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Sci+Tech in the City

Sci+Tech in the City

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

Sci+Tech in the City is a series of short talks hosted by CSIRO Data61 in Melbourne.

The second series of Sci+Tech in the City will be held on Thursday evenings from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, between 09 November 2017 and 30 November 2017 (inclusive).

At least three and sometimes four speakers each week will present on selected topics within a theme, with the talks ranging 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 Data 61’s Demonstration Lab at 710 Collins Street, a short walk from Southern Cross Station.


Data61’s Demonstration Space is in an easy-to-reach location. It is a bit funky, and it is also a bit cozy. 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 Foundation, 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.

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.

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