National 2020 APSEA Winners Announced

Congratulations to all of our national Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Award winners for 2020. All the winners were announced via APSEA Online as part of the Locate21 Conference, with 360 Surveying taking out the coveted JK Barrie award for their project Building 22 - Osborne South Naval Precinct. 


The full list of winners can be viewed below. More information on all regional winners can be found on the APSEA website.


SIBA|GITA J.K. Barrie Award, Award for Technical Excellence
360 Surveying
Building 22 - Osborne South Naval Precinct

360 Surveying was contracted to undertake high precision surveying for the structural steel wall and roof modules of the largest single span “shed” in the Southern Hemisphere and only the second building in the world to have been constructed by rotating walls at the Osborne South Naval Precinct. 360 Surveying was required to monitor the structural movement and accurate placement of the modules during wall rotations and roof lifts, as well as monitoring engineering tolerances. Several challenges were overcome which required specialised tools and solutions to be developed.


Award for People & Community
Geoscience Australia, LINZ & FrontierSI
Satellite Based Augmentation System Test-Bed

The Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) Test-bed Project was led by Geoscience Australia in partnership with the Land Information New Zealand, and engaged broadly with industry, academia, and government to improve the technological, social, and environmental benefits of reliable positioning information. The program was internationally inclusive, and featured projects from across Australia and New Zealand, culminating in the first ever joint procurement of shared satellite infrastructure by both governments. Judges described the project as a world class initiative with far reaching benefits for the industry, and praised its contribution to major improvements in location based capabilities for Australia and New Zealand.


Award for Spatial Enablement
Brisbane Airport Corporation & Land Solution Australia
Brisbane Airport Digital Twin Project

The BAC Digital Twin project has provided the foundation that will spatially enable one of Australia’s busiest transport hubs to become a world-class asset and allow alignment with industry best practice. The project enables data-based decision and paves the way to transform the way the business operates, using state of the art planning and visualisation with actual 3D spatial data to inform everything from terminal planning, service and maintenance, enhanced border security, emergency response and building and tenancy management. Judges praised not only the intense scale and variability of the project, but the high-quality visual representation it allows.


Award for Environment & Sustainability
Port Phillip Bay Coastal Hazard Assessment

The team co-designed a web-based 4D visualisation and analytics tool to support modelling and communicating coastal hazards in Victoria. The Port Philip Bay Coastal Assessment Hazard Decision Support System integrates 60 hazard layers across a range of sea-level rise scenarios, alongside showcasing DELWP’s historical aerial imagery from as early as the 1930s. The system integrates various modules, 3D buildings and other datasets to allow informed analysis of various hazard scenarios for communities facing sea level rise and provides beneficial assets for marine and coastal management. Judges praised the project’s high social, environmental, and economic value.

Award for Innovation & Commercialisation
Veris Australia
Rail Runner

Conceptualised, designed, and built by the Veris team, the innovative Rail Runner is a trolley system that enables the surveying of overhead, suspended, and hard-to-access rails. Custom designed to address regular problems confronted by surveyors working on mining assets in the Pilbara region, the project successfully eliminates working at height risks, and minimises the need to shutdown production assets. The custom solution incorporates a self-fabricated mechanism, allowing auto-levelling of the prism to occur, and can be deployed on difficult rails without risking safety. Judges praised the clever innovation of the project, and the larger commercial viability of such a bespoke asset.


SIBA|GITA Chair’s Award
Lee Hellen

Lee commenced studying surveying in the early 90’s, joining the team at Qasco.  His youthful enthusiasm and cheesy grin endeared him to the team. Lee’s flexible approach took him to many destinations, including the UK as an engineering surveyor & Darwin as Qasco’s NT Manager. On his return to Brisbane he was (and continues to be) involved in iconic, award winning projects including Suncorp Stadium, Chandler Velodrome and Queens Wharf. Lee then made the bold step to open his own business, Land Solution Australia, and as part of this process he sought advice from SIBA on an SME matter.  Appreciating this advice Lee joined the then Spatial Qld Board and played an active role for several years, culminating as Chair. Lee then stood down from executive roles within SIBA and focused on SSSI, joining the National Board, with his term finishing last year. In addition to this Lee has played an active role, at Board level, in The Surveyors Trust, Destination Spatial and 3D Qld Taskforce. Lee has currently decided that his focus should span both SSSI & SIBA, to encourage us all to “Think Globally and Act Locally”.


