Expert to manage USC's high-tech facilities

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Expert to manage USC's high-tech facilities


Mark Barry inspecting some of the wiring for USC’s visualisation facilities.

25 January 2016

A former maths and physics school teacher with decades of expertise in developing high-tech solutions to enhance the university experience has started work as the University of the Sunshine Coast’s new Manager of Visualisation Facilities.

Mark Barry, who has arrived at Sippy Downs after 28 years at the Queensland University of Technology, will help USC make the most of its world-class facilities such as the Engineering Learning Hub, for the benefit of students, staff and the wider community.

“I’ve been working in research-based scientific visualisation but I retain a strong interest in education and have never really stopped teaching, so this role is an opportunity to combine both in a state-of-the-art environment,” Mr Barry said.

“USC is the only regional university in Australia with these facilities (and one of only four in the world) and I’ll be working with its IT experts to look for opportunities for students, academics, researchers and people from outside the University, such as business and industry, to use the CAVE2™, Collaboration Studio and Immerse Studio.

“There is a great potential to improve student learning outcomes and campus experiences. Innovation and adaptation are vital because today’s supercomputer is tomorrow’s desktop.”

USC Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering Executive Dean Professor John Bartlett said Mr Barry’s background in managing high-performance computing facilities, 3D visualisation and large display systems was well suited to USC’s focus.

“His knowledge and skills will be a tremendous asset as we strive to be the leader in the use of visualisation and simulation in learning and teaching, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) outreach and community engagement,” Professor Bartlett said.

Mr Barry said a range of projects were underway. One of his first tasks was opening the CAVE2TM to Moreton Bay councillors to view a 3D interpretation of USC’s planned construction of a campus at Petrie.

The CAVE2™ provides a near-seamless 320-degree, immersive and panoramic 3D virtual environment.

— Julie Schomberg

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