On 27 August 2009 Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry Science and Research, visited the site where building of the $80 million SKA high performance computing centre, announced in the 2009-10 Federal Budget, is due to commence later this year.
The centre will be located next to the Australian Resources Research Centre in Perth on land owned by CSIRO.
The Minister took the opportunity to officially name the planned facility the Pawsey HPC Centre for SKA Science in a ceremony attended by, amongst others: the Hon Troy Buswell, West Australian Government Treasurer and Minister for Commerce; Science and Innovation; Housing and Works; the Hon Gary Gray AO MP, Parliamentary Secretary of Western and Northern Australia; Dr Megan Clarke, Chief Executive of CSIRO; and Professor Lynn Beazley, Chief Scientist of Western Australia.
Senator Carr said, “The centre will go a long way towards demonstrating that Australia is ready to host the SKA. It will also boost WA's and Australia’s wider research credentials by supporting work in other data-intensive disciplines, including mineralogy and chemistry.”
The Pawsey Centre is named after Dr Joseph Lade Pawsey (1908-1962), one of the great pioneers in radio astronomy internationally and a founder of the field in Australia. Members of Dr Pawsey’s family attended the naming ceremony. Dr Pawsey's son, Mr Hastings Pawsey, spoke eloquently of his father’s work and the enduring legacy for radio astronomy being created by the SKA project.
Senator Carr noted that “Dr Pawsey enthusiastically advocated international scientific cooperation, so it’s highly appropriate that a centre with strong links to one of the biggest international scientific collaborations of all time should be named after him.”
The Pawsey Centre will be operated by iVEC, an organisation dedicated to building supercomputing capacity in WA. iVEC is a joint venture between CSIRO and WA’s four public universities, with support from the State Government.