To keep pace in the dynamic global higher education environment, and to meet the demands of the University community, UQ must continue to provide state-of-the-art collaborative spaces.

UQ's learning spaces must be supported by cutting-edge information and communication technology that will enable further development of UQ’s intellectual capital.

Information Technology will work on the following initiatives to achieve this goal:

  • Provide a modern information management approach.
  • Actively engage in and contribute to University decisions.
  • Identify, trial, adopt and support new technologies that improve the student experience, teaching practices and research outcomes.
  • Empower and strengthen UQ’s ability to collaborate and communicate using social networks, virtual communities and other digital tools.
  • Provide solutions for storing research data.
  • Develop staff expertise in eResearch technologies.
  • Help transform the systems and processes within the Discovery Portfolio to electronic online solutions with appropriate workflows.
  • Create improved awareness of and access to significant software and computer resources.
  • Optimise high performance computer access for existing and future devices.
  • Enhance training for researchers.
  • Extend the network capabilities to extreme speeds to allow larger quantities of data to flow seamlessly.

Strategy in action

Tinaroo aiding research into supercapacitors: a potentially better energy source for electric vehicles than batteries

Ryan Burt was expecting to have to delay his thesis by a year until computing resources became available. However, UQ introduced the new high performance computer (HPC) Tinaroo in May 2016, solely for use by UQ researchers.

Mr Burt, from the Department of Chemical Engineering, used Tinaroo with a “well-established method and code” to complete his production simulations, which required a large amount of computation. He expected to use about four million central processing unit hours in 2016 alone.

Tinaroo’s introduction not only solved Mr Burt’s problem of insufficient computing resources, it enabled him to “produce results much faster than before.” This was good news for him and the emerging electric vehicle industry, as Mr Burt’s research was on supercapacitors – a faster charging and discharging alternative or complement to batteries.

Without Tinaroo, Mr Burt would have spent most of the year writing grant applications for computing time, which may not have proved successful. Instead, he was able to progress with his research.

Find out about Tinaroo high performance computing

 

Transforming assignment management and marking

It wasn’t that long ago that UQ students had to print their assignments and travel to a campus office to physically submit them during specified hours. Disputes over successful submissions were common.

Assignments were then manually distributed for marking in unwieldy piles resulting in losses. Eventually the student was allowed to physically return to a campus office or nook to retrieve their assignment to read feedback, again during fixed hours.

With new online marking technologies available, Information Technology embarked on a persistent awareness building campaign, visiting school and faculty meetings and documenting success stories to promote the use of the new technology wherever appropriate.

UQ’s adoption of online marking technologies increased, and, as of 2016, 200,000 assignments were marked online, and over 300,000 were submitted and managed online. This produced a dramatically more flexible learning experience for students.