Sci+Tech in the City

Sci+Tech in the City

Co-presented by CSIRO Data61, CSIRO Alumni, Risklab Australia and the Australian Society of Operations Research

Unfortunately due to travel and public gathering precautions associated with COVID-19, we have suspended STITC events until further notice.

We are presently setting-up for a video podcast version of STITC… watch this space!

We had curated a great year of events, and hope to bring to you some of “what would have been” over the web, starting in June 2020.


Sci+Tech in the City is a series of short talks hosted by CSIRO Data61 in Melbourne, held regularly on Thursday evening from 4:30pm until around 6pm. At least three speakers, and sometimes more, will present on selected topics within a theme. Talks range from innovation stories, to showcases of science, to demonstrations of technology. Join us for any, some, or all of the evening sessions over the series. Network over finger food and drinks with experts and colleagues from industry, government and the research community at our usual location of Data 61’s Demonstration Lab at 710 Collins Street, a short walk from Southern Cross Station. (But beware that sometimes we run in a bigger venue! Check here or on your Eventbrite receipt.)


Data61’s Demonstration Space is in an easy-to-reach location. We have space for around 40 attendees each week. This means that registration is essential. This is quick and easy to do: see our EventBrite registration page.

Although registration is free, attendees are encouraged to make a donation on the day to the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s David Sier Fellowship, which is named in honour of Operations Research and analytics pioneer David Sier. David, a founding member of CSIRO’s OR Group in 1993, worked tirelessly in BSL’s Brain Bank until his passing in 2016. The generous contributions from Sci+Tech in the City attendees have provided basic everyday wishes like driving lessons, book-keeping and MYOB skills for BSL recipients. “We are preparing to award another round of grant recipients from David Sier’s Fellowship, which has been expanded this year due to your efforts at the CSIRO in raising funds.”

Sci+Tech in the City – 2020

Week One – 05 March 2020 – DIGITAL TWINS

Data61 Demo Room, 710 Collins St, Docklands

The topic for our first event of the new decade is DIGITAL TWINS. The digital twin notion means different things to different people, and our aim at this STITC is to get some interesting and maybe contrasting perspectives on what digital twins are, and how they can actually be very useful. Our speakers are Kriston Symons (ARUP), Lachlan Hetherton and Marie Truelove (Data61) and Kate Williams (DELWP). Kriston and Kate will focus primarily on the built environment, Lachlan on industrial processes and equipment, and Marie will talk about digital twins in a somewhat more general way. As is customary at STITC, we will open the doors at 4.30pm, finger food and drinks will be put on by Data61, and our speakers will keep us interested until around 6.15pm.

Week Two – 19 March 2020 – SECURITY and PRIVACY

This week we focus on SECURITY and PRIVACY. We welcome A/Prof Hyoungshick Kim (Data61 visiting professor from Sungkyunkwan University, South Korea) whose expertise is in security engineering, usable security and software security; Dr Nalin Asanka Gamagedara Arachchilage (Latrobe University) who currently leads the Usable Security Engineering Research Laboratory (USERLab) in the Optus La Trobe Cyber Security Research Hub; and Jongkil (Jay) Jeong (Cybersecurity CRC), who will speak about the importance of perceived attitudes towards security and privacy.

Upcoming events


30 April 2020 – NEW ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES … co-hosted with CSIRO Alumni






30 July 2020 – SPACE … co-hosted with CSIRO Alumni



10 September 2020 – SCIENCE OF THE FUTURE … co-hosted with CSIRO Alumni

8 October 2020 – SPORTS SCIENCE


12 November 2020 – FOOD AND BIOSECURITY … co-hosted with CSIRO Alumni


Sci+Tech in the City – Series Seven – Late 2019

Week One – 31 October 2019 – OPTIMISATION & DATA SCIENCE

Data61 Demonstration Room, 710 Collins St

This week our focus is on optimisation and the data science that supports it, with speakers Philip Kilby (Data61, Canberra), Hamideh Anjomshoa (IBM and U. Melbourne) and Simon Dunstall (Data61, Docklands). All three speakers will be describing applied Operations Research work undertaken here in Australia and/or overseas. Hamideh will talk about optimal elective surgery planning by optimisation and machine learning techniques, Simon will discuss OR and data science applied to forest firefighting, while Phil’s imaginative title for his talk is Death of a Salesman – How a Combinatorial Explosion can Kill a Travelling Salesman, and what this means is that he is talking about vehicle routing from both mathematical and applied points of view.

