In Summary

Cloud computing requires technological infrastructure to meet increasing demand for big data storage while limiting energy consumption, and the work being done in this area by Swinburne University of Technology researcher, Dr Zongsong Gan, has been recognised with a prestigious award.

Dr Gan is one of 12 young scientists to be awarded a 2014 Victoria Fellowship, announced by the Minister for Innovation, Louise Asher.

Dr Gan, who completed his PhD at Swinburne and works in the university’s Centre for Micro-Photonics, has been investigating how to improve optical storage instruments for big data.

In 2013 Dr Gan, in collaboration with Dr Yaoyu Cao and Professor Min Gu from Swinburne and Professor Richard A. Evans from the CSIRO, demonstrated breaking the physical barrier known as the diffraction limit of light and realising optical super-resolution fabrication with a feature size down to 9 nm (nano metres). This ground- breaking work has the potential to revolutionise information industries and provide a new technology platform for big data centres.

“The outcome of this Victoria Fellowship will initiate and strengthen new and existing international collaborations in nanomaterials, optics and information technology enterprises respectively, which can further broaden international networks of the existing research environment including Swinburne and CSIRO,” Dr Gan said.

“The successful development of our technology will result in possible Victorian owned long-term patents and create a global role for Victoria, reinforcing the state’s profile of fostering high-tech industry and an innovative research environment, in particular in optics-based information technologies.”

The Victoria Fellowships provide up to $18,000 to enable researchers in the early stages of their careers to undertake international study missions.

Dr Gan will use his prize to visit research organisations in the USA, Germany and China to further his work in Australia on improving optical storage instruments for big data.

“The Victoria Fellowship offers me the great opportunity to visit several important places in the world to gain unique knowledge and experience for the development of our technology, including super-resolution imaging, fundamental computer science of big data and commercialisation of the petabyte optical disc system,” Dr Gan said.

His research will help to ensure Victoria retains a leading position in ultra-high capacity photonic information technologies.

The Victoria Fellowships were established by the state government in 1998 to support and celebrate the work of the people who drive Victoria’s science and innovation capabilities.