The ALCS Organising and Scientific Committees represent the three lead organisations and each of the key computational science disciplines featuring at ALCS23.

Organising Committee Chairs

Professor Sean Smith

Professor Sean Smith commenced as Director of the NCI in January 2018 and is conjointly Professor of computational nanomaterials science and technology at the ANU. He has extensive theoretical and computational research experience in chemistry, nanomaterials and nano-bio science and technology. He returned to Australia in 2014 at UNSW Sydney, founding and directing the Integrated Materials Design Centre to drive an integrated program of materials design, discovery and characterization.

Sean is also Chair of the Materials Science Stream.

Mr Mark Stickells

Mark joined the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre as Executive Director in July 2018.  An experienced R&D and technology executive, prior to joining Pawsey, Mark was the Director of the Energy and Minerals Institute at UWA. Leading a $70m capital refresh program and a team of 50 HPC, data and visualisation experts at Pawsey, Mark is deeply committed to diversity, inclusion and innovation. 

Mr Nick Jones

As Director of New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI), Nick Jones works from within the research sector in partnership with institutions and government to grow computational capabilities and skills for future productivity and wellbeing. Nick is an experienced leader of innovative teams, and his research sector experience is complemented by commercial directorships in start-up ventures and non-profit governance experience. He has a background in software and systems design, development and consultancy, and carried out postgraduate research into innovation and technology diffusion in the financial services sector.

During late 2013, Nick established a national consultation, eResearch 2020, to build vision and guiding principles for future investments into research computing infrastructures in New Zealand. He has been an advisory board member for two research centres at the University of Auckland, and was involved in the coordination panel for National Science Challenge 10: Science for Technological Innovation.

Scientific Committee

Professor Richard Sandberg

Chair of Computational Mechanics, University of Melbourne

Richard is Chair Professor of Computational Mechanics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Melbourne. His main interests are in (i) high-fidelity simulation of turbulent flows to gain physical understanding of flow and noise generation mechanisms, (ii) pursuing novel machine-learning approaches to help assess and improve low-order models (e.g. RANS) that can be employed in an industrial context.

He received his PhD in 2004 in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Arizona and prior to joining the University of Melbourne, he was a Professor of Fluid Dynamics and Aeroacoustics in the Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics research group at the University of Southampton and headed the UK Turbulence Consortium (, coordinating the work packages for compressible flows and flow visualisations and databases. He was awarded a veski innovation fellowship in July 2015 entitled: "Impacting Industry by enabling a step-change in simulation fidelity for flow and noise problems" and has been granted an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship for 2020-2024 to work on integrating high-fidelity simulation and machine-learning based turbulence modelling.

Professor Debra Bernhardt

Centre for Theoretical and Computational Molecular Science Director, University of Queensland

Debra Bernhardt is an ARC Australian Laureate Fellow in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) and School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB) at The University of Queensland. Her research program focuses on theoretical and computational approaches to develop a fundamental understanding of the behaviour of matter. She applies these approaches to a wide range of problems, particularly transport in nanoscale systems, nonequilibrium flow, design of materials, energy storage and conversion. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences. Debra publishes as (Debra J. Searles).

Professor Andy Hogg

Director, ACCESS-NRI

Prof Andy Hogg is a physical oceanographer who has worked on understanding the dynamics of global-scale ocean circulation, particularly in the Southern Ocean. He has contributed to understanding how the Southern Ocean will respond to climate change, which carries significant implications for the development of future climate models. He has also played a role in developing higher resolution ocean and climate models, to demonstrate that eddy processes (not simulated by most ocean-climate models) can have controlling influences on global climate. He formed the COSIMA consortium which has driven Australian ocean modelling efforts towards eddy-resolving simulations and is the current Director of the ACCESS National Research Infrastructure facility, based at ANU. 

Professor Dietmar Müller

Professor of Geophysics and Director of Earthbyte group, University of Sydney 

Dietmar Müller is Professor of Geophysics at the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney. He received his undergraduate degree from the Univ. of Kiel, Germany, and his PhD in Earth Science from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego/California in 1993. After joining the University of Sydney he built the EarthByte Research Group, pursuing geodata synthesis and modelling through space and time.  The EarthByte Group's virtual globe software has a myriad of applications from providing boundary conditions for high-performance computing Earth evolution models to critical mineral exploration with end-users in over 190 countries.  Dietmar currently leads STELLAR, a multi-year industry project aimed at developing big and complex spatio-temporal data analysis and modelling to support global resource exploration. He held an Australian Laureate Fellowship from 2009-2014, and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the American Geophysical Union. 