Week Two – 14 November 2019 – HEALTH, FOOD AND HUMAN BIOLOGY … joint with CSIRO Alumni

PLEASE NOTE: This event will be held at Travelodge Hotel Docklands, 66 Aurora Lane, Docklands 3008

In this special edition of STITC, our focus is on food and the human digestive system. Our speakers are Matt Sinnott (Data61, Docklands) and Amy Logan (CSIRO Ag & Food, Werribee), and together they will present on:

  • Towards a computational model of the entire Gastro-Intestinal tract, for improved diet and health
  • Research into the influence of food structure on digestibility
  • Methods for replicate digestion in-vitro
  • Modulating food texture and structure in Food 3D printing
  • Designing new and improved foods with science

Much of this is brand-new science that is being pursued as a key part of CSIRO’s Active Integrated Matter (AIM) Future Science Platform. In keeping with the theme, after the presentation we will host networking with finger food and drinks at our Data 61 Docklands site – a 2 minute walk from the Travelodge at CSIRO, Door 34, Goods Shed North, Village Street, Docklands 3008

Week Three – 28 November 2019 – SENSING, IoT AND ANALYTICS … the last STITC for 2019

Data61 Demonstration Room, 710 Collins St, 4.30pm

Our final Sci+Tech in the City for 2019 comprises:

  • Nikhil Garg (Data61, Docklands) discussing the models-as-sensors concept and its application in sensing urban heat effects, air quality and pollution, and human activity in cities;
  • Andrew Walsh (Ind.T) on Early Fault Detection on electrical powerlines using advanced sensing techniques and AI, for catching electrical faults before they happen and averting system outages and bushfires;
  • a presentation about SENAPS, which is a system that has been developed by a Tasmanian-based CSIRO team and is being used in many field sensing and edge analytics applications by CSIRO, including water irrigation management and aquaculture systems monitoring;

With hot weather, air quality, bushfires and powerlines all (unfortunately) being very topical at the moment, we expect a well-attended event to finish off the year.

Sci+Tech in the City – Series Six – Mid 2019

In this series, to better manage our attendance levels, we will not be opening registrations until the Thursday morning two weeks before the event takes place. Our emails and invitations will list all confirmed future events, however.

Week One – 27 June 2019 – TRANSPORT AND CITIES

Data61 Demonstration Room, 710 Collins St

The topic at the first event in this sixth series of Sci+Tech in the City is Transport and Cities, and we focus on the role of analytics and optimisation in transport planning, innovation, and operations. The speakers this week are Fiona Calvert from Dept. Transport in Victorian Govt, on transport analytics in practice; Simona Mihaita from University of Technology Sydney, on transport research and applications particularly in NSW; and Arthur Maheo from Data61 Melbourne on demand-driven public transport and other interesting topics stemming from his recently-completed PhD.


Data61 Demonstration Room, 710 Collins St

Melbourne has a wealth of agencies, businesses and research institutions that are engaged in the stationary energy sector. This week at STITC, we hear from people in industry and in research who are active in informing and bringing about the energy systems of the future. We tap the expertise of Patricia Boyce (Seed Advisory) around hot topics in the industry such as spatial and demographic variation in retail energy price offers, and the system stability effects of mass-deployed distributed energy resources. Nicolas Langrene (Data61 Melbourne), one of Australia’s leading researchers looking at the combination of optimisation and real options techniques to address decision-making problems with severe uncertainty, will discuss applications of these techniques in energy systems operations management and planning (such as for planning renewables integration with the energy grid). Our third speaker is Jenny Hayward (CSIRO Energy, Newcastle) who will update us about CSIRO’s GenCost project as well as the Global and Local Learning Model (GALLM) which provides information on the future cost and uptake of alternative electricity generation and transport technologies globally and locally to 2050.