SSSI Eminence Award
Alison Kealy

Allison Kealy is a Professor in Geospatial Science at RMIT University and Research Program Director, Advanced Satellite Systems, Sensors and Intelligence at SmartSat CRC. Allison is currently President of the International Association of Geodesy, Commission 4 and co-chair of FIG Working Group 5.5 on Multi-Sensor Systems. FIG recently recognised Allison's work with the Best Paper Award for impactful research. Prof. Kealy is receiving this award for sustained contributions to advancing the art and science of navigation and promoting and expanding the use of PNT, providing international, interdisciplinary and inter-organisational leadership amongst worldwide science and engineering communities.  She has been involved in creating open resources for researchers, and in establishing strong collaborations between international scientific organisations.Whilst Allison has clearly made a significant contribution to the spatial industry, she has gone about her work in a relatively quiet and humble manner, yet is still well recognised and held in high regard and respected by her peers, locally, nationally and internationally. Allison is a true role model for Industry collaboration and inspiration for next generation researchers in Australia and overseas.


Professional of the Year
Alistair Byrom

Alistair Byrom, Principal Surveyor at Veris in Brisbane, is held in the highest esteem by his peers. For over 20 years he has served on committees for ISAQ, SSI, SSSI and SIBA|GITA and in this time has supported the ongoing growth and development of the surveying profession and the spatial industry. Alistair has proven to be a vital source of knowledge for graduates and applicants seeking registration with the Surveyors Board of Queensland. He has been a constant contributor to events on a variety of topics. Alistair’s affinity with land law, as it relates to surveying, has lead him into one of his core skills, being forensic consulting. He has prepared numerous Expert Reports for the Supreme Court, Land Court and the Planning & Environment Court which demonstrate achievement and performance considered beyond the normal for consulting surveyors. The judges said his consistent contributions to the industry through his advocacy, presentations, senior representative roles and particular his efforts to unify the profession’s voice make him very worthy of recognition.


Postgraduate Student of the Year
Antara Dasgupta – Joint Winner

Errors in model parameters, topographic inputs and streamflow forecasts result in large errors in flood predictions, which impedes actionable decision-making during disasters. The integration of independent remotely sensed flood observations from Synthetic Aperture Radar sensors with these model predictions has the potential to improve flood forecasts, resulting in greater flood preparedness and emergency services support. Accordingly, Antara’s research successfully developed a new method for interpretation of the remotely sensed data. This research resulted in 3 journal publications in top journal

Postgraduate Student of the Year
Wallace Boone Law – Joint Winner

Recent graduate, Dr. W. Boone Law, commenced his PhD in spatial science and environmental remote sensing at the University of Adelaide in 2015. Over a short time he has used his spatial science knowledge and skills to make innovative and well-received academic contributions to Australian archaeology. His PhD is amongst the first in Australia to promote and utilise advanced aerial and satellite remote sensing technologies to better understand the Aboriginal archaeological record. The judges said Boone had fantastic engagement examples and was an innovative thesis.


Award for Educational Development
Ivana Ivanova

Dr Ivanova holds an engineering and doctoral degree from the Slovak University of Technology, in geodesy and cartography. Ivana has lectured and conducted research at several universities and across three continents. Dr Ivánová is currently a senior lecturer at Curtin University, teaching geoinformatics, spatial data quality and distribution, and spatial databases in the Bachelor of Surveying degree, and at a postgraduate level, undertakes lectures in the new Geospatial Intelligence courses. In her teaching, Ivana is a strong advocate for OSGeo tools; helping students to develop open standards compliant geoweb applications.

Award for Women’s Leadership
Melissa Harris

Melissa Harris is a leading light in the spatial profession, paving the way for greater diversity within a male-clustered profession. In 2019, she became the first woman to hold an office for ANZLIC in its 34-year history, where, as part of the leadership team, she developed the current ANZLIC Strategy ensuring the diverse views of industry and academia were included. Closer to home, Mel has been the dynamic leader of location-based intelligence and spatial services in DELWP, as the Executive Director of Strategic Land Administration and Information and now Victorian Registrar of Titles and acting Chief Executive of Land Use Victoria. Melissa took the Victorian Government spatial data management agenda from a focus of ongoing management to one of leadership.


Young Professional of the Year
Michael Topp

Michael actively demonstrates excellence in leadership capabilities and is a bright and budding young professional. He invests heavily into the development of his peers at Veris through internal mentoring, training and development programs, playing an active role in the development of his colleagues and the business. Alongside this, Michael displays strong professional performance technically across a range of significant projects in SEQ. Michael is the Principal Surveyor on multiple projects where he utilises his depth of experience to guide each project through construction to final delivery. Michael leads the projects through strong communications with colleagues, allied professionals and clients to achieve the required outcomes. The judges all agreed he is a fantastic role model and were pleased to see his commitment to engagement with universities and other young surveyors.


SSSI President’s Award
Paul Reed

Paul is a respected professional licenced surveyor in Queensland and has been a member of SSSI since 2014, actively contributing on a number of levels, most recently as Chair of the Queensland Region. He worked tirelessly to ensure SSSI maintained its strong presence in Queensland, as well contributing to the growth and development of the Queensland industry as a whole, with particular focus on the improvement of surveying education opportunities. In 2019, Paul undertook the appointment of Locate20 Convenor, a role that should have only lasted twelve months, until the pandemic changed all plans…. The consummate professional, Paul was willing to accept the extension of his Convenor term to include Locate21 and has been instrumental in shaping this complex event. It is a massive achievement that we are all here today. Paul is the owner of East Coast Surveys, a surveying firm here in Brisbane. In all roles, Paul leads with integrity, passion and dedication. SSSI volunteers are the heartbeat of this Professional Institute and Paul is an exemplar of this. I know he will continue to support SSSI well into the future.


Vocational Education Training Student Award
Russell Commins

Russell was nominated Surveying and Spatial Information Services TAFE student of the year in 2019. Some of Russell's career highlights include: · Refined and implemented a system of negotiation and approvals for effectively converting project planning to project action and outcomes for CORSnet-NSW · Applied heritage, planning and environmental legislation in order to undertake operations in areas of significance · Personally built and supervised the construction of CORSnet-NSW, the largest single owner GNSS reference station network in Australia and one of the largest in the world. Judges felt he is clearly committed to the surveying and spatial industry, and role-models this commitment to others.


Undergraduate Student of the Year
Alexei Tiong 

Alexei’s final year project for his Bachelor of Applied GIS at Flinders University combined his skills in spatial science with those of virtual reality to produce Virtual Flinders: a project which demonstrated how the superior abilities of gaming engines to manage and render 3D data can be utilised to view 3D data captured in the spatial science world. Alexei was awarded the Flinders University Chancellor’s Letter of Commendation in 2019. The judges particularly commended Alexei for the innovative video that accompanied his nomination.


Undergraduate Student of the Year
Daniel Fowler – Highly Commended

Hundreds of patients visit the emergency department at Liverpool Hospital (LH) with various illnesses and injuries every day. Daniel’s undergraduate project with UNSW investigated the prevalence of admissions into LH using a patient’s residential address. Chest pain accounted for 8% of all admissions to LH in 2018 and was the main focus of his thesis as it may result in significant disease (e.g. heart attacks). Census data was used to adjust the number of patients in an area based on population density to highlight cluster locations of chest pain. Socio-economic data relating to income and education levels was also used. These methods determined the strength of the relationship between the number of patients and socio-economic status in an area. The judges commended his use of spatial epidemiological research, especially given the current worldwide context. They felt this helps drive home the importance of socio-economic factors in health outcomes and is increasingly important to help target health resources to ensure funding is spent in the best way.