Professor Christian Jakob

Professor for Climate Modelling, Monash University

Prof Christian Jakob is the Professor of Climate Modelling at Monash University’s School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment. He is the Director of the recently funded ARC Centre of Excellence for the Weather of the 21st Century. Christian received his PhD in Meteorology from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich in 2001. He has been developing weather and climate prediction models for almost 30 years during appointments at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in the UK, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and Monash University. His main interest is in understanding the atmospheric water cycle and its connection to weather systems. He has been a IPCC Lead Author and is a Fellow of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.  

Associate Professor Fatemeh Vafaee

Deputy Director, UNSW Data Science Hub and A/Prof at UNSW School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences

Dr Vafaee is the Deputy Director of the UNSW Data Science Hub (uDASH) and Associate Professor of Computational Biomedicine and Bioinformatics at the School of Biotechnology and biomolecular Sciences (BABS), UNSW Sydney. She leads the AI-enhanced Biomedicine Laboratory (, developing and deploying advanced artificial intelligence (AI) techniques and big data solutions to address various pressing biomedical problems. Dr Vafaee is also the Founding Director of Pty Ltd with the vision of accelerating personalised medicine and precision therapy via ‘intelligent multi-omics” approaches to health and disease. She has over a decade of research experience in data-driven biomedicine in close collaboration with industry and multiple leading institutes in Australia and internationally.

Professor Fedor Iskhakov

Professor of Economics and ARC Future Fellow, The Australian National University

Fedor Iskhakov is a professor of Economics at the Research School of Economics at the Australian National University.  Fedor was the recipient of the ARC Future Fellowship in 2019-2022. Before joining ANU, Fedor was a fellow of at ARC Center of Excellence for Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), UNSW, Center for the Study of Choice (CenSoC), UTS, and Frisch Centre for Economic Research at the University of Oslo. He had visiting positions at St.Petersburg State University and Higher School of Economics (Russia), the University of Maryland and the University of Oxford.
Fedor got his PhD at the University of Oslo, Norway, in 2009. His doctoral thesis, ``A dynamic structural analysis of health and retirement'', was awarded the Gold Medal of His Majesty the King of Norway. Fedor is an applied micro-econometrician working to inform public policy in the areas of social security, taxation and industry regulations. In his projects, Fedor uses economic theory together with administrative and survey data to build numerical models of individual and strategic decision-making over time.

Professor Megan O'Mara

Professor and Group Leader at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

Prof Megan O'Mara's highly interdisciplinary research lies at the interface of chemistry, biology, physics and computer science. While our knowledge of structural biology, systems biology and omics data has expanded rapidly in the last few years, significant gaps remain in our understanding of how proteins, lipids and other biomolecules come together to bring about the molecular regulation of living cells. Megan uses multiscale simulations and high performance computing techniques to understand how the chemical environment of the cell influences function, and how biochemical changes resulting from inflammatory or disease processes change the cell's biophysical properties. She is particularly interested in how these changes can lead to differences in the efficacy of pharmaceuticals and the design of biocompatible molecules that will improve targeted drug delivery. 

Dr Chris Scott

Research Software Engineer, New Zealand eScience Infrastructure

Chris is a Research Software Engineer at New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI) based at the University of Auckland. Chris has a background in Materials Science and joined NeSI in 2016, where he leads the Computational Science team, helping scientists scale up their computational research by developing and improving scientific software.

Dr Jingbo Wang

Acting Deputy Director Business Development and User Engagement, NCI

Dr Jingbo Wang is NCI’s Acting Deputy Director for Business Development and User Engagement. She joined NCI since 2014 with extensive experience in data science and management with the focus on users and stakeholder engagement. She is currently responsible for NCI’s business agenda, contracts management and build client relationship with NCI’s strategic plan and priorities.

Contact Information


P: +61 2 6125 9800

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