Week Three – 1 August 2019 – CITY DATA AND CITY SENSING

Data61 Demonstration Room, 710 Collins St

There are some big ideas in Melbourne around city data and city sensing. In this week’s STITC we hear from local and interstate experts in the acquisition, curation and analysis of data about our cities, whether this be from real-time sensor-based measurements, business activity, 3D mapping, or government administrative data. Karen O’Connor, who is Data61’s lead for Missions including the Cities Challenge, will open the batting this week with an overview of city challenges and how research and technology organisations in Australia can combine to address them, followed by Jane Hunter (Director of AURIN, University of Melbourne) and our third speaker Mahesh Prakash (Data61 Melbourne) on city-oriented sensing and analytics.

Week Four – 15 August 2019 – IMAGE AND VIDEO ANALYTICS – a joint STITC and CSIRO Alumni Event

This event will be held at Travelodge Hotel Docklands, 66 Aurora Lane, Docklands 3008

After the presentation we will host networking with finger food and drinks at our Data 61 Docklands site. The office is located a 2 minute walk from the Travelodge at CSIRO, Door 34, Goods Shed North, Village Street,Docklands 3008

Our topic is science-oriented developments in image and video analysis. Breaking with convention, we are 100% Data61 speakers this week — but of course they are all tasked as usual with being interesting and insightful. Our speakers are: Yang Chen (Data61 Docklands), discussing image processing in remote sensing; Simon Harrison (Data61 Clayton) on coupling real-time video analysis and biomechanical models in order to predict forces in the human body and detect dangerous situations; and Yulia Arzhaeva (Data61 Marsfield) who will present current research on automated detection of pneumoconiosis (a.k.a. “black lung”, a coal miners’ disease) from chest radiographs.


Data61 Demonstration Room, 710 Collins St

This week at Sci+Tech in the City, our focus is data science applied to understanding customers and markets. Given the topic, this is sure to be well attended. Our Speakers are Violetta Misiorek (Suncorp), Monica Barbu (AECOM) and Caron Chen (Data61). Violetta will discuss analytics about financial products and customers, Monica will focus more on technical services for industrial and business customers, and Caron will talk about developments in extracting skills descriptions and other info from text in job ads, and creating dashboards and maps of technical skills supply and demand across the country.


Sci+Tech in the City – Series Five – Early 2019

About our speakers and topics

Week One – 21 February 2019 – AUTOMATION and MACHINE VISION

In our first Sci+Tech in the City event for 2019, we have three speakers – Krystal de Napoli (Monash University), Ray Cohen (Data61 Melbourne) and Sisi Liang (Data61 Pullenvale) – who will cover sports action motion capture, self-actuating robot arms, retrofitting automation to agricutural machinery, and safe co-working with humans and robots.

Week Two – 07 March 2019 – ANALYTICS for the PUBLIC SECTOR

This is a rescheduled event from late 2018, when the Victorian election got in the way. Our focus at this Sci+Tech in the City is on data analytics and data science within, and with, the public sector. Yuriy Onyshchuk, (Energy Safe Victoria), Jessica Christiansen-Franks, (Neighbourlytics) together with Suneel Jethani (Department of Premier and Cabinet (Vic)) and a Data 61, BD Government Relations  speaker will cover the practicalities in setting up a data analytics capability within a state government agency; being a startup or micro-enterprise seeking to servicing the needs of the public sector; bringing leading-edge data technologies to public sector challenges; and data analytics at the policy level.

Week Three – 11 April 2019 – MEDTECH INNOVATION 

Please note: Revised starting time for this event is 5.00pm sharp! Event will be held at the Vic Innovation Hub, 710 Collins Street – Mezzanine level, Docklands. Please walk down the stairs or take lift to Stone & Chalk reception, Mezzanine level.

