Hosted at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information’s annual awards ceremony is in its second year and celebrates and recognises the contributions to the successes of CRCSI across four award categories. This year’s awards took place during the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information’s recent Annual Conference.
The four award winners were:
- Research Excellence Award: Professor David Lamb, CRCSI Science Director & University of New England Precision Agriculture Research Group Leader
- Chair’s Award: Mike Bradford, Chief Executive, Landgate
- 43pl Company Award: Arthur Berrill, President, DMTI Spatial (Canada)
- Student Excellence Award: Ben Fitzpatrick, CRCSI PhD Student, Queensland University of Technology.
Prof David Lamb is the winner of the Research Excellence Award. As leader of the Precision Agriculture Research Group at the University of New England and CRCSI Science Director for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Climate Change, Prof Lamb conceived, designed and led the Biomass Business project. Through spatial information, Biomass Business empowers Australia’s response to climate change by transforming the way public and private land managers balance agricultural productivity and sustainability. The project is now on track to deliver its goals and in doing so Prof Lamb has helped to establish partnerships between the CRCSI and some of Australia’s premier agricultural companies and industry bodies, such as Meat and Livestock Australia.
“It’s so humbling to get an award like this because [recognition] comes all at once. This whole CRC is a family of people I hold in high esteem and to get something like this is almost overwhelming,” Prof Lamb said. “Spatial in agriculture is a whole new area, it’s a whole new dimension in the way we farm and so this is an acknowledgment of that – and of all the partners we have in farming, in all the sectors of agriculture”, said David.
The Chair’s Award went to Chair of the CRCSI Board, Mike Bradford, who joined the Governing Board of the CRCSI as Director in 2008 and played a pivotal role in planning the bid for CRCSI-2, galvanising the Western Australian spatial community. Bradford is also chief executive of Landgate, which hosts CRCSI staff in its central offices in Perth and ensures strong and ongoing collaboration between the two organisations.
“I’m passionate about spatial and the CRCSI, so it’s wonderful to get some recognition of that,” said Bradford. “I genuinely believe in the collaboration the CRC has brought to bear by bringing together government, academia and the private sector.”
Arthur Berrill, won the 43pl Company Award for his outstanding and long term contribution to the CRCSI for providing his international perspective to the spatial information sector. 43pl is a consortium of small to medium enterprises with a common set of objectives and is a foundational participant of the CRCSI. As CTO of Canada based DMTI Spatial Inc, Berill has provided CRCSI the analysis of complex and technical issues, and balanced academic and business perspectives.
“I have to confess, I get as much out of this as I put into it and being engaged with all these fine, bright people is a fantastic experience; being at the front line, looking at the technical submissions that come through – that’s truly exciting”, said Berill.
Ben Fitzpatrick took out the Student Excellence Award for his doctorate research at QUT, Subset selection and spatial inference for soil carbon, which seeks to understand soil carbon across dryland agricultural areas.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the support the CRCSI has provided me through the Education Program,” said Fitzpatrick. “I’ve learned things here that I wouldn’t have at university. For instance, public speaking and connecting with a general audience.”