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Articles categorized as ‘University of Queensland Information Technology Programs’

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

UQ graduate shows the tables are turning for women in digital and IT

Women in the information technology industry have become a hot commodity, sometimes even used as trophies to enhance a company’s ability to attract and retain the very best (female) talent.

IT and digital companies are recruiting women for a variety of reasons: to boost their employer brand, because they are a listed company and are under pressure to report on their workforce diversity statistics, or because these employers genuinely want to enhance gender diversity for the right reasons. The right reasons being that they acknowledge the benefits of diversity on problem solving, innovation and, more broadly, thought leadership.

UQ graduate shows the tables are turning for women in digital and IT

Women in Digital and Digital Talent Co. CEO Holly Tattersall (Photo: UQ)

The most successful women in digital and IT choose to work with companies where gender diversity and inclusion is demonstrated at every level of the organisation, and with companies who offer roles that can keep up with the ambitions and abilities of women in their industry.

Women are now so highly sought after in these professions that they have the luxury to pick and choose which employer they work with, according to the perks and benefits on offer, and also based on their deeper compatibility with a company’s professional ethos.

While a company may promote their gender-diverse policies, flexible working arrangements and inclusive culture, when the rubber hits the road many women are lured to workplaces that don’t practice what they preach. They might, for example, subtly (or not-so-subtly) discourage females from leaving work early to get the kids, despite the fact they will burn the midnight oil from home later.

This incompatibility of values means an increasing number of these outstanding women are becoming entrepreneurs, jumping off the corporate ladder and instead starting their own companies or small businesses.

For the women who don’t go down the path of starting their own business, this disconnection of companies who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk creates a genuine challenge as they are then left having to decipher sometimes misleading employer branding messages.

How do they figure out the real story? They ask peers, their networks or do research online. The truth will always out.

But what if you don’t have a strong network, are new to Australia and aren’t across the market nuances? What if you’ve been sold a lemon of a company? For men and women in digital and IT, one of the greatest challenges is that top talent is lured into roles and sold the opportunity to digitally innovate, only to be disappointed by an executive board that doesn’t understand nor respect digital as a platform for customer engagement.

For this reason, top talent looks to advisory organisations like mine who are trusted to put forward only the best employers who prioritise diversity and inclusion, and who take digital innovation seriously.

So as Beyoncé asks, “Who run the {digital} world in 2016”?

Girls.

Holly Tattersall (Bachelor of Business Management ’10) is the ambitious founder and CEO of Women in Digital and Digital Talent Co., which provide mentoring, training and career opportunities to their members. Holly is passionate about empowering women globally through digital technology.

UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

The UQ School of Information Technology is a multi-disciplined school that teaches across numerous fields of study in the information and communications technology (ICT) and engineering areas, preparing graduates for a successful career in a myriad of jobs and industries.

ICT graduates are in demand with employers increasingly wanting ICT trained people possessing a combination of business problem solving and interpersonal skills. ICT skills are readily transferable across employers and industries, allowing graduates flexible employment opportunities.

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Would you like more information about IT programs available at the University of Queensland? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Information Technology Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Monday, October 6th, 2014

UQ to roll out super computer

The University of Queensland is one step closer to developing better mobile phone battery life, understanding the engineering of vaccines, and creating stem cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease.

The university’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) has bought a $275,000 high-performance parallel computer cluster that will support research stretching from the development of advanced materials for clean fuel, through to the engineering of new vaccines to develop anti-cancer drugs.

UQ Information Technology School

Study engineering and IT at UQ

Centre for Theoretical and Computational Molecular Science Director Professor Debra Bernhardt said the new computer would focus on computational speed.

“The facility will be more efficient, providing more processing power and working over a fast network, which will enable researchers to work with more realistic models,” Professor Bernhardt said.

“The computer has a new type of co-processor, providing faster and more energy efficient performance.

“Another advantage is that it works with traditional programming languages, making it easily accessible to researchers. The computational power is well beyond the current capabilities of a traditional PC.”

AIBN researcher Dr Marlies Hankel said she would use the computer to model materials in lithium ion batteries.

