Stacy Tyson, Project Manager for Pawsey Capital Refresh
Although new to Pawsey in 2019, Stacy Tyson has the project management experience to see Pawsey’s major system upgrades through to a successful conclusion and fully expanded operation.
With 15 years of project management experience in the mining industry, particularly managing major upgrades to mining railway signalling and control systems, Stacy has already seen almost every problem that can potentially derail a big project. “I’ve worked with international project teams developing the hardware and software solutions required for safe and efficient rail services for massive mining operations, so I’m using that experience to anticipate and negotiate any issues and steer Pawsey’s Capital Refresh to full delivery in 2022,” she says.
Stacy meets regularly with Pawsey users through both the Pawsey Capital Refresh User Reference Group and the Technical Reference Group. The User Reference Group is developing and endorsing the various current and future user requirements for each of Pawsey’s systems, whereas the Technical Reference Group is endorsing the hardware and software specifications for each component of the upgrade to be able to meet these requirements.
“As a project manager, it’s my job to bring a diverse group of people together to deliver a system that meets both the user and technical requirements,” Stacy explains. “A lot of each day is spent communicating with the Pawsey team and our users, monitoring progress, and then reporting that progress to all of the stakeholders. I’m basically responsible for working with the Pawsey team to deliver the Capital Refresh on time and on budget.”
A key part of Stacy’s planning is managing the change from existing systems to the new systems while minimising any impact on current Pawsey users. This requires staging the installation works and allowing time to migrate users onto new systems, while ensuring the new systems can simultaneously meet the needs of existing users, and emerging future users.
“The Capital Refresh is a number of interconnected procurements that together will provide significantly increased computing power Delivering growth and speed, expanded data storage capacity, and more efficient HPC services to Pawsey’s users. In the first year of the project we’ve already progressed the procurement of additional long-term storage and upgraded high-speed storage for radio astronomy to service the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) and the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA). We’ve also developed the specifications for the upgrades of both the Centre’s cloud compute services and general use high-speed storage.”
The team is now developing the specifications for an additional compute cluster for radio astronomy and has developed and endorsed the user requirements for the general-purpose supercomputer, in advance of finalising the technical requirements.
Coming from an engineering background, Stacy is particularly enthusiastic about the scientific developments that are being advanced using Pawsey facilities. “It’s great being a part of the team that is upgrading the Centre’s services, which will then facilitate even more exciting breakthroughs. With new users in areas like bioinformatics, and Pawsey’s involvement in the SKA Project, the future for this Tier 1 HPC facility and the researchers we support is looking really bright.”
With data processing and storage needs anticipated to grow exponentially in the future, Stacy expects that this refresh is only one (big) step on that upward trajectory. “HPC evolves so quickly, it is hard to imagine the technology that will be involved in 10 years – it will be well beyond anything available now. Pawsey will probably be in the middle of another upgrade by then!”