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Featured Speaker: Professor Paul Bonnington – Institutional environments for data-centric research – co-designing the digital microscopes for 21st century discovery


Research data continues to grow exponentially, and more disciplines are increasing the development, and use of, modern domain-specific techniques centered around advances in computing and IT. Furthermore, new digital instrumentation is generating research data at a capacity that is exceeding the data processing capabilities within the local laboratory, and research groups are engaging more new data sources from outside of the institution and from other disciplines. All of this creates an increasingly complex, and ambiguous landscape within any organization.

As always, there is the need maintain an agile adaptable IT environment that can build the next ‘digital microscope’ of a pioneering research group. However, now more than ever, the institution-wide infrastructure and IT services for research is being ‘co-designed’ and ‘co-created’. It is a partnership between researchers and technologists/service providers. The relationship between the service provider and ‘customer’ (i.e. researcher) is changing to such a degree that the boundaries of responsibilities and ownership are becoming blurred and ambiguous.

We describe how Monash University is enabling and accelerating 21st Century Discovery through the application of advanced computing, data informatics, tools and infrastructure, built with this “co-design” principle (researcher + technologist). In this talk, we will discuss the emerging technological trends of most relevance, including hybrid-cloud infrastructure (a mixture of local high performance infrastructure, public-funded and commercial cloud) machine learning/AI, big-data visualisation, software-defined networking, and the next generation of scientific instruments and sensors.