A great selection of Australian and International speakers are currently being confirmed. To keep up to date with announcements and new additions to the QUESTnet 2016 program follow us on Twitter!





Conference MC: Steve Sammartino

Steve Sammartino is a business person (Marketing) and thought leader on the subject of technology and business.Steve is a rare kind who has worked in the largest of companies, including the world’s biggest advertising agency and the world’s biggest Consumer Goods Company (both at Director level) as well as startups he’s founded and sold.He’s also done a lot of crazy projects including putting a lego space shuttle into actual earth orbit.

Steve is a Director at Australia’s first new car company in over thirty years (www.tomcar.com.au).
His book The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business is Small (Wiley,2014), discusses the digital revolution and what it means for business.Steve is involved in the venture capital industry and invests in business & new technology. His blog has been in Australia’s top 10 the past 5 years.


Keynote Speakers

Professor Lindsay Botten- Australian National University


Lindsay Botten - webLindsay Botten is a Professor at the Australian National University, and Director of the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), a position he has held since May 2008. Previously, he was a Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Technology, Sydney, at which he is now an Emeritus Professor. NCI is Australia’s national high-end research computing service, which is located at the Australian National University (ANU). NCI provides a comprehensive and integrated, highperformance computing and data service, the use of which spans the gamut of cutting-edge computational research and innovation—ranging from the pure/basic, through the strategic and applied, to industry, in almost every field of scientific and technological knowledge discovery. Its clients include prominent researchers from Australia’s research-intensive universities, whose work is supported by the national research councils, three of the national science agencies of government— CSIRO, the national science agency, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), Geoscience Australia (GA), the national geoscience agency, and a number of industries.

Presentation: High-performance computing and data services for Australian research and innovation: opportunities and challenges

High-performance computing is a ubiquitous technology on which the entire spectrum of research and innovation in science and technology is now dependent. The mantra that “to out-compute is to out-compete” is increasingly true, reflected in the vast investments in the technology and skills in advanced economies such as the USA, Europe, Japan, and China. Australia, in seeking a future economy that is fuelled by innovation, will need a national strategy for HPC that encompasses the needs of the research sector, government and industry, focused on knowledge discovery, national benefit and economic competitiveness. The future, however, is very different to the past, with latent performance in current/future systems requiring far more intense efforts to extract than previously. Further, the increasingly data-driven nature of research is driving a fusion of HPC and ‘big-data’, manifesting itself in a tightly-integrated infrastructure and service portfolio. The future is therefore one that is expertise-intensive, significantly aggregated to concentrate skills, and provide efficiently for the production-quality services and innovative software environments. The talk will survey international trends, national requirements, explore challenges that have to be met, and opportunities for the co-design of the next-generation services — putting these into a local context
through the NCI experience.

Charlie Catlett – Argonne National Laboratory

Charlie Catlett - off interenet

Charlie Catlett is a Senior Computer Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy scientific research laboratory. Catlett is also a Senior Fellow at the Computation Institute of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, and a Visiting Artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His current research focus areas include urban data science, cyber security and privacy, mobile devices and social networks, and the use of mobile and embedded computing to create intelligent infrastructure. He served as Argonne’s Chief Information Officer from 2007-2011.

From 2004 through 2007 he was director of the TeraGrid Initiative, a national-scale facility supported by the National Science Foundation.

In 1999 Charlie co-founded the Global Grid Forum, (now Open Grid Forum) serving as its founding chair from October 1999 through September 2004. Concurrently, he directed the State of Illinois funded I-WIRE optical network project, deploying dark fiber and transport infrastructure to ten institutions in Illinois. I-WIRE today provides over 200 Gb/s of lambda and dark fiber resources to major projects including TeraGrid, the Starlight international optical network hub, Optiputer, and ESnet. Prior to joining Argonne in 2000, Charlie was Chief Technology Officer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA).

