ICT teams celebrate top industry awards

Opmantek Awards winning team hold up their certificates
ISB Solutions, the winning team in the Opmantek Awards. Back, from left: Daniel Ormeno Gomez and Charles Nelson. Front: Ryoma Ohira and Steven Lawler

Griffith University’s School of Information and Communication Technology is celebrating the achievements of students and graduates after an impressive week of awards and industry recognition.

The 2014 Queensland State iAwardswere held at Parliament House in Brisbane on Thursday evening (June 12) and a team representing the School of ICT Industry Project Group won the Tertiary Undergraduate Student category for its Kidz@GCU Hospital Mobile App.

The app is designed to help children going to hospital better understand and be more at ease with what is happening around them. It was developed in 2013 by Darcelle Hinze, Belinda Rex, Chelsea McGuinness and Ashley Burns as part of their third-year project.

It’s the second year in a row a Griffith team has won the Tertiary Undergraduate Student category, following the 2013 success of a Smartphone Driven Automated Vehicle designed by ICT students.

“When we worked on the Kidz@GCU Hospital project last year, we loved what we were doing and were passionate about its potential to help children,” says Darcelle.

“Even though we’ve gone in different study and career directions since then, we’re all really motivated and hope this can be a stepping stone to new projects and new goals.”

The Griffith team has advanced to the national iAwards final in Melbourne in August.

Delivering industry outcomes

Head of the School of ICT, Professor Michael Blumenstein, says the iAwards are among the most prestigious ICT industry awards in Australia and to win in successive years is a proud achievement.

“This again demonstrates the quality of work and innovation being undertaken at Griffith University and is recognition for projects that show ingenuity, efficiency and deliver industry outcomes.”

The iAwards honour is not the first for the creators of Kidz@GCU Hospital. They were successful at last year’s inaugural Opmantek Awards for high-achieving final year students participating in the 3002ICT Industry Project course.

The semester-long course is convened by Dr Peter Darcy at the Gold Coast campus and Dr Andrew Lewis at Nathan and the awards for projects completed during the first semester of 2014 were also announced this week.

Sponsored by Gold Coast companyOpmantek, a leading developer of Network Management Software, the judges for the awards were CEO Mr Danny Maher and Chief Technology Officer Mr Keith Sinclair, along with City of Gold Coast’s Councillor Glenn Tozer and Professor Blumenstein.

Sensor technology

The winning team was ISB Solutions for its Beacon Network Pilot Application, a mobile app with a web-enabled database that is integrated with sensor technology to monitor movements of smart devices. Team members were Charles Nelson, Ryoma Ohira, Daniel Ormeño Gomez and Steven Lawler.

Runners-up were Future Gadget Lab for its online photo gallery allowing people to use QR codes to purchase digital images, and the Oceans team for its SSP Spelling Piano, an iOS app that is an interactive learning tool to help children to read.

“When Opmantek first sponsored the prize it was all about lifting the status of the industry projects and lifting the students up with it,” says CEO Mr Danny Maher.

“The awards call for an industry-based project and I believe this produces better graduates and also inspires the next wave of students coming through.”

Coincidentally, Opmantek won the Tools category at the iAwards, although Mr Maher focused his attention on the successful Griffith team.

“You are the top of Australia’s emerging innovators and Australia is one of the most innovative countries in the world.”