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Students and staff feature in WA Spatial Excellence Awards

Each year, the Western Australian Spatial Excellence Awards celebrate excellence for outstanding projects and recognition of individuals within the WA spatial community.

Award winners are judged by their peers to have “achieved professional excellence deserving of the spatial industry’s highest honour.”

Kerry Smyth, Chair SSSI WA said, “the work for which nominees are recognised reflects the breadth and diversity of the spatial industry and the significant contribution our professional community makes to Western Australia’s economy, environment, education, business and community development.”

This year’s awards, held at the Joondalup Resort on Thursday 17 September, had several finalists in the Student Education category from the Department of Spatial Sciences. Of these, two students were awarded the ultimate honour:
Amir Khodabandeh: Postgraduate Student Award
Rebekah Daley: Undergraduate Student Award

Amir Khodabandeh won his award for his outstanding PhD thesis, which “covered topics at the international forefront of research in Next Generation Satellite Positioning. It contained original research that pushes the state-of-the-art in high-accuracy GNSS positioning and, in particular, precise point positioning (PPP).

Rebekah Daley’s undergraduate Geographic Information Science project explored the relationship between pedestrian-related vehicle crashes and the road environments in Stirling. The study used a spatiotemporal analysis approach in which spatial hotspots were found using a spatial autocorrelation method and temporal analysis.

Department staff members, Tony Snow, David Belton and John Walker, were also honoured for the valuable part they have played in mentoring students during the Student Survey Expeditions. The ‘Mentors and Sponsors of the Student Survey Expeditions’ were honoured by receiving the ‘Education Development Award’ during the evening.

Every two years mentors and sponsors of the Student Survey Expedition make is possible to take a group of Curtin Surveying students to a different part of WA. These areas have included the Kimberley region (2008), the Canning Stock Route (2010), The WA border (2012), and the Murchison region (2014). During the two-week field trips the students undertake field work on their pre-defined projects, while receiving valuable help and advice from their experienced mentors.

All award winners will automatically go into the running for the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards to be presented at the Locate16 conference from 12-14 April in Melbourne.