Big Data: from the Ground to the Heavens

Date:          Monday, 8th May
Time:         17:15 registration for 17:30 start. Finish by 19:30

Location:   KPMG, 235 St Georges Terrace, Perth
Parking:     Various city car parks and public transport

Cost:           There is no cost to attend, but you must register for this event
Register:    Register by sending an email to
                     Please register by 1st May


We have two excellent speakers for the next Mega Data Cluster event, to be held during Perth’s Big Data Week. The event will be on Monday 8th May, kindly hosted by KPMG.

Our two speakers for our next event are Dr Penny Stewart from PETRA Data Science, and Kevin Vinsen from ICRAR – the International Centre for Radio Astronomy.
Dr Penny Stewart is the Managing Director & Principal, PETRA Data Science Pty Ltd, and will talk on how trans-disciplinary data science helped a fledgling start-up engage with billion-dollar resource companies.

  • Resource companies produce petabytes to zettabytes of data per year. Data that includes everything from petabytes of hyperspectral rock core images to the tens of thousands of processing plant IoT signals.  Penny first started analysing truck and shovel fleet productivity data as a junior mining engineer at the Kalgoorlie’s superpit in the late 1990s. But, it was through her PhD studies at UQ’s Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre that she developed a love for the power of statistics to triumph over arm waving theories. In June 2015, Penny founded PETRA Data Science Pty Ltd to extract value from resource industry data using an ‘engineered’ approach to data science. Penny believes PETRA’s success comes from their distinctly transdisciplinary approach to data science.  Penny will explore the idea that ‘transdisciplinary’ data science enables big data to deliver real opportunity, not just in the resources sector, but in potentially in other sectors too.

Kevin Vinsen is a Research Associate Professor with ICRAR helping solve the extraordinary computational challenges facing the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Kevin is a computational astronomy polymath – expert in numerous coding languages, artificial intelligence, genetic algorithms, high performance computing, data intensive astronomy, data mining, business analysis, games development, and command and control systems.

  • The data requirements for the SKA are astronomical, quite literally. When complete, the amount of data flowing from the SKA’s 10s of thousands of antennae will be measured in exabytes per day. Just one exabyte contains as much information as 2,000,000 Bluray Disks, a stack of 12km high each day.
    Kevin enjoys talking about his passion for big science projects and speaks often at schools, community groups and for industry audiences. When he’s not dealing with super computers Kevin works on on a citizen science project called the PS1 Optical Galaxy Survey (POGS), a part of the SkyNet initiative. Using the collective processing power of home computers POGS is helping astronomers and astrophysicists to calculate the spectral energy distributions from optical infra-red and ultraviolet images to produce the first public catalog of its kind. This will require 10’s of millions of CPU hours to calculate and 100’s of TBytes of storage.

Many thanks to KPMG for hosting this event.