Dr Buzz Palmer (CEO, MedTech Actuator) and co-founder of MedTech’s Got Talent is a dynamic business leader with entrepreneurial success in medical and bio-technologies focused on next-generation technologies, creating and leading innovative commercial and technology solutions into new markets. Dr Vishaal Kishore (CSO & Deputy CEO, MedTech Actuator and Professor of Innovation & Public Policy, RMIT University) is an expert in health system innovation and transformation. Sabeen Shaikh (COO, MedTech Actuator) is a visionary and strategic business leader passionate about disruptive technologies and healthcare access to underserved populations. Caroline Gargett (NHMRC, The Ritchie Centre and Monash University) is world-renowned for her discovery of stem/progenitor cells in human endometrium. Her research findings are promising for the development of potential therapeutics. Mike Kuiper, (Data61 Docklands) will discuss  the workings of bio-molecular modelling.

Week Four – 02 May 2019 – SCIENTIFIC AI

Please note: this event will be at Travelodge Hotel Docklands, 66 Aurora Lane, Docklands, VIC 3008

In this week’s Sci+Tech in the City we look in a practical and hype-free way at the application of AI techniques to scientific discovery and the application of science to real-world innovation and problem-solving. For this, we’re tweaking the format slightly, joining with CSIRO Alumni, and running over an extended 4.30pm to 7pm timeslot.

Our speakers are Ryszard Kowalczyk, (Wipro Chair of Artificial Intelligence and Director of Swinburne Key Lab for Intelligent Software Systems), Cheng Soon Ong (from Data61’s Machine Learning Research Group and CSIRO’s new AI/ML Future Science Platform) and Dr Cecile Paris (Chief Scientist for Data61 and Group Leader of Knowledge Discovery and Management, Decision Sciences Research Programme). Ryszard will describe AI/ML activity at Swinburne and amongst its collaborators. Machine learning is often used to analyse large datasets in science and society, but Cheng Soon will describes a second (often forgotten) view: how can we use a machine learning predictor, that captures the knowledge we have, to decide what, where and when to measure? Cecile will give a quick overview of what AI means to Data61 and CSIRO, then describe the use of machine learning, statistics and language technologies to detect disease outbreaks and extreme events using social media and other real time data.

After the presentation we will host networking with finger food and drinks with experts and colleagues from industry, government and the research community inside Data61’s offices, a short walk from the Travelodge Hotel venue and Southern Cross Station.

Week Five – 23 May 2019 – MELBOURNE KNOWLEDGE WEEK

Sci+Tech in the City is again supporting Melbourne Knowledge Week by holding a hands-on (well, heads-on) virtual reality session from 1pm to 6pm in the Data61 Demo Room. With the latest virtual and augmented reality technologies bringing immersive 3D environments to life, explore the world in new ways with a trip to the CSIRO’s Data61 Demo Lab.

Experience the small things in life at the molecular scale as you explore the structure of proteins and DNA. See how scientists use these tools to better understand the living things around us and design new medicines. Immerse yourself in a world you’ve never seen before at the Data61 Demo Lab.


Series Four

About our speakers and topics from 26 July 2018 until 15 November 2018


The user’s experience of digital technology is of great importance whether we’re interested in helping people be productive, encouraging people to adopt new things, or educating and socially empowering people. At this week in Sci+Tech in the City, all of this matters, and our speakers bring experience in UX applied research (Xavier Ho, Data61 Docklands), engaging users around cybersecurity (Jacob Abbott, Indiana University), helping farmers engage in the complexity of Carbon Markets of the future (Cara Stitzlein, Data61 Hobart), and building virtual reality systems that enable people to experience phenomena such as Dementia (Andrew Vouliotis, Deakin University).

Week Two – 09 August 2018 – SPATIAL DATA (acquiring, wrestling and using it!)

