Facilities, equipment & services

World class research relies on state-of-the-art facilities to create the critical mass required for discovery and development.

The Faculty of Science in-conjunction with its partners has invested considerable time, effort and resources to ensure the advancement of underpinning research technologies, and innovative facilities for use in scientific research.

Facilities available to the Faculty of Science include but are not limited to:

The Victorian Life Sciences Peak Computing Facility

The Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative (VLSCI) supports and enables life scientists to transform their research through high performance computing.

VLSCI delivers 855 teraflops of high performance computing including an IBM Blue Gene/Q, a SGI Altix x86 system, and an IBM iDataplex x86 system, representing the biggest supercomputing facility dedicated to life sciences in the world.

The VLSCI’s Life Sciences Computation Centre provides computational life science expertise to build collaborations and scale up projects to efficiently use the processing power being delivered. The Peak Computing Facility is staffed by technical experts who maximise the user experience.

Researchers from all Victorian public research organisations and universities with research involving computational biology, bioinformatics, or computational imaging can access VLSCI resources through a competitive merit-based allocation scheme.

View website

Advanced Microscopy Facility

The University of Melbourne maintains a state-of-the-art electron and optical microscope facility with the main nodes located at the Bio21 Institute and the School of Botany and associated specialized light microscopy facilities located at the departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and the Florey Neuroscience Institute.

The instruments are available to research students and staff of The University of Melbourne, as well as to the wider scientific community of government, business and industry.

Instruments include:

  • Mass spectrometers - Shimadzu QP5050 GC/MS, Micromass Quattro ll Triple-Quadrupole and a Finnigan MAT GCQ Quadrupole Ion Trap;
  • X-ray Diffractometers - Enraf-Nonius CAD4
  • Transmission electron microscopes - Philips CM120, Tecnai TF20 EDS and Tecnai TF30 cryo tomography (one of only two in Australia) ;
  • Scanning electron microscope with different capabilities ranging from standard surface imaging, microanalysis to nanofabrication - Philips XL30 FEG, Philip XL30 LaB6 EDS RAMAN, FEI Qanta ESEM EDS cryo and FEI Nova Nanolab dual beam;
  • Confocal microscopes with applications for fixed samples and live cell imaging - Leica SP2 UV and Leica SP5 Live cell; and
  • Fluorescent optical microscopes for basic applications - Leica DM2500 epifluorescence and Leica MZFLIII stereo microscope.

View website

Metabolomics Australia

Metabolomics combines high-throughput analytics for the detection and quantification of metabolites in biological systems. At Metabolomics Australia (MA) we provide sustainable, state-of-the-art metabolomics research for all life sciences from agri-biotech and the environmental sciences, through to bio-nutrition, biomedical and health.

MA is a national platform funded under BioPlatforms Australia through the NCRIS (National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy) program with the hub located at the University of Melbourne, School of BioSciences and the Bio21 Institute for Molecular Science and Biotechnology. We offer an advanced analytical facility providing state-of the-art metabolomics infrastructure, access to expertise including bioinformatics and cover a wide range of metabolite chemistries and quantitative analyses required for comprehensive metabolite profiling.

MA supports a range of general service-oriented strategies such as:

  • analysis of targeted or non-targeted naturally occurring metabolites;/li>
  • bio-prospecting of metabolites from plant, animal and microbial systems;
  • comparison of genotype/SNP patterns with metabolite profiles;
  • cutting edge spatial distribution analyses using an advanced 7 Tesla Imaging Mass Spectrometer;
  • advanced informatics support for metabolomic data analysis;
  • bioinformatics approaches to integrate systems metabolite profiling with corresponding genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data in collaboration with the ABF;
  • skills training in the standardization and application of metabolomics technologies;
  • provide access to a well developed visitors/research hotel infrastructure to cater for external users;
  • promoting the uptake of the technology through workshops and conferences; and
  • the development of intellectual property with commercial potential.

Book a tour or meeting. Contact Zofia Felton on zfelton@unimelb.edu.au or x 44099

View website

National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR)

NeCTAR is a $AUS47 million dollar, Australian Government project, conducted as part of the Super Science initiative and financed by the Education Investment Fund. NeCTAR is collaborating with a broad mix of international and national technology partners and research disciplines to drive the design of:

  • New virtual laboratories;
  • A research cloud;
  • New eResearch tools; and
  • A secure and robust hosting service.

View website

Australian Synchrotron

Officially opened in July 2007, the Australian Synchrotron is one of fewer than 40 similar facilities around the world. It is the largest stand-alone piece of scientific infrastructure in the southern hemisphere, and enables researchers to study the structure and properties of materials at unprecedented levels of detail.

The School of Physics, Faculty of Science currently utilises this facility as part of its accelerator science collaborations:

  • Detector Physics - X-ray pixel detectors, beam diagnostics, high energy particle detectors; and
  • CoEPP - LHC beam diagnostics, future linear collider modelling and design.

View website

Cartographic and Spatial Services

The Faculty has a full-time cartographer, who has extensive experience in all aspects of cartographic work, and is a member of the Mapping Sciences Institute of Australia and a cartography editor of the Journal of Maps.

The cartographer provides academic staff and graduate students with cartographic services to produce high-quality maps, figures and illustrations (including technical drawings). They can be customised to suit specific requirements for all types of publications (books, journals, research reports etc.). The cartographer can also assist with preparation of maps.

Some Geographic Information Systems (GIS) support is also available for mapping and visualisation.

More information