SURROUND is an Australian technology company that develops advanced software systems and supplies consulting services.

Our forté is in working with complex, multi-dimensional data. Collectively we have over a century of software and data architecture, design and operations experience.

Are staff include seasoned veterans of Australian government IT and international technology giants as well as internationally-renowned Semantic Web, spatial data and machine reasoning and conceptual modelling experts.

Our Team

Dr Brad McCusker

CEO & Founder

Brad has a background as an enterprise architect, accountant, and ICT consultant. Before co-founding SURROUND, he worked as a senior enterprise architect with Accenture, IBM Global Services, IBM Business Consulting Group, IBM Japan, and CSC Australia. Brad has also worked in various senior architectural and consulting roles with ING Australia, the Australian and New Zealand Bank, the Department of Health, the Australian Treasury, the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Human Services. Brad is a visiting fellow at the ANU.

Marcus Jowsey

Executive Director & Founder

Prior to co-founding SURROUND, Marcus has held positions as senior consultant for Dialog, development manager for APIR Systems, and applications developer for ThoughtWeb. He was a senior architect with the Department of Human Services, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Environment, and the Department of Health. Marcus also assists DXC Technology and the Australian Tax Office with architecture for applications and integration. Before moving seamlessly into the software engineering space in 2008, Marcus worked as a commercial oilfield diver in the North Sea and Asia, running a successful marine engineering company building onshore marine facilities.

Dr Nicholas Car

Data Systems Architect

Nicholas’ main experience is in building distributed data systems for government. For 15 years (on and off) he worked at CSIRO and, most recently, was the design lead for several innovative Linked Data and Semantic Web projects including the Location Index spine and Longitudinal Spine of Government Functions. They aim to provide collections of integrated, reference Australian government datasets allowing for data integration.

He has also worked as the Data Architect of Geoscience Australia, advising on agency-wide data systems and managing technical and data policy teams.

Currently, Nicholas is active as a web standards editor in the W3C’s Dataset Exchange Working Group, a co-chair of the Australian Government Linked Data Working Group, and a member of the ISO's TC 211, Technical Committee for the geographic standards information.

Rob Atkinson

Lead Ontologist

Rob has a background in integrating data in a wide variety of distributed systems. He has lectured in Computing Science and Geographic Information Systems, and has been a pioneer of delivery of spatial data on the Web, working with and developing Open Geospatial Consortium and W3C standards. In the last decade, his focus has been on data modelling and semantic mapping as part of hybrid Linked Data, Semantic Web, service-oriented and data warehouse architectures. Rob has been active in improving methodologies for sharing semantic knowledge across enterprise boundaries, and in the development of standards. He has mentored several international subject domain communities such as Geoscience, Marine, Aviation and Hydrology in data modelling, and model-driven architecture techniques. Rob is currently active in the W3C Data Exchange Working Group.

Max Kulnich

Machine Learning researcher

Max has a background in developing Machine Learning solutions for complex business problems. He specialises in mathematical modelling and statistical analysis, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at UNSW. Prior to joining SURROUND, Max has held positions as Lead Data Scientist at Volvo AB and Volvo Penta. He was part of the development team which introduced the first AI-based truck uptime monitoring system to the market; and has built a Volvo-unique data-driven decision process for quality assurance during new product development, recognised with a Quality Award in 2014.

Simon Opper

Chief Data Scientist

Simon currently leads the design and implementation of data governance processes for the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to provide them with high quality reliable data for environmental regulation and waste crime analysis.

In 2018 Simon, scoped and managed an Internet of Things (IoT) Roadmap for development of a data governance and safe data sharing framework for the University of Technology Sydney’s, Knowledge Economy Institute.

Professor Shirley Gregor

Advisor for: Knowledge as a Service

Shirley is the foundation Professor of Information Systems at the Australian National University, where she is a Director of the National Centre for Information Systems Research. Prof. Gregor has led several large applied research projects funded by the Meat Research Corporation, the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, the Australian Research Council, and AusAID.

Dion Walder

Ontology Platform Engineer

Dion is an experienced infrastructure and application integration engineer. His role is to handle production promotion through the continuous integration process, and to assist customers with technical on-boarding. He is also responsible for providing the evidence and traceability between the results from the SURROUND platform and our customers' business goals. This is to ensure the highest degree of business alignment, and a rapid feedback cycle to address any gaps.

Danial Baharvand

Semantic Developer

Danial is a developer at Surround, transforming government data into machine-readable, semantic objects and improving SURROUND’s major technology platforms. He also undertakes front-end application and website development. Before joining Surround Australia, Danial led a small team of QUT students which worked with Energy Queensland to explore the feasibility and development of machine learning models to predict and prevent electrical shocks within Queensland’s power grid. The project led to substantial actionable information which is being utilised to improve public safety and strategical maintenance and deployment of assets and equipment.

Simon Thompson


Simon is an analyst. He has over 20 years in ICT roles including designer, architect, programmer, tester, and manager. Having completed a Masters in Business Information Systems at ANU, he enjoys giving back to the industry by teaching at the ANU and the UC in a variety of business and ICT subjects. With over 15 years in Federal Government technology and information roles, he has a long term interest in the way that governments manage the information of all Australians.

Alejandro Diaz Santos

Software Developer

Alejandro started his programming career in the early years of studying for his degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He has since focussed on AI, and has worked as a Python developer and ML engineer for 4+ years. Alejandro used his Python expertise in Altran's R&D department to develop thermodynamic simulations. Subsequently, he worked with BBVA (one of the foremost financial institutions in Spain and South America) to design and develop new intelligence features to improve the bank's customer support platform.

David Habgood

Analyst Programmer

David comes from a background of Analyst and Architect roles in Government at Services Australia (formerly the Department of Human Services), and the Department of Defence. He is interested in how linked information and associated tools can lead to better decisions, particularly in Government. Outside of Government he has worked in and maintains an interest in Climate and Energy-related information.

Our Story

In 2015, SURROUND's two founders (Brad McCusker and Marcus Jowsey) set out to transform the way government and business work.

Our focus is linking knowledge in order to assist organisations to make improved empirical, traceable, and explainable decisions. The SURROUND team has created an integrated knowledge engineering platform using semantic, knowledge graph, and machine learning (ML) technologies.

SURROUND's core mission is to provide value to our customers and the broader citizen community by providing government agencies and business with cost-effective solutions which address and solve organisational complexity. Our solutions leverage global standards and world-class algorithms in the design of generic or customised solutions as required.