New Zealand!
AeRO is delighted to welcome our latest associate member, the University of Auckland’s Centre for eResearch.

This is made additionally special by being AeRO’s first member from New Zealand, and AeRO’s first institutional eResearch group member.

The Centre was established in 2009, to provide researchers with high-performance and cloud-computing, visualisation, data analysis and publishing services, and hosts the Auckland site of the New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI).

Joining AeRO acknowledges the benefits of closely partnering with other eResearch organisations across Australasia, to network with their peers, to help develop a more internationally coordinated and integrated portfolio of services for their researchers, and to collaborate with the sector to strengthen their capabilities and grow their capacity.

Read more at:

Dr Markus Buchhorn, AeRO CEO

Have Your Say on the Future of Australia’s Research Infrastructure.
The Australian public has until 9 September 2016 to have their say on the future direction of the federal government’s research infrastructure priorities.

Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel, opened the call for submissions on 20 July 2016 with the release of the National Research Infrastructure Capability Issues Paper at

The issues paper is a key step in the development of the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, which will guide future government investment.  The Roadmap is due to be released by the end of the year.

September Monthly Tech Talk 2-Sep-16.
The Monthly Tech Talk is an initiative of ANDS, Nectar, QCIF, Intersect, VicNode, eRSA and Pawsey. Following the success of August event, September Tech Talk topic will be:  Big Data Related Analysis Tools (3pm-4pm, 2 September AEST).  We will have three experts to share their experience:

  • Massimo Lamanna (CERN)
  • Stuart Minchin (Geoscience Australia)
  • Anthony Truskinger (Queensland University of Technology)

You can join September Tech Talk from various locations around Australia.  Find out more information and register at:

Lustre User Group 7-8 September 2016 in Canberra.
NCI is pleased to host the 2016 Lustre User Group, a dynamic two-day workshop which will explore improvements in the performance and flexibility of the Lustre file system for supporting diverse workloads.  This will be a great opportunity for the Lustre community to discuss the challenges associated with enhancing Lustre for diverse applications, the technological advances necessary, and the associated ecosystem.  LUG16 is supported by Cray, DDN SGI, Dell, Intel and Lenovo.

Details at

International Data Week 11-17 September 2016.
Join colleagues from around the world for International Data Week, which is the historic co-location of three critical data communities – the International Data Forum, CODATA, and the Research Data Alliance (8th Plenary Meeting) will all be meeting in Denver, CO, USA from September 11 – 17.

Check out the latest updates on the website (

  • RDA’s 8th Plenary Program, with details on breakout sessions, plenary talks and panel discussions;
  • The Agenda for the International Data Forum, which features an impressive international cohort of keynote speakers and panellists;
  • The SciDataCon 2016 program (Advancing the Frontiers of Data in Research) includes information on tracks and presentations;
  • Our newest sponsors, including Purdue University Libraries and the Sloan Foundation!

The IDW room block at the Sheraton Denver Downtown ends on August 26, so act soon to guarantee your lodging.

International Conference: Law and Courts in an Online World, 8 & 9 November 2016, Melbourne.
The Sir Zelman Cowen Centre’s international conference, Law and Courts in an Online World will bring the legal sector together to explore the ways in which disruptive change and emerging business models are reshaping law and legal institutions, and how we can improve access to ‘justice for all’ via technology.

International keynote speakers include: Jim McMillan (USA), Judge Dory Reiling (Amsterdam), Shannon Salter (Vancouver), and Colin Rule (Silicon Valley), as well as thought leaders from Africa and the UK via telepresence.

Further details of the Conference, including the Call for Papers process (closing date 31 August) are available via the conference website at

Register by 31 August to receive the early bird rate.

NCI’s Supercomputing and Data Storage Capacity Boosted by $14M.
NCI has received a $7M investment from the Australian Government, matched dollar-for-dollar by the NCI Collaborating partners.

The funding will ensure the ongoing delivery of NCI’s supercomputing services to more than 4,000 researchers in more than 80% of Australian universities, together with government science agencies, medical research institutes, and industry, and will pave the way for the next-generation peak system.

Further details at

A View from the Belgian ELIXIR Node from EMBL-ABR.
EMBL-ABR’s interview series extended to Belgium in July with Frederik Coppens, Bioinformatician and Technical Officer, Belgian ELIXIR Node, taking questions on the current data challenges facing life science and medical researchers – see

His role in ELIXIR will sound familiar to the AeRO community as he describes it as “trying to have all these different initiatives talk to each other: not only the people, but also the computers.  To make them interoperable so that you can efficiently re-use things.”  Frederik’s engagement with ELIXIR is driven by the practical need to find ways for researchers to share methods used to work diverse and complex datasets so they can continue to develop their skills and do quality science.

The full interview can be seen at

New Classes of Optical Devices being Developed.
Discoveries in nanotechnology are leading to new classes of optical devices, so-called optoelectronic devices, being developed. Professor Chennupati Jagadish from The Australian National University is using NCI’s supercomputer to develop nanowires that can be used in next-generation lasers and solar cells.

