The NeCTAR funded Theoretical Astrophysical Observatory (TAO) empowers astronomers to build complex customised views of the Universe, all from the comfort of their own computer. Swinburne Associate Professor Darren Croton, said: “TAO makes it easy and efficient for any astronomer to create these virtual universes. It's the culmination of years of effort that is now at the fingertips of scientists around the world... using TAO it might take a few minutes to create a mock catalogue of galaxies, versus months or even years of development previously.”
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NeCTAR Project Board Members
Doctor Kate Auty (New Chair)
Dr Auty has worked in a variety of complex sectors, including as a senior lawyer for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia and as a senior magistrate in Victoria and Western Australia. She has been the Chair of the Victorian Ministerial Reference Council on Climate Change Adaptation. Dr Auty is currently a board member of the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network and this experience gives her considerable insight into the NeCTAR Project's challenges of working across geographic and disciplinary boundaries to build and deliver high value and effective infrastructure. We believe that this exposure to diverse research community needs and her recognition of the transformative potential of technologies, such as are being delivered in the NeCTAR and AURIN projects, blended with her extensive non-university experience, will lead to a highly effective contribution in the role.
Doctor Graham Mitchell AO (Former Chair)
Graham Mitchell is recognised as one of Australia’s leading biological scientists. He is an author of more than 350 publications, has received numerous awards for scientific achievements and, in 1993, was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia for services to science. He is a non-executive director of several companies and has been involved with the World Health Organisation for many years.
Mitchell is an advisor on innovation to the Victorian Government. In another government role the Principals of Foursight (Mitchell, Nossal, Stocker and Penington) jointly act as Chief Scientist for the Departments of Primary Industries (DPI) and Sustainability and Environment (DSE).
Professor Andrew Cheetham (Deputy Chair)
Professor Cheetham is currently PVC (Research) at the University of Western Sydney. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He has published over 60 refereed articles and presented over 90 conference papers in the fields of: plasma and fusion physics, computer controlled instrumentation and data analysis.
Professor Cheetham is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and on the boards of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute and the Australian Institute for Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE).
Professor Paul Arthur
Paul Arthur is Professor of Digital Humanities at the University of Western Sydney, where he leads the UWS Digital Humanities Research Group. He was previously Deputy Director of the ANU Centre for European Studies, a joint-funded special initiative of the European Commission and the Australian National University. From 2010-13 he was Deputy Director of the National Centre of Biography, ANU, and Deputy General Editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he has over fifty publications in fields of history, literature, communication and cultural studies, and has held fellowships in Australia, Europe and North America. Paul Arthur is inaugural President of the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities, and a member of the steering committee of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations and the executive council of centerNet, the international network of digital humanities centres. He also serves on the executive committee of the International Auto/Biography Association and the advisory board of the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres.
Professor G. Q. Max Lu
Professor Lu is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President (Research) at the University of Queensland (UQ). He has held positions from senior lecturer to Professor at UQ since 1994. In 2003, he was awarded his first Australian Research Council (ARC) Federation Fellowship, and awarded his second in 2008. His expertise is nanomaterials for clean energy and environmental technologies. He is the Inaugural Director for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Functional Nanomaterials.
With over 450 journal publications and 20 patents, Professor Lu is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher in materials science with over 11,000 citations. He is currently a Director of Australian Synchrotron, National Centre of Excellence for Desalination, Research Data Storage Infrastructure, and BaoSteel Australia Joint R&D Centre. He is member of the management board for Australian Nanotechnology Network and has a ministerial appointment with National Enabling Technologies Strategy (NETS). Professor Lu is a Fellow and former Director of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), and former Director of Uniseed Pty Ltd.
Professor Robyn A Owens
Professor Robyn Owens is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at The University of Western Australia. She worked at l'Université de Paris-Sud, Orsay, continuing research in mathematical analysis before returning to UWA to work as a research mathematician.
She has lectured in Mathematics and Computer Science at UWA, and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Berkeley. Her research has focussed on computer vision, including feature detection in images, 3D shape measurement, image understanding, and representation. She is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and a winner of the UK Rank Prize
Robyn is currently on the Advisory Councils of the Australian Research Council and the Australian Astronomy Observatory.
Doctor Roger Proctor
Roger Proctor holds a PhD in numerical modelling of marine systems. He is the Director of the eMarine Information Infrastructure facility of the Australian Integrated Marine Observing System, a position he has held since June 2008. He also acts as the Director of the Australian Ocean Data Network, since July 2010.
Prior to 2008 he had a career as an environmental research scientist and worked in the UK for the Natural Environment Research Council. As Senior Coastal Oceanographer at Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory (now National Oceanography Centre) in Liverpool, UK, his most recent positions included leader of the research programme 'Modelling and Observation systems for coastal seas', and leader of the NERC Oceans 2025 Themes on 'Science for Sustainable Marine Resources' and 'Integration of sustained Observations in the Marine Environment'. He has authored more than 70 peer reviewed publications.
Mister Paul Sherlock
Paul is currently the Director of Information Strategy and Technology Services at UniSA. Prior to joining the University, Paul held senior ICT management roles at the Defence Science & Technology Organisation (Adelaide) and BHP Billiton (Whyalla)
Paul has formal qualifications in Engineering (Electrical), Computing, Business (MBA), and Finance. He is a chartered professional member of the Institution of Engineers and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Paul is currently the President of the Council of Australian University Directors of IT (CAUDIT), President of the Australian Access Federation (AAF) and Chair of SABRENet Ltd. Paul is also actively involved in a number of the Federal Government’s Super Science Initiatives including the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), and the National Research Network project.
Professor Liz Sonenberg
Professor Liz Sonenberg is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Collaboration) at the University of Melbourne. She is also currently Professor and Head of the Department of Information Systems in the Faculty of Science, and previously has held the position of Dean of the Faculty of Science.
Professor Sonenberg's research expertise is in computational science. The integrating theme of her research is the conceptualisation and construction of adaptive, distributed, intelligent information systems. Professor Sonenberg has considerable experience in facilitating and engaging in collaborative research, including links with various industry partners and research engagement with colleagues in Psychology, Computer Science, Education, and Medicine, and with colleagues internationally.
Professor John A. Taylor
Professor Taylor is currently CSIRO Director of eResearch & Computational and Simulation Sciences. He has written more than 140 articles and books on computational and simulation science, climate change, global biogeochemical cycles, air quality and environmental policy, from the local to the global scale, spanning science, impacts and environmental policy. John Taylor’s research has been widely cited and attracted significant media attention. Professor Taylor has worked as a Computational Scientist and group leader both at the Mathematics and Computer Science Division, Argonne National Laboratory and at the Atmospheric Science Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. John was Senior Fellow in the Computation Institute at the University of Chicago and has served on Advisory Panels for the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the US National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. John is a Fellow of the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand.