RMIT student projects claimed both the undergraduate and postgraduate prizes at the 2014 Victorian iAwards.
The awards are a showpiece industry event to celebrate the best of the best of Victoria’s ICT scene.
The two projects from RMIT’s School of Computer Science and IT faced intense competition, with more than 90 nominations across a range of categories.
Head of School, Professor Athman Bouguettaya, said that the wins were a demonstration of the calibre of work being done in the school.
“I’m proud of our students for producing outstanding and innovative work, and I’m equally proud of the staff for their excellent supervision and leadership,“ he said.
“It’s gratifying to receive this sort of recognition from the industry, as that’s primarily the aim of much of the work we do – industry-partnered and industry-focused with real world applications.“
The iAwards are hosted by the Australian Computer Society (ACS), the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) and the Pearcey Foundation, and honour the most innovative and unique ICT solutions, companies and individuals on an annual basis.
They are highly valued as industry recognition of excellence and innovation.
“Everyone sits up and takes notice of the iAwards, as they’re all about innovation and providing industry-focused solutions, which is why such prestigious institutions as the ACS, AIIA and Pearcey established them,“ Professor Bouguettaya said.
“We’re keen to build on success like this, to develop even more partnerships with businesses and organisations, whether from within or from outside the ICT industry, who are seeking tech-based answers to their particular problems.“
The winning entry for the postgraduate iAward was a wireless multi-sensor monitoring system that tracks movement and monitors the accruing data accordingly.
EnviS was developed over three months by a team of five RMIT postgraduate Computer Science students during their Software Engineering course, and continued by a product development team who were all recent graduates of RMIT’s Industrial Design program, from the School of Architecture and Design.
Leading the project is Dr Flora Salim, from the School of Computer Science and IT, and she hopes that the award will help EnviS attract an industry sponsor to help develop the tool to its full potential.
“EnviS has mainly been a research project that has been supported by various seed funding in RMIT,“ said Dr Salim.
“Now that EnviS has won the Victorian state level iAwards for the postgraduate student category, we are calling for industry partners to collaborate with us and invest in this project.“
According to Dr Salim, the wireless sensor network modules are cheap to manufacture en masse, and end-users will be able to add or remove sensors to suit their needs, which widens the potential market for the product.
Dr Salim said that the EnviS wireless sensor network modules could be adopted to suit a range of different uses, including smart health and activity monitoring and smart home/building monitoring where it could be used as a wireless sensor network at fixed points, indoors and outdoors, to monitor changing thermal, light, noise and air quality.
The undergraduate iAward went to RMIT Bachelor of Software Engineering student Shishir Chawla for his work in the initial development of an evaluation tool for assessing housing options.
The tool is currently being developed by RMIT with funding from the Australian Research Council, SJB Urban and the Telematics Trust and looks at how people make housing choices and implications for the city.
As part of the RMIT team working on the tool, Dr Dhirendra Singh is very excited about the interest being shown in Shishir’s work and the potential impact it could have.
“This iAward is great recognition of the value of this tool for home buyers and renters, and the excellent work Shishir has done in developing it,“ Dr Singh said.
“It really is about helping us make informed housing choices and to build vibrant and sustainable cities and neighbourhoods.
“The tool is getting a lot of interest from all sorts of people and organisations (including realestate.com.au), even while it’s still under development.“
Winners of the State iAwards will now go on to compete in the National iAwards, sponsored by the Victorian Coalition Government.