NICTA and Monash unveil new computing lab

Optimisation tools to help transport, logistics, health, utilities and mining sectors

Scientists from Australian ICT research centre, NICTA, and Monash University have opened a new lab that aims to make the benefits of advanced computing accessible to the Australian industry.

A 15-to-20 strong team of computer scientists and engineers will work in a new NICTA Laboratory at Monash University’s Caulfield Campus which will involve both the School of IT and Engineering, according to a statement from NICTA.

The lab will host an ‘Optimisation research team’ whose goal is to enable advanced computer modelling tools to be used by non-experts, to solve important problems in disaster management, future energy systems, logistics, and supply chains, the statement said.

Optimisation tools are used to support a wide range of business processes that are a part of everyday Australian daily life: human resources (for instance, scheduling aircraft and crews); distribution (for instance, coordinating steel production, organising transport of minerals from mines to ports); purchasing, and health (such as treating cancer and designing new drugs).

NICTA project leader and professor, Peter Stuckey, said, “Building or using a new tool to optimise a system currently requires a Ph.D. level aptitude. We want to help Australian businesses by making this technology much easier to use so that more people can take advantage of it.”

NICTA CEO, Hugh Durrant-Whyte, added the move will yield some fantastic results for Victoria and all of Australia.

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