For the full story, see

60 Years of Computing in Victoria.
A week of celebration events was coordinated by University of Melbourne, Museum Victoria, Australian Computer Society and the Pearcey Foundation over 13-17 June, to commemorate the anniversary of the relocation of CSIRAC to Melbourne in 1966.  Details at

An article on CSIRAC, containing archival video footage of Dr Trevor Pearcey and the machine, can be viewed at

2016 Australian Climate and Water Summer Institute: Call for Applications.
Applications are being sought for a competitive fellowship grant for students and early-career postdoctoral researchers to participate in the 2016 Australian Climate and Water Summer Institute.
This prestigious event offers up to 14 of the best students in Australia a unique opportunity to work closely with peers and experts from academia and government agencies to enhance climate and water information and its practical applications.  Successful applicants will have affinity with climate and water issues but can be from any relevant technical background.  The Summer Institute is organised by a consortium of government and research organisations and will take place in Canberra from 5 December 2016 until 20 January 2017, with a Christmas break from 23 December 2016 – January 2 inclusive.

For more information visit the OzEWEX web site at  Applications close on 18-Sep-16.

Office of Scholarly Communication “Unlocking Research” Blog.
The Office of Scholarly Communication has published a series of blogs “Unlocking Research” around the concept of Open Research at

Related items are:

In addition a Discussion Paper based on PhD research into peer review “The Peer Review Paradox: An Australian case study” is available in Apollo –

eResearch Australasia Conference 2016 Registration Open.
Registrations are now open for the eResearch Australasia Conference 2016, taking place from 10 – 14 October, at the Pullman Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia.

The conference aims to provide a catalyst for innovation and collaboration by bringing together researchers, practitioners, and educators from diverse disciplines in the sector as well as a forum to support the development, enhancement, and harmonisation of international, national, regional and discipline-specific eResearch infrastructures and services.

The main conference programme and the workshop programme are now both live.

This year’s sponsorship levels have been updated and improved to provide a much wider variety of choices for potential participants.  As a result, sponsorship is selling fast, so please act now to secure your place.

More information about the conference can be found at

Or contact the conference organisers at Conference Design or or +61 3 6231 2999.

THETA 2017 Call now Open.
The call for submissions for THETA 2017 is now open –

The theme for the 2017 conference is ‘Connecting Minds. Creating the Future’.  Submissions which reflect this theme are invited in the following areas:

  • Digital Transformation
  • The Research Ecosystem
  • The Next Generation Library
  • Strategic Leadership
  • People, Culture and Capability
  • Innovation in Learning and Teaching
  • Technology Innovation and Service Management

This is a great opportunity to get your work in front of a wide variety of peers across information technology, library and teaching & learning professions.  THETA 2017 is run under the direction of CAUDIT, CAUL and ACODE and co-hosted by the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology.  The conference will be held in Auckland, NZ, 7-10 May 2017.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 15th November 2016.  Hope to see yours there!

Big Data Challenges Flagged at Digital Humanities Australasia.
Digital humanities research is an emerging field, and with many of the nation’s galleries, libraries and museums (GLAMs) now connected to the AARNet research network infrastructure, along with the universities, there are huge opportunities for collaboration between the humanities research and cultural collecting communities that previously did not exist.  At the Digital Humanities Australasia conference held in Hobart recently, representatives from the GLAM sector participated in a lively panel discussion, convened by AARNet, that examined a range of current issues around digital tools and resources and access to data for research purposes.

The panel discussion proved most useful for bringing the issues to light and kick-starting the process of finding new ways to work together.


The Power of eResearch Computing Services.
QCIF has recently published two case studies demonstrating the effectiveness of eResearch computing services in nationally significant research projects.

One story, about the Australian Wine Research Institute’s work with Canada’s University of British Columbia to create a de novo reference genome for Chardonnay, shows how national cloud computing services can save research institutions time and money as well as provide significant number-crunching power.  Australia’s wine industry is very important to the nation’s economic health, and Chardonnay grapes represent 18 per cent of all grape plantings in the country (See

The other story is about a collaboration between TERN, the University of Queensland’s Research Computing Centre and QCIF to develop a portal for reproducing ecological scientific workflows and results.  Reproducibility of research results has long been a hot topic amongst scientists, and this project is a step towards easier reproducibility.  See

The Internet of Beings:  Or, What are the Animals Telling Us?
An audience packed out both video-connected seminar rooms at Monash University and The University of Queensland’s Research Computing Centre on Friday, 5 August to hear anthropologist and Intel Senior Fellow Dr Genevieve Bell speak on her topic of: The Internet of Beings: Or, what are the animals telling us?

In this fascinating seminar (attendees said “marvelous”, “great insights”), Dr Bell discussed what has resulted from animal tracking and what lessons can be learnt from this for humans when looking at The Internet of Things.

View the video of the seminar here:

Note: This Newsletter is based on contributions provided by members of the eResearch community, and also draws on the many news articles and newsletters published across our sector. The Newsletter will be published monthly, on about the 16th of each month. Please send any contributions (no more than 150 words, plus a link) or pointers to any other relevant articles or newsletters to Archives of these Newsletters are held at
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