Data about our cities, landscape, oceans, populations and infrastructure not only looks great when mapped, but increasingly drives exceptionally important decisions in the public and private sector. Getting hold of spatial data and preparing it for informative use is often far from easy: especially when data is difficult or expensive to acquire, or changes over time. Mahesh Prakash (Data61) will describe GeoStack technology (2018 winner at the Spatial Industry Awards) for “tiled” spatial data and show examples of its use for fire and flood impact analysis. Tony Wilson (Geomatic Technologies) has been involved in data sourcing, wrangling, cleansing and communication in a range of domains, including electricity sector, and will pass on learnings from his many years in a commercial spatial business. Veronica Quinless (CSIRO) will introduce the Array of Things city sensing system that is being brought to Australia from Argonne Labs in the USA, and may start to be deployed in test installations within the next few months, and Marie Truelove (Data61) will present on research into relating social media content to times and places where significant event such as crimes occur.


Leonid Churilov (University of Melbourne) and Vicky Mak (Deakin University) together with Rajiv Jayasena (from the Victorian contingent of the CSIRO Australian e-Health Research Centre, AEHRC) are today’s presenters. Between them, they will explore the role of analytics and optimisation in clinical and non-clinical applications in the health sector. Leonid is the 2016 recipient of the Ren Potts Medal, which awarded by the Australian Society for Operations Research for outstanding contributions to the field, and the value of rapid response to stroke events is one of his focus areas. Vicky has been involved in several applied research engagements in health over her career spanning almost two decades, and Rajiv heads up CSIRO’s data-and-digital health presence in Victoria.

Week Four – 06 September 2018 – THE DIGITAL HUMAN

Simulation modelling of the human body and its internal processes is a fascinating topic and there’s a wealth of applied research expertise across Melbourne. Sci+Tech in the City this week has four speakers covering sports performance, rehabilitation, food and digestion, and workplace safety: Kay Crossley (Latrobe University), Dan Billing (DST Group), Peter Lee (University of Melbourne) and Simon Harrison (Data61).

Week Five- 20 September 2018 – SOCIAL INSIGHTS USING DATA

This week we will hear from Michelle Gallaher (The Social Science), Victorian 2017 Telstra Business Woman of the Year, Jenny Zhang (RMIT University) and Claire Mason (Data 61, Fortitude Valley). They will share their experiences in the use of social media to understand and inform around health, automation and the future of work, as well as how successful people are in differentiating between real and fake news, and placing their trust in social media.

Week Six – 11 October 2018 – OPTIMISATION

On 11 October we return to the theme of optimisation, and put a spotlight on infrastructure, matching and decision support. Our speakers are Keith Joshi from Biarri Commercial Mathematics, an Australian success story in the use of optimisation and analytics to deliver delivery support and build strong businesses. From an energy systems and optimisation methods perspective, Semini Wijekoon (Monash University) will describe the development of national electricity grid planning systems, while at the other end of the energy systems spectrum Hansani Weeratunge (Melbourne University) will report on optimisation-based studies of solar-assisted geothermal systems for buildings. Emil Mittag (AI and ML Engineer at orchestrated.) will round out this edition of Sci+Tech in the City describing the fusion of ML and optimisation to solve commercially important decision problems.

Week Seven – 25 October 2018 – FIRE

The topic this week is fire, specifically bushfire. Our speakers are involved in fire prediction and fire spread modelling, fire preparedness and response, and fire risk assessment and mitigation. Our speakers are Rachel Bessell (Victorian CFA) who will talk about CFA’s approaches to understanding, predicting and responding to fire; Glenn Newnham (CSIRO Land & Water) will give an overview of work critically examining and building construction standards for bushfire protection and survivability; Will Swedosh (Data 61) will talk about the use of bushfire simulation and high performance computing as a key part of assessing fire risk for regions; and David Mercereau (ENEA Australia) will discuss using bushfire risk assessments to optimise asset management.

Week Eight – 01 November 2018 – MANUFACTURING & INDUSTRY 4.0

This week we are please to host talks and demos by Michael Edwards from Boeing Research and Technology (BR&T) Australia; Reza Hoseinnezhad (RMIT) who will talk on computer vision in manufacturing, Larry Quick (Resilient Futures) on disruption and change in manufacturing as well as our cities and economies more  generally, and Carolyn Huston (Data 61) on re-inventing manufacturing analytics for the AI age (a joint presentation with Nissan Casting).

