Students ready to hack into data for skills test

Posted: 3pm 31 Jul 2021

USC Engineering and Computer Science students will hack into open government data to find solutions to real-world problems at GovHack, being hosted by USC Moreton Bay for the first time.

Opening and closing events of the popular competition, the largest open data “hackathon” in the Southern Hemisphere, will be at the Petrie campus from August 20-22.

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Engineering Dr Helen Fairweather said it would encourage university students to test their skills and find new ways of addressing serious issues.

Safety app

USC teams have had success in previous categories, such as last year’s bushfire safety app and 2019’s household water control device.

The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Tim Wess and Moreton Bay Region Mayor Peter Flannery, representing sponsor Moreton Bay Regional Council, will attend the opening on Friday August 20.

Mayor Flannery said Council supported the initiative, as part of its aim to give the region a competitive advantage in the digital age.

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Engineering Dr Helen Fairweather

Best hackers

“We want to engage young people and get them thinking about how they can solve tomorrow’s problems today,” he said.

“This competition pits locals against the best hackers in Australia and New Zealand, including people working in government, industry and academia.

“A key pillar of our new Regional Economic Development Strategy is supporting knowledge and innovation – specifically to develop the entrepreneurial abilities of our younger residents aged 18-30.

“I wish them the very best of luck in this competition and hope they bring home a win for Moreton Bay Region.”

Detection Dogs

USC’s Detection Dogs for Conservation team also will discuss their ingenious research and real-world solutions at the opening event, which will run from 6-10pm.

Anyone interested in participating in the free public event can register via the website and choose the Moreton Bay location.

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