Intersect News #60 September 2013

19 Sep 2013

Big data, big impact award from Cancer Institute NSW

The inaugural Big Data Big Impact award has been presented to Dr Jason Wong, Dr Luke Hesson and Intersect’s Dr Joe Thurbon at the 2013 Premier’s Awards for Outstanding Cancer Research by NSW Chief Scientist Professor Mary O’Kane.

The successful team from UNSW and Intersect will work on a project entitled ‘Exploring the Dark Matter of Cancer Genomes’. Co-funded by the Cancer Institute NSW, the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist, the Office of Health and Medical Research and Dimension Data, the grant will support the analysis of publicly available datasets to unlock answers to frontier questions in cancer research.

As a partner on the grant Intersect will provide a data analysis pipeline, HPC facilities, research data storage, a mirror of the Cancer Genome Atlas, and the services of an HPC specialist and CI Dr Joe Thurbon.

Including Intersect in grant proposals

Intersect now has a checklist to assist researchers and research offices identify opportunities where our services will strengthen grant applications. The checklist is being distributed on campus by eResearch analysts and is available online at

Projects using Intersect services are eligible to count the operational costs as in-kind contributions.

Intersect in Centres of Excellence applications

In the latest round of applications, Intersect assisted with 5 ARC Centres of Excellence grant proposals. We have committed a significant amount of infrastructure, funded by NeCTAR, RDSI and ARC LIEF programs, as in-kind contributions to the Centres of Excellence. This is an example of infrastructure funds sourced by Intersect subsequently being leveraged for research funding bids. Intersect’s in-kind contributions cover infrastructure and development services such as HPC, HPC support, research data storage and software development services.

Best of luck to all applicants.

RDSI Status Update

The Intersect Node now has 42 collections approved by the Storage Allocation Committee for ingest, consisting of 1186 TB of data.  We are working with the data custodians on their technical requirements and data migration planning.

The cutoff date for the next round of applications is Monday 23rd September.

Intersect’s RDSI vendor Hitachi Data Systems and host Macquarie Telecom have kicked off the installation process, and the infrastructure is expected to be installed by the end of September.

Minister Carr launches NCI Climate HPC centre

The nation’s most powerful computer was officially launched on 31st July at the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) high performance computing centre at ANU.

Named after the Japanese god of thunder, lightning and storms, Raijin can perform the same number of calculations in one hour that would take seven billion people armed with calculators 20 years.

More at:…

Raijin in full rage

NCI’s Raijin has now been fully commissioned. NCI is still in the process of migrating software from the previous peak facility Vayu to RaijinVayu’s end of service is scheduled for 30 September.

Orange report card

The Intersect consortium’s Orange HPC facility has now undertaken 300,000 jobs since becoming operational in March 2013. Orange has seen only 21 hours in downtime, with utilisation at 90 per cent of available nodes.

Intersect mobile app LEASA launched nationally

The Intersect developed RICS LEASA App was launched in Sydney, kicking off a national roadshow. Nick Hudson demonstrated key features to a packed house, pointing to potential energy savings over a 5 year lease.

A mobile app developed by Intersect enables commercial tenants to estimate energy costs before committing to a lease. ‘LEASA’ was developed by Intersect for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and funded by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency to assist in energy management for commercial tenants. The app allows tenants to estimate and compare energy costs on tenancies and is aimed at SME businesses.

You can download the RICS Leasa App from

More at


The following Intersect training courses will occur in September:

– 5 Sep: Data Visualisation with Google Fusion Tables at Uni of Newcastle. Register at

– 6 Sep: ANDS/Intersect Research Data Management Roundtable: #5 Vocabularies – Technical at Intersect. For information/ registration:

– 17 Sep: Cleaning & Exploring your data with Open Refine at UNSW. Register at

– 18 Sep: Data visualisation using Google Fusion tables at Intersect, register at

– 18 Sep: Cleaning and Exploring your Data with Open Refine at Intersect, register at

– 23-24 Sep: Introduction to Unix for HPC, University of Canberra. Register at

– 25 Sep: Parallel Programming (Advanced) for UTS, at Intersect. Register at

For more information, see

L & D Brochure

Intersect is expanding its learning and development program, introducing new courses and extending the delivery across the membership. A brochure on Intersect’s current L & D offerings can be dowloaded here

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