Presentation: Open Data and Instrumented Cities

Cities are increasingly publishing data about their operations while also internally using data to improve the effectiveness and quality of services through optimization, predictive analytics, and other methods. This represents new opportunities for collaboration between cities, industry, national laboratories, and universities in areas ranging from scalable data infrastructure to tools for data analytics, along with challenges such as replicability of solutions between cities, integrating and validating data for scientific investigation, and protecting privacy. For many urban questions, new data sources will be required with greater spatial and/or temporal resolution, driving innovation in the use of sensor in mobile devices as well as embedded sensing infrastructure in the built environment. At the same time, new capabilities such as connected autonomous vehicles, implementing deep learning in concert with urban sensors, or augmenting mobile applications will require computation embedded in infrastructure. Catlett will discuss the work that Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago are doing in partnership with the City of Chicago and other cities through the Urban Center for Computation and Data, focusing on key scalable data
infrastructure, data analytics, and resilient autonomous urban-scale embedded systems such as the Array of Things project.


Phillip Grasso-Nguyen – Google

grasso-nguyen - off internetPhillip Grasso-Nguyen, head of Network Ops Software & Automation and Networking in Australia. Spent the last 18 Years challenging the status quo in telecommunications and networking industry.

The past 8 years building up Google Australia Networking team in Engineering, Operations, software and automation to be a powerhouse networking site within Google. Prior to Google, Phillip worked for Telstra, NTT Australia, Corvil in Europe. Magnadata (firstcorporate ISP in Australia). Attained degrees in computer science and business from UTS, UNSW, USYD.

Presentation: Who moved my cloud?

This talk shares lessons from Google’s infrastructure growth and how our work/roles transformed through the evolution of Google cloud’s. What did we learned and possible similarities for infrastructure teams going through Cloud adoption?

The Internet and Google’s massive growth of infrastructure needs, whilst the network industry, our people and culture were not scaling to meet those demands.

We needed to reassess what it meant to be a network engineer and share how we evolved our roles and work to overcome these challenges.

Why failing and having a lazy network person isn’t necessarily bad, how leadership could make a difference.



Geoff Huston – Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC)

geoff-huston- off internet

Geoff Huston is the Chief Scientist at the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), where he undertakes research on topics associated with Internet infrastructure, IP technologies, and address distribution policies.

Widely regarded as the preeminent researcher on IPv4 exhaustion, he is routinely referenced by international agencies and is frequently quoted by the ICT media.

Geoff has also presented at a number of global technical and government forums, including the OECD, ITU, ICANN, APEC, and the IETF.

Presentation: The Internet in 2016

The Internet is now a very mature technology – but is it doing what we expected? In this presentation I’d like to cover what has worked and what has not, and look at today’s network through the lens of our original expectations when we started AARNet back in 1989. Whoever happened to IPv6? Are NATs a permanent feature of the Internet? Will we ever manage to get rid of spam? How bad can DDOS get? Will the Internet of Things save us or make it worse?

Prior to APNIC, Geoff was employed as the Chief Internet Scientist at Telstra and Technical Manager of the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNET). He was a leading figure in the development of Australia’s academic and commercial Internet services.

Dave West – Cisco

Dave WestDave West leads the Architectures Business in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), which includes all the sales, solutions and engineering teams that are part of Cisco’s business units – Enterprise Networking, Data Center, Collaboration and Security.
As a sixteen-year Cisco veteran, Dave holds a deep understanding of the market transitions that need to be delivered in Cisco’s solutions offerings and he is one of the greatest advocates of Cisco’s technologies in the region. Before reallocating to Asia, Dave West was the CTO for Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organisation, and has help many other key leadership roles across various areas, such as engineering, sales and customer relations. Dave is a former Marine Officer, graduated from the Virginia Military Institute. He holds an MS in Information Systems from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Keynote Presentation: Digitising Education and Research – The Importance of a Digital Strategy for Universities

Join Dave West as he explores the key technology foundations that enable Universities to implement successful digital strategies. Dave will illustrate examples of how Universities and Cities in Australia and around the world are embracing technology.

