High Performance Computing and Data Cyber infrastructure and Open Data Workshop

Workshop Abstract

There is a convergence of data and compute intensive paradigms and a proliferation of research, and projects in these areas. There also is a global trend in developing distributed and federated high performance data cyber infrastructure and e-infrastructures to support this research, encourage collaborations and to facilitate sharing data openly and the expensive high performance computing resources through connected research networks. These efforts are aimed at accelerating research and discovery across domains and countries. There are also emerging standards for data interoperability, tools and applications and there various global consortia advocating for open data and capacity building in this area.

Regionally, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are also engaged in a regional collaborative framework for High Performance Computing and Big Data - a framework that aims to develop regional capacity in HPC through infrastructure development, R&D, building strategic partnerships and governance.   The connected regional cyber-infrastructure will be used to address regional priority challenges in the areas of Energy, Water, Climate, Agriculture, Health and others through a data sharing model. Once fully developed, the infrastructure will also provide capability to support the global projects such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) which the region is hosting.

This workshop will engage participants to interact and share experiences globally. The experiences will range from countries at early stages of developing these infrastructures to those that have developed, deployed and operated these infrastructures over time. The workshop consider best practices, practical experiences and seek address issues such as infrastructure development, data sharing and cybersecurity issues in the creation of trustworthy scientific cyber-infrastructure.


Best practices and practical experiences in development and running of trustworthy federated high performance data cyber infrastructure and data sharing models.

The discussions here can also inform components of National Cybersecurity strategy initiatives as operationalising High Performance Computing and Data Cyber infrastructure should be the strategy.


Chairs:             Dr Tshiamo Motshegwa, Computer Science Department

            Dr Happy Sithole, CSIR, CHPC, South Africa

Facilitator      University Of Botswana Computer Science Department,

Contact          Dr Tshiamo Motshegwa, tshiamo.motshegwa@mopipi.ub.bw

Rapporteur    Strategy task Team Member– Ministry Of Transport & Communications 


10:30 – 10:40 Tshiamo Motshegwa, University Of Botswana

  • Introductions & HPC Infrastructure plans and development in Botswana


10:40 – 11:00 Von Welch, CACR, Indiana University

  • Applied cyber security research
  • Development of High Performance Computing and Data Cyber infrastructure and Cybersecurity for distributed systems;
  • Managing federated trust involving thousands of researchers from a number of countries who engage in scientific collaboration.

11:00 – 11:20 Oz Parchment, Deputy IT Director, Director of Research Computing, 

                        Southampton University/ Happy Sithole, Director CSIR CHPC.

  • Global and  regional collaborative frameworks for High Performance Computing and Big Data Practical Experiences
  • Experiences at Southampton - Iridis 3 Supercomputing center.
  • Strategy and roadmap for research computing and alignment with University Strategy

11:20 -11:40 Paul Laughton, University of Johannesburg & SA CODATA Chair

  • Open Data Consortia
  • Data sharing models and global consortia and initiatives to improve the quality, reliability, management and accessibility of data o across multi-disciplines of science and technology.

11:40 – 12:00  Zukisani Makalima – SANReN

  • NRENs as critical enabling infrastructure for HPC based science and big data initiatives.
  • Lessons learnt from designing, implementing and governing the South African Federated Identities for Research and Education (SAFIRE) platform;
  • Lessons learnt from designing, implementing and governing the Security Incidence Response Team (SIRT)  of the South African NREN (SA NREN = SANReN + TENET)

12:00 – 13:00 Panel Discussions - Moderator Prof Thomas Sterling, Indiana University

  • Panel Discussions
  • Items for input into the Model Cybersecurity Strategy



Happy Sithole

Dr Happy Sithole is the Director for the Centre for High Performance Computing in South Africa. Dr. Sithole has a PhD in Physics, which focused on Atomistic and Electronic Simulation of Sulphide Minerals. Dr Sithole has worked as a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in the Materials Modelling Centre at University of Limpopo. He has also worked as a Research Scientist at De Beers Consolidated Mines, and later as a Senior Process Engineer at Pebble Bed-Modular Reactor Company. Dr Sithole sits in a number of advisory committees of high performance computing, as a program committee member of both the International Super-Computing Meeting and the Russian High Performance Computing Committee. He also serves and inquisitor on the “Hot Seat” session at ISC Meetings, a select panel that interrogate technology vendors on their products.