Week Nine- 15 November 2018 – ANALYTICS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR – Postponed

Due to government care-taker mode, this event has been postponed till 2019. See you next year!

Last Mile Logistics Workshop – 6 December 2018 – a Sci+Tech in the City Special Event

Co-hosted with Georgia Tech (USA), ASOR, Data61 and the Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA).

Rydges Hotel, Parkville, 1.30-5.30pm, 6 December 2018

The last mile is a metaphor used to describe the movement of goods from a fulfilment centre to their final destination. In other words, the last mile is the last leg of your product’s trip before it arrives on your customer’s doorstep.” –

“… Although the name implies it is the final mile delivery, actual last mile delivery can range from a few blocks to 50 or 100 miles … Most often, last mile logistics involves the use of parcel or small package carriers to deliver products to consumers.” –

“… in our view, last mile logistics is about much more than delivery system technologies, and fleet, transport and pick optimisation. It is involves gaining customer-oriented insights into market opportunities, expectations, requirements and experiences; sensing and measuring how the system is operating; effectively managing across businesses of sometimes vastly varying sizes, capabilities and complexities; and where automation is involved, ensuring that technology and people work safely, securely and effectively together.“ – CSIRO Data61

This four-hour workshop has been crafted to inform and inspire professionals in transport, logistics, marketing and digitally-enabled commerce, as well as students and researcher in cyberphysical technologies, data analytics, AI and optimisation. It is a satellite event of the ASOR/DORS 2018 Conference.

The workshop’s keynote speaker is Hugh Donald Ratliff from Georgia Tech (USA). Don Ratliff is presently the Executive Director of the Georgia Tech Panama Logistics Innovation and Research Center, and a Partner at Supply Chain Ventures, LLC.

Registration and more information at Eventbrite .


Series Three

Week One – 12 April 2018 – CYBERSECURITY

Our speakers in this first Sci+Tech in the City for 2018 are Prof Asha Rao (RMIT), Surya Nepal (Data61 Sydney) and Prof L. Jean Camp (Indiana University), and in this installment we return to the topic of cybersecurity. Jean Camp is currently visiting Data61 in Melbourne and is a renowned researcher in the social and economic implications of technologies of security and privacy. Asha Rao will discuss education in cybersecurity risk, and Surya Nepal will present on the work of Data61’s Distributed Systems Security research group which he leads.


We’ve put together a diverse set of four speakers for this week, and at this stage have full confirmation from three. Professor Mark Wallace ( Monash University and Opturion) who will talk about life at the intersection of academia and commercial optimisation. Nicholas Davey (U. Melbourne) has been combining optimisation and real options techniques in his research, and will talk at Sci+Tech in the City about designing road routes and operating policies that keep animal populations somewhat safer than usual, while Dhirendra Singh (RMIT) will talk about keeping people safe from the progress of natural hazards (such as fires and flash floods) through modelling evacuation with Agent Based techniques. A fourth invited speaker that we hope to confirm will come from an international transport data business.

Melbourne Knowledge Week – 10 May 2018

Sci+Tech in the City is supporting Melbourne Knowledge Week by holding a hands-on (well, heads-on) virtual reality session from 1pm to 8pm in the Data61 Demo Room. Applications will include bushfires, metal 3D printing and biomolecular simulations. Mike Kuiper and Ken Aloysius from Data61 will be the chief demonstrators.


This week we are please to host talks and demos by Kim Marriott (Monash), Ulrich Engelke (Data61 Hobart) and Matt Bolger (Data61 Melbourne), on topics in the science and practice of data visualization, human-in-the-loop data discovery, and the use of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to immerse people in data-driven environments for training, insight and decision-making. We also hope to have a fourth guest that will build on one of our favourite talks from last year by Tanya Petrovich about Dementia Australia’s VR facility in Parkville.

