Victoria's Largest Supercomputer Propels Local Research

VIC Premier

The Andrews Labor Government has helped secure Victoria's largest supercomputer at Swinburne University of Technology, putting the state at the forefront of space technology, medicine, and environmental research.

Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney today announced the $18.5 million supercomputer at the Hawthorn campus, to be named by Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Traditional Owners in acknowledgment of local Aboriginal knowledge of astrophysical phenomena.

The supercomputer has the capacity to analyse and process data a million times faster than standard computers and uses information generated from space- and earth-facing satellites.

It allows astronomers to monitor space in unprecedented detail and will also assist researchers in areas including bushfire detection, natural disaster planning and response, neuroscience, cancer detection and defence.

The new technology builds on Swinburne University's research reputation and enhances its existing supercomputer, which was installed in 2017 and is one of Australia's fastest computers. It has been used for astronomy, oceanography, agriculture, medicine, molecular dynamics and quantum chemistry.

The project will create 65 jobs across data, research and software and 20 PhD positions. There will also be opportunities for 250 students from primary to university level through STEM outreach programs as well as partnership opportunities with industry and start-ups.

The Labor Government has invested $5.2 million alongside funding from the Commonwealth Government, Swinburne University and its partners.

It was one of many pitches from universities to the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, which was developed in response to the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector.

The unprecedented $350 million Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund is supporting universities with capital works, research infrastructure projects and applied research focused on boosting Victoria's productivity and economy as the state recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

As stated by Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

"We're continuing to back our local universities to ensure Victoria remains at the forefront of innovation and to help the sector emerge strongly from the pandemic."

As stated by Member for Hawthorn John Kennedy

"This supercomputer will provide more study and job opportunities right here in Hawthorn - and right around Australia - as a key tool for some of the nation's most important research projects."

As stated by Swinburne University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Pascale Quester

"This supercomputer will ensure Victoria remains at the forefront of research into space, sustainability, medical technology and other disciplines - supporting new discoveries and ways of thinking to create a better world."

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