You will also hear how Universities transform with digital technology as an enabling differentiator in the following areas:
· Digital Campus – Ability to deliver an ehanced student/campus experience and business efficiency through the use of technology to save costs on staff, building, and energy
· Digital Teaching, Learning and Research – Technology-enabled teaching and learning to increase admissions, improve retention and to deliver improved learning outcomes

Underpinning these outcomes, Dave will provide an overview of the latest digital network architecture, which is built on an open, software-driven approach leveraging virtualisation, automation, analytics, and cloud, and how this is helping universities quickly adapt and respond to the new digital world.


 Invited Stream Speakers


Heath Marks – Australian Access Federation Inc

Heath marksHeath Marks is the General Manager of the Australian Access Federation. The AAF is a not-for-profit association initiated by CAUDIT in 2008 to provide an access Federation for Australian Higher Education and Research. The AAF has a subscriber base consisting of all Australian universities, CSIRO and a number of leading research support organisations. Heath represents the AAF on the national ORCID Working Group.

Massimo Lamanna – CERN


MassimoLamannaMassimo Lamanna received a PhD in High-Energy Physics in 1993 at the Trieste University, Italy.

He has 20 years of experience in the field of scientific computing leading projects in the area of data management, monitoring, user access to grid resources and user/community support within the High-Energy Physics community. Notably he coordinated different activities in the area of distributed computing in the LCG project (LHC experiments) and in the COMPASS and ATLAS experiments.

He also fostered collaboration across user communities (Biology, Climatology, Telecommunication, etc…) and initiated the EGEE User Forum, one of the largest and most active events in the grid computing field.

He is responsible for all the disk-data management operations at CERN. He is responsible for managing the data from the LHC experiments to the CERN computer centres; for the CERN disk farms exchanges with collaborating centres world-wide; to serve data to be processed and recorded to tape; to enable thousands of physicists for the final data analysis.


Willem Mertens – Queensland University of Technology

Willem_2Willem Mertens is part of the PwC Chair in Digital Economy team at QUT, and dedicated to helping Australia Post and others thrive in the digital economy. For the past six years, he has been involved in research and teaching in the areas of Positive Deviance, Business Process Management and Innovation. He has worked with with government and private organisations from a range of industries, including telecom, banking, retail, health and logistics. He holds a Master degree in Organisational Psychology and a PhD in Business Economics from KULeuven, and is a Research Fellow of Vlerick Business School (Belgium).






Dr Gordon Howell – Queensland University of Technology

Gordon 4MegDr Gordon Howell is Director Learning Environments and Technology Support at Queensland University of Technology. In this role he is responsible for the management of QUT’s Managed Operating Environment covering 12,000 computers, and 50,000 students and staff, and the support and enhancement of the technology in the university’s 300 lecture theatres, lecture rooms, tute rooms, and video conference facilities. Recently Gordon was responsible for the technology deployment in the $230M Science and Engineering Centre at QUT’s Gardens Point Campus, and is currently leading the technology design for the new Education Precinct due to open in 2018.

He has in excess of 25 years experience within education and technology management; having worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Queensland; Associate Director Client Support Services and Director IT at Australian Catholic University.

John Pearson – QIMR Berghofer


John PearsonJohn Pearson has qualifications in biochemistry, physiology, computing science and technology management and has spent 20 years creating software for scientists. John was Computer Systems Manager for the Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) prior to moving to the United States in 2000 where he was the lead programmer in the Bioinformatics and Scientific Programming Core (BSPC) at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2003, John left the NIH to become a founding Faculty member at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) where he lead the Bioinformatics Research Unit and also served as a Division Director with oversight of all bioinformatics activities at TGen. John has held software development grants from the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health and Microsoft and has been focusing on nextgeneration sequencing since the end of 2007. John returned from the US to take up a position in early 2010 as Senior Bioinformatics Manager for the Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics (QCMG). He returned to QIMR (now QIMR-Berghofer) in 2014 as manager of the Genome Informatics Group.


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