Week Four – 31 May 2018 – ROBOTICS AND MATERIALS

Our four speakers this week are: Danielle Kennedy (CSIRO Manufacturing) who heads up the Active Integrated Matter (AIM) future science platform in CSIRO; Gary Delaney (Data61 Docklands) who will talk about a new kind of robot arm that is composed of granular materials rolling and locking against each other; Santiago Corujeira Gallo (Deakin University) who will speak about the Deakin-based mineAlloy training centre and about rapid alloy development; and Deidre Cleland (Data61 Docklands) on using high performance computing to simulate the properties of materials at the atomic and molecular scale.


Due to the emergent unavailability of key speakers for this week, we have postponed this installment of Sci+Tech in the City and will reschedule it for Q4 2018.


Please note we will be running with a revised starting time of 4.30pm for this week and the rest of winter. It gets cold and dark too early!

In the last Sci+Tech in the City for the financial year our theme is data-driven innovation, and we have SIX speakers who’ve been immersed in creating businesses, products and ecosystems around data and technology in Victoria. Our format will be a bit different this week, it will mix short talks and group Q&A. Each speaker’s innovation journeys and roles differ greatly, and so together they will paint a diverse picture of innovation, challenge and success. Tim Fist from Digital Agriculture Services will discuss his current and immediately-previous lives in successful medium-sized startups; Angela Stubbs (City of Kingston) will describe what it is like to start a journey as the customer for novel trade waste exchange solutions, yet end up as one of the key custodians and creative forces in the innovation itself; Ben Kloester (Data61 Melbourne) will talk about his innovation journey through industry and into a product management role in the science and tech organisation that is Data61; Andrew Terhorst (Data61 Hobart) will explain Open Innovation from a conceptual and practical point of view; Bronwen Clune (LaunchVic) will tell us about the role government-supported programs play in the innovation ecosystem; and we will welcome the return of Susie Jones (Cynch Security) who’ll update us on the journey of a micro-startup that is seeking to address the cybersecurity needs of Australian SMEs.

We also have arranged for startup craft brewers CoConspirators Brewing Co to supply some of the drinks and tell a bit of their story as well. It’ll be grand!


Sci+Tech in the City Series Two

About our speakers and topics in the current series in November 2017…

Week One – 9 November 2017 – INNOVATION WITH IoT

They say that soon there will be almost as many smart, chatty, connected, wireless devices in the world as there are eyes and ears across the whole of humanity. This is the so-called Internet of Things. Nico Adams from IMCRC will kick us off with an overview of what this can mean for manufacturing in Australia: how innovation in advanced and digital technologies will transform manufacturing business models, processes and services. Chanel Costabir from AusPost/Receva will describe the development and recent launch of the Receva Smart Mailbox which has won three Melbourne Design Awards and is a finalist in the Victorian Premier’s Design Awards. Smart Wearables as part of the great IoT universe will be the third topic, addressed by Data61 Sydney’s Sara Khalifa who recently wrote about wearables and energy harvesting in The way we walk can be used to power and secure our devices for The Conversation.

Week Two – 16 November 2017 – OPTIMISATION

Operations Research is the original Analytics science, and optimisation remains a hot research topic as well as a rapidly maturing commercial offering in Australia. This week in Sci+Tech in the City we will welcome Alan Dormer from Opturion who will lift the lid on some successful industrial applications of constraint programming, Reena Kapoor from Data61 Melbourne on her story so far as an OR professional, and Ariel Liebman from Monash Energy Materials and Systems Institute (MEMSI) on energy systems optimisation.

Week Three – 23 November 2017 – CYBERSECURITY AND RISK

Speakers this week are Mark Bentley (Risklab Australia) describing the development of quantitative risk models for cybersecurity in corporations, Paul Rimba (Data61 Melbourne) on cybersecurity tech, and Marthie Grobler (Data61 Melbourne) who will talk about her work in South Africa and Australia on cybersecurity and the psychology of technology and technology users.

