Expert panel to judge Aussie students for global award

March 03, 2014 -- Some of the country’s most influential geospatial experts have been brought together to give one outstanding Australian student the opportunity to showcase their talents on the international stage.

Senior figures from across the commercial, government and academic sectors have signed on to the judging panel for the 2014 Esri Young Scholars Award – a nation-wide competition celebrating excellence in geospatial applications.

Launched today, the Award – which is run by Esri Australia, the nation’s leading Geographic Information System (GIS) company – gives university students from across the country the chance to book their place at the world’s biggest spatial technology conference, the Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego.

Heading up the panel is Esri Australia Managing Director Brett Bundock, who has called on students to push the boundaries of current geospatial thinking in their submissions.

“The calibre of our panel shows Australian industry leaders are invested in understanding what’s next for one of the country’s fastest growing sectors,” Mr Bundock said.

“Australia’s GIS industry is worth $2.1 billion – and the technology now underpins many of the country’s major commercial organisations and government departments.

“As such, the demand for geospatial disciplines within Australian universities is growing – and thousands of students now regularly draw on spatial thinking and technologies to solve real-world issues.

“Following on from the quality we saw with last year’s submissions, I’m intrigued to see what is sure to be an exceptional field of entries this year.”

Mr Bundock will be joined by Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute President and Emeritus Professor, University of NSW John Trinder; Secretary for the Department of Communications Drew Clarke; and, Principal GIS Strategist for Western Power – 2013 winners of the Esri Special Achievement in GIS Award – David Klein.

The judging panel will be rounded out by the winner of the Australian 2013 Esri Young Scholars Award, Rodolfo Espada Jr – whose flood risk mapping of Brisbane’s electricity network infrastructure is now gaining widespread attention.

The winning student will be flown to San Diego in July to meet with Esri founder and president Jack Dangermond, as well as other Young Scholars from around the globe.

They will also have the opportunity to hear from many of the world’s leading geo-enabled enterprises, and network with more than 30,000 spatial professionals.

Award Coordinator Alicia Kouparitsas said entries can cover any topic or field of study, however recommended areas include agribusiness, commercial/business, community, conservation, disaster response, education, or energy.

“The competition has previously fielded entries from a diverse field of studies, including engineering, environmental science, surveying, land and resources management, geology, computer sciences – and many more,” Ms Kouparitsas said.

The competition is open now – and closes 11 April 2014.

The winner will be announced on 30 April 2014.

For further information on the Esri Young Scholar Award and to submit an application, visit esriaustralia.com.au/youngscholars



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