Intersect News #81 June 2015

12 Jun 2015

New Services portfolio online

Intersect provides professionally developed and operated services for university members and the wider research community. Services are targeted at enhancing the capability (skills) and capacity (resources) of institutions, disciplines and research groups.

We’ve reorganised our service offering to make it easier to understand how you can engage with our team across three phases of the eResearch lifecycle: Planning Research, Conducting Research and Post-Research. For more, see

Launchpod builds your software in the cloud

Boeing X-37B inside payload fairing before launch, US Air Force

Launchpod is a tool developed by Intersect which allows anyone from an Australian research institution to quickly and easily deploy a virtual machine and run software for use in the cloud. Cloud computing means you don’t need to have expensive high-powered computing resources to run complex analytical software. Launchpod makes cloud computing even easier by taking care of the complex software management, letting you get on with using the tools for your research.

Launchpod works like a wizard: all you need to do is fill in some basic details, and it takes care of the technical details. So you can build a machine to run R Studio or MATLAB® in the cloud without having to download CentOS packages or install Apache. Best of all, Launchpod uses your personal NeCTAR Research Cloud allocation, meaning any Australian researcher can build a virtual machine for free.

Intersect already offers eight powerful applications that can be launched using Launchpod, and we plan to add more. As of now, you can build a machine to run Omeka, Diver, LimeSurvey, Matlab, Alveo, R Studio, the CSIRO Workspace or a Twitter scraper.

Click here for more information about how you can use Intersect’s Launchpod to deploy a virtual machine.

Intersect and the Ingham Institute working together

Image courtesy of A/Prof Daniel Catchpoole

Following two previous requirements-gathering projects for the Cancer Institute of NSW, Intersect is collaborating on two further projects.

Intersect is undertaking an in-depth case study outlining the challenges and successes in deployment of LabMatrix as a Biobanking Data Management tool at the Ingham Institute. The Ingham has established a Translational Cancer Research Unit (TCRU) focused on a collaborative approach to research and patient care in the area of cancer. This project is piloting, for the first time in Australia, an informatics solution for sample and data management of colorectal cancer specimens. If successful, this solution could become the standard for sample and data management throughout the Ingham Institute and potentially all of New South Wales.

We are also working with the Australian Breast Cancer Tissue Bank (ABCTB) to survey the biobanks of the Biobanking Stakeholder Network to discover the various protocols around research results and what systems they have in place. The BSN-funded project is running an instance of Limesurvey (provisioned using Launchpod) which hosts a survey created by the ABCTB. The aim is to establish a collaborative system for the management of research outputs generated by third parties from samples held in BSN biobanks. These research outputs, when associated with the core, original data could provide valuable additional biomedical context to the samples, and significantly enrich the information available to subsequent users of the biobanking resource.

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The University of Western Sydney is hosting DH2015, the international Digital Humanities conference in June-July 2015 and is keen to see a strong local presence. This is the first time the conference is being held outside of the EU/US, and demonstrates Australia’s growing maturity in the digital humanities.

Intersect’s work is represented in a range of workshops, presentations and posters. Drop by the Alveo booth to say hello.

Registration and accommodation bookings at

Intersect Training

The following training courses will occur in the near future:

– 17 Jun 2015: “Excel Fu: Excel For Researchers” at UWS. Sold out

– 30 June 2015: “Excel Fu” at Macquarie University. Sold out

– 2 July 2015: “Open Refine” at Macquarie University. Enrol now

– 6 July 2015: “Introduction to Unix for HPC” at UTS. Enrol now

– 7 July 2015: “Excel Fu” at Macquarie University. Sold out

For more information, see


New eResearch Analysts for UTS and Macquarie


During June you’ll see two new eResearch Analysts take their places. Jared Berghold (above left) will be Intersect’s eResearch Analyst based at the University of Technology, Sydney. Jared has worked as a business analyst with Intersect since 2010, is a graduate of UTS and has previously worked at UNSW and CiSRA. More on Jared here:

Aidan Wilson (above right) joined Intersect earlier this year as a data analyst with a background in linguistics. He is a graduate of the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne and previously worked at PARADISEC. More here:

Shaun Muscat and Tao Liu have joined Intersect as software engineers. Shaun is a graduate of Macquarie University and Tao is a graduate of UNSW.

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