Week Four – 30 November 2017 – HEALTH, BIOMECHANICS AND BIONICS

In the final Sci + Tech in the City for 2017, Dr Tanya Petrovich from Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria will talk about challenges and innovation opportunities from the perspective of her organisation. We will also hear from Prof Nick Barnes from ANU and Data61 Canberra about the Bionic Eye project, and Ray Cohen from Data61 Melbourne about coupled fluid and biomechanical modelling that is giving insight into injury prevention in diving, and the Dive Mechanic application that is used to help optimise the techniques of olympic divers.


Sci+Tech in the City Series One

About our speakers and topics in mid 2017

Week One – 8 June 2017 – BUSHFIRES & FLOODS

Our very first Sci+Tech session features Lalitha Ramachandran (Director, EcoSens), Elizabeth Ryan (RMIT) and Mahesh Prakash (Data61) talking about how mathematics and computer modelling is being used to simulate bushfires and floods, design engineering mitigations against flooding and sea-level rise, and build new ways of preparing and responding to natural hazards.

Week Two – 15 June 2017 – HEALTH & SPORT (1)

Sci+Tech in the City features two sessions on engineering, analytics and computer modelling applied to sports performance and health. This first installment features Marcus Pandy from the University of Melbourne; Simon Harrison from Data61 talking about modelling chewing and digestion (as featured as part of The science of taste, or why you choose fries over broccoli, in the Conversation, ABC and SBS in late May); and Gary Delaney from Data61 discussing computational modelling and the use of Workspace to create design and analysis applications for Oventus‘ sleep apnoea device.

Week Three – 22 June 2017 – SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media provides an information source that can help us understand people’s emotions across the globe at any instant, detect earthquakes, and deliver government services. Our speakers this week are Amanda Dennett (Dept Human Services) who will discuss how Centrelink uses social media to engage and as a service channel, Cecile Paris (ATSE Fellow and Data61 Sydney) on tracking changes in resources companies’ social licence to operate using statistics and social media, and Yury Kryvasheyeu (Data61 Melbourne) on assessing natural disaster damage using social media traffic intensity.

Week Four – 06 July 2017 – DATA!

Data is everywhere. Everyone is talking about it. But nobody talks about it nearly as well as the three speakers we have lined up for our Data! session in week four. Our speakers are Peter Dahlhaus (Federation Uni) on spatial data platforms for decision support, Pierre Lelong (ENEA Consulting) on using smart meter data to map electricity networks, and Caron Chen (Data61) who will discuss using night-time satellite imagery to map economic intensity in European and Asian cities.


Everyone is interested in cybersecurity aren’t they? We are! And so are our speakers: Susie Jones (Auspost and Cynch Security), Chris Leckie (University of Melbourne) and Liming Zhu (Data61).

Week Six – 20 July 2017 – POWERLINES & BUSHFIRES

In February 2009, 173 people died as a result of the Black Saturday bushfires, many due to fires started by powerlines. This has led to the Victorian Government investing $750M into the Powerline Bushfire Safety Program, where the funding is being spent on asset upgrades and research in analytics and fault detection technologies. Tonight’s speakers are Ashley Hunt (Director of the Powerline Bushfire Safety Program and Energy Emergency Management, in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) on Victoria’s Powerline Bushfire Safety Program, Dene Ward from Citipower-Powercor, and Simon Dunstall (Decision Sciences, Data61) on wildfire risk analytics in Australia and Chile.

Week Eight – 03 August 2017 – SUPERANNUATION (jointly organised with RiskLab as its monthly seminar series)

FOUR talks about research and practice in the superannuation industry, featuring Professor Deborah Ralston from Monash/ACFS on the topic of the Monash-CSIRO Superannuation Research Cluster,  Data61’s Alec Stephenson on data-driven analysis of superannuation draw-down behaviour, George Nassios (‎Investment Advisor Escala Partners) providing insight into the super funds industry and Professor Colin O’Hare from Monash University Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics on the topic of pricing longevity risk. This last event in the series will run to the later finish time of 7pm, and we will provide extra seating.

For further enquiries please contact us at