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Intersect News #87 May 2016

25 February 2016

Welcome to the autumnal edition of Intersect News as we bring you updates across your eResearch neighbourhood.

First and foremost, it is fantastic to be able to publicly share that La Trobe University officially joined Intersect Australia consortium this year as our second Victoria-based member. With a vibrant researcher community, La Trobe was ranked in the top ten universities in Australia in the latest ERA report. Researchers and Higher Degree Research students from La Trobe can now benefit from the full range of services provided by Intersect including supercomputing, software training and data storage. Dr. Ghulam Murtaza is our Digital Research Analyst now based at the Bundoora campus, and we're working closely with La Trobe CIO Peter Nikoletatos.

Also in this edition, we focus on University of Canberra and the close relationships eResearch Analyst Luc Small has developed with the UC Research team and researchers. Nationally, our team is busy building the new RDS Omics Data Services Platform with its partners for all -’omics’ datasets. We share a little more about OwnTime, our complementary compute cloud that is perfect for researchers whose needs have outgrown NeCTAR. Training continues to be hotly demanded, so we're adding more Software Carpentry courses, new Python programming courses and more.

Apart from these kinds of exciting technology services and products, the best thing about working with Intersect is its personal community of ideas and energy; we're all in for Australian research productivity. Right now we are keen to further leverage our capacity in research software engineering. So, if you have a project, we have the capability... and we'd love to hear from you. 

Best regards,
Marc Bailey

Create Space, warp Time, save Energy and action Data with Intersect Australia

12 May 2016

La Trobe University has announced it will use the full range of services provided by the eResearch consortium, Intersect Australia.  

These will include high performance computing (HPC) for advanced studies – especially in the fields of molecular modelling and computational chemistry – as well as software training and data storage.

Photo La Trobe University
08 May 2016

Dr Luc Small joined Intersect in May 2010, first as eResearch Analyst at the University of Technology Sydney before returning to his home town of Canberra to take up a similar role at the University of Canberra (UC).

Working closely with university colleagues, including the eResearch Committee, Luc is currently focused on provisioning research data storage to UC researchers. Researchers at UC can now choose between Intersect SpaceShuttle storage and a locally-based research cluster depending on the type of data being stored, the research workflow, collaboration needs, and proximity to required compute infrastructure. Luc is also coordinating the overall Intersect training program, focusing on meeting the changing eResearch training needs of all Intersect member organisations. 

07 May 2016

OwnTime, our private cloud computing service, is gaining momentum with researchers from UNSW, UTS and commercial customers now using OwnTime for compute-intensive applications. OwnTime provides access to large Virtual Machines (VM) configurations of up to 64 cores and 1000 GB RAM and can be accessed by any researcher, including for commercial research. VMs are charged on a fee-for-service basis. Technical specifications and pricing are available here. logo
07 May 2016

Intersect recently started working on the Research Data Services Food and Health Flagship: Omics Data Services Platform, in association with VicNode and QCIF. The work at Intersect is being led by Dr. Jeff Christiansen. The website is currently being developed at: logo
06 May 2016

Linking data is a structuring method being used by researchers and search service providers.  Researchers in diverse domains e.g. glycomics and linguistics use linked open data in tandem with computational methods, to share, annotate and publish their research data.  

Flickr - Reed Sturtevant Linked Data (Semantic Web) candies
05 May 2016

Researchers from the Geospatial Analysis for Environmental Change Lab (UNSW) led by Mirela Tulbure and Mark Broich recently released a new paper on mapping surface water and flooding dynamics over the Murray-Darling Basin using three decades of time series of satellite data.  Using Intersect Space storage and hpc.time, they mapped surface water and flooding dynamics (SWD) continuously through time (seasons and years over three decades)  in the Murray-Darling Basin, a large (>1 million km2) semi-arid basin that experienced extreme hydroclimatic variability and competing water demands. [Download the paper]

Tulbure Broich GAEC
05 May 2016

eResearch training courses have been ramping up with over 500 researchers trained by Intersect since the start of the year across campuses from our membership. Software carpentry courses have been especially in high demand, with a lot of interest from researchers who attended the recent intensive 2-day workshop delivered by our Software Carpentry accredited trainer eRA Jared Berghold. Intersect is pleased to announce that we now have more Software Carpentry accredited trainers, to help researchers and higher degree research students (HDRs). Check our training schedule. 

The University of Sydney OSA/SPIE Student Chapter
04 May 2016

As Dr Ghulam Murtaza (photo: Left) moves this month from being the eResearch Analyst at Australian Catholic University (ACU) to become the Digital Research Analyst at La Trobe University based at the Bundoora campus, Aidan Wilson (photo: Right) has been appointed eResearch Analyst for ACU to be based at the North Sydney campus. Please say hello when you meet our new eResearch Analysts.  

Photo Ghulam Murtaza (LTU) and Aidan Wilson (ACU)
03 May 2016

Join the next monthly Tech Talk on 'Digital Object Identifiers' organised by ANDS and hosted at Intersect, 309 Kent St, Sydney on Friday, 10 June 2016 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM with Gerry Ryder (ANDS), Anitha Kannan (Monash eResearch Centre), and others. Free event followed by drinks and informal networking. Register here. 

Tech talk DOI - ANDS Intersect
02 May 2016

The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) has launched a campaign to promote the real-life research data impact – and is looking for your stories.  The #dataimpact campaign aims to show the tangible benefits of research data, and how it benefits Australia. This could be, for example, helping protect native animal species, improving education outcomes or even saving lives. More at

Data impact logo