Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre Announces 3 New Board Members

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Perth, Australia — March 9, 2023 — The Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre has announced three new members to its board of directors: Sonya Walker and Mark Bazzacco join Pawsey’s board as independent members, while Professor Amanda Barnard joins as a strategic advisor.

Walker joins Pawsey’s board with more than 20 years’ experience facilitating strong strategic growth in the information technology, banking, finance, public and private sectors. She has successfully delivered go-to-market strategy, regional management plans, strategic alliances and industry partnerships as an Executive Partner at IBM and Infor, Oracle, RSA Security, SAS and SAP.

Bazzacco is the Chief of Research Technology & Operations of the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) at the Department of Defence. At DSTG, he is responsible for research engineering, workforce and culture, and digital research infrastructure, including high performance computing. Prior to joining the Department of Defence, Bazzacco worked in the university and government sectors, including as Head of Strategy and Chief of Staff at the CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency.

Prof. Barnard is a leading computational scientist. She is a Senior Professor, Deputy Director, and Computational Science Lead at the Australian National University, where she leads research at the interface of computational modelling, high performance supercomputing, and applied machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Pawsey Chair Tim Shanahan said the new board members and advisor would play a key role in Pawsey’s growth and direction as it continues to support high-impact science of national and international importance.

“My new colleagues on the board have all had such diverse and impressive careers, and I look forward to working together as Pawsey continues to deliver world-class technology that supports Australia’s social and economic growth,” Shanahan said.

“I also acknowledge the diverse experience, knowledge and national reach of our new board members, which is important to support Pawsey’s regional and national responsibilities, delivering high-impact research in domains such as radio astronomy, engineering, bioinformatics, and health sciences.”

Executive Director Mark Stickells said the new board members would bring a wealth of knowledge to inform Pawsey’s strategic direction.

“This is an exciting time in Pawsey’s history as we deliver Setonix and its exascale class supercomputing technology and services to Australian scientists,” Stickells said. “Our new colleagues bring experience in leading high-growth companies, experience across government, defence, and innovation and leadership in HPC, machine learning and AI. We look forward to their contributions as board members and are excited about their positive impact on our organisation.”

The Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre is an unincorporated joint venture between CSIRO, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Western Australia. It is supported by the Western Australian and Australian Governments.

The center is one of two Tier-1 high-performance computing facilities in Australia, whose primary function is to accelerate scientific research for the benefit of the nation.