Von Welch

Mr Welch is the director of Indiana University's Centre for Applied Cybersecurity Research (CACR). He specializes in cybersecurity for distributed systems, particularly scientific collaborations and federated identity. Current roles include PI and director for the Centre for Trustworthy Scientific Cyber-infrastructure, a project dedicated to helping NSF science projects with their cybersecurity needs, and CSO of the Software Assurance Market Place, a DHS-funded facility to foster software assurance and software assurance research. Previously he has worked with a range of high-visibility projects to provide cybersecurity to the broader scientific and engineering community, including TeraGrid, Open Science Grid, Ocean Observatory Infrastructure, and GENI. His work in software and standards includes authoring two IETF RFCs and the development of several security systems for distributed computing including CILogon and MyProxy.

Oz Parchment

Dr Parchment is the Director of Research Computing at the University of Southampton, with over 20 years’ experience of HPC and large scale data storage facilities. Oz has led the design, procurement and management of the four generations of pan-University HPC and large scale data systems. Oz is a founding member of the e-Infrastructure Leadership Council, a strategic advisory body within the Department for Business Innovation and skills, a contributor to the UK’s HPC & e-Infrastructure Strategy, published by Department of Business Innovation and Skills and a founding member and ex-chair of the UK’s HPC-Special Interest Group. Oz is the technical lead for the Administrative Data Research Centre for England, a £15M research centre specialising in carrying out research in the Social and Economic sciences using linked de-identified data routinely collected by government organisations. Oz is also the Deputy Director of IT at the University and directs the enterprise server, storage and applications infrastructure for over 30,000 users at the University of Southampton, leading teams with in excess of 125 IT professionals

Paul Laughton

Paul Laughton- Dr. Paul Laughton is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Johannesburg in the Department of Information and Knowledge Management, his research interests include knowledge management, information management and data management. Paul has played an important role in the formalising of Early Career Data Professionals (ECDP) with the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA). Currently Paul is the South African Chair of the CODATA Committee as well as an Executive Member of the CODATA. Paul is passionate about open science and open data






Zukisani “Zuki” Makalima

Zukisani “Zuki” Makalima, - Mr Makalima is the Principal Project Manager at the Council for Industrial and Scientific Research (CSRI) in Pretoria, South Africa, where he’s responsible for procurement and project management. Zuki joined the CSIR in 2009 as a Project Manager and then became the Senior Project Manager and in these positions he was involved in various capacities as, dealing with a series of strategic formulation and implementation, leadership and mentorship, research, stakeholder and portfolio management and administration. Prior to being with the CSIR, Zuki held various positions in the Telecommunications industry such as Senior Manager in International Relations, Senior Manager Signal Distribution and Technology, Satellite Engineer and Computer Network Engineer.

Zuki holds three Bachelors of Science, one from the University of Fort Hare (UFH), with double majors in Physical Science and Applied Mathematics. The second BSc is from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and majored in Electrical & Electronic Engineering. The third BSc is in Information Systems from the University of South Africa (UNISA). He also obtained the National Certificate in Datametrics with distinction from UNISA and Certificate in Advanced Programme in Project Management from University of Pretoria. He’s currently pursuing his Masters in Information Systems and also hopes to obtain his PhD soon. Zuki is a visionary and transformative scholar who is eager to make a difference in the nation.

Tshiamo Motshegwa

Dr Motshegwa is in the Department of Computer Science University of Botswana HPC cluster working on the establishment of a HPC centre to support multidisciplinary research at the University of Botswana. Dr Motshegwa received a BEng Computer Engineering and PhD in Computer Science from City University London on Distributed Systems and Multiagent Systems. Dr Motshegwa is engaging in the SADC HPC collaborative framework with regional partners. He is also in the Botswana government’s Ministry of Science and Technology - Department of Research Science & Technology task team on the formulation of the Botswana Space Strategy and exploitation of space and satellite technologies locally and around Botswanas participation in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Project.  He is also a member of the Human Resource Development Council’s Research and Innovation committee for developing National Human Resource Research and Innovation sector plans. Dr Motshegwa is involved in UK Royal Society- DFID Africa Capacity Building Initiative in a multidisciplinary project with University of Botswana Chemistry Department, University College London, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with regards to employment of computational techniques in sustainable energy research and linked HPC facilities. Dr Motshegwa is also involved in the development of the Botswana innovation ecosystems, he lead Southern African Innovation Support Program (SAIS) sponsored project and collaborated with colleagues from the Botswana Innovation Hub Science Park and the University of Botswana Office of Research and Development to set up a Botswana National Technology Transfer Office. The project was also in collaboration with SADC regional partners from Namibia Business Innovation Centre (NBIC), and Zambias National Technology Business Centre (NTBC)

Conference Starts in


For information about the conference, including registration, please contact us at:

  • ubcsconferences(@) mopipi.ub.bw
  • +267 3554975
  • Block 247, Office 269, University of Botswana