27.02.2023 - Industry Day

What do industrial companies and radio astronomy have in common? This question was the focus of the first Industry Day, which we held on February 27th together with the Bundesverband Mittelständische Wirtschaft and the Industrial Analytics Lab at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) of Forschungszentrum Jülich. The answer: you face the challenge of handling ever-increasing volumes of data.

To process and analyze this data, radio astronomy has access to supercomputers such as the JUWELS Booster Supercomputer at the JSC. During the Industry Day, the participants had the unique opportunity to visit JUWELS as well as to follow the exciting reports of Dr. Thomas Fieseler and Cristina Manzano.

PD Dr. Dominik Elsässer (TU Dortmund) provided an overview of research highlights in data-intensive radio astronomy. He explained to the interested audience how images of black holes are created from huge amounts of data and which research questions are currently occupying radio astronomers.

Jessica Koch (MPIfR) - transfer manager in the B3D project - explained how the Big Bang to Big Data (B3D) project brings together radio astronomy and data science to deal with big data and what role industry plays in this.

Dr. Peter-Christian Zinn (Industrial Analytics Lab) originally comes from radio astronomy and, as an entrepreneur, successfully transfers methods developed there to various challenges in industry. Based on his own experiences as well as best practices, he showed that data-driven decision-making in a company should definitely take a look into the "universe". After all, the topic of Big Data and the challenges associated with it are of equal concern to commercial enterprises and radio astronomy.

There were already lively discussions during the tour, which continued between the presentations and in the get-together afterwards. Particularly interesting and informative was the exchange about the job description "radio astronomer" and possible fields of application outside of science.

Many thanks to the Bundesverband Mittelständische Wirtschaft, especially Dr. Alois Kreins and Sabine Kreins, for the joint organization and realization of this successful event. Our thanks also go to Prof. Dr. Susanne Pfalzner and Dr. Holger Stiele (Jülich Supercomputing Centre) as well as the speakers and all participants.