“We hope to understand the mechanisms of charging and recharging batteries used in mobile phones and laptops, and aid the design of safer batteries and with longer life times,” Dr Hankel said.

A UQ Major Equipment and Infrastructure grant and a National Health and Medical Research Council Equipment Grant totalling $275,572 funded the super computer.

It will be used by UQ’s Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology for research in computational modelling of physical, pharmaceutical and biological systems, and will host the AIBN’s stem cell collaboration platform, Stemformatics.org.

The computer cluster will aid in visualising genes for stem cell research, potentially leading to the development of therapies for a range of medical problems such as Parkinson’s disease and heart attacks.

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For more information about IT programs available at the University of Queensland, please contact OzTREKK’s Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call 1-866-698-7355. Find out more about Australian Information Technology Schools and Australian Engineering Schools!

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

UQ celebrates rising stars at Women in Technology awards

Two University of Queensland early-career researchers have been recognised by their peers for their promising medical and technology research at the 17th annual Women in Technology (WiT) awards ceremony.

Dr Irina Vetter, from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) and UQ School of Pharmacy, won the WiT Rising Star Award for her research to understand the causes of pain and develop new treatments for the one in five Australians living with chronic pain.

UQ School of Pharmacy

Study pharmacy at the UQ Pharmacy School

“Pain is something we have all experienced, and usually we expect this pain will go away—but this isn’t the case for those living with chronic pain,” she said.

“Chronic pain also has a huge impact on the community, and together with my colleagues in IMB’s Centre for Pain Research, we are working to put it on the national health agenda,” she said.

Dr Helen Huang, from the UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, won the WiT Infotech Research Award for her contribution in the field of big data management and analysis.

“With the rapid population growth of social websites, we are now having vast amounts of social media data that can be used for analysing and predicting real-world events,” Dr Huang said.

“The predictions provide an opportunity of timely response to emergencies such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters, as well as prevention of crime, security breaches and the like.

“This award is a fantastic recognition of my work and such a wonderful encouragement that my work is important for our future society.”

The award winners each received a $1000 prize to support their research.

WiT is one of Queensland’s most respected and active technology industry associations and a peak body for women in the technology and life sciences sectors in Queensland.

About the Bachelor of Pharmacy at the UQ School of Pharmacy

The University of Queensland Bachelor of Pharmacy program prepares graduates for the contemporary role of the pharmacist in society, ensuring that patients optimize medication usage. Initial courses on chemical, physical and biological studies lead to professional specialties in later years. Practical and clinical science studies begin in first year, providing students with a strong background in professional practice.

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: November 15, 2014

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About the UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Located within the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, the School of ITEE is at the forefront of research, teaching and learning across the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) and Engineering disciplines.

The School of ITEE offers a multifaceted suite of teaching programs, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, in Information Technology, Engineering Hardware, Software and Information Management, Human-Computer Interaction and Multimedia Design.

Would you like more information about the Bachelor of Pharmacy and IT and engineering programs available at the University of Queensland? Contact OzTREKK’s Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

UQ gaming app to improve health

A mobile gaming app developed by University of Queensland Engineering School students to help cystic fibrosis sufferers manage their illness has garnered national attention at the recent iAwards.

The Pepster app delivers breathing therapy for cystic fibrosis in the form of computer games, using a patient’s breath as the controller.

University of Queensland Engineering School

Study at the University of Queensland

The application was recognised with the Hill’s Young Innovator of the Year award and the Best Mobile Application award.

UQ engineering student and entrepreneur Elliot Smith said he and his fellow co-founders of Pepster, Jeremy Herbert and Gavin Kremor, wanted to create a device that could have a positive impact on people’s lives.

“Pepster has been a wonderful experience for us,” Mr Smith said.

“It’s a great privilege to be able to apply our knowledge in engineering and healthcare to a project like this.

“Winning the Hill’s Young Innovator award has helped in providing funding for the next stage of our development.

“We are looking to build the best possible version of the device and this will help us get there.”

The application came about after the students were approached by a cystic fibrosis specialist from the Mater Children’s Hospital who was concerned about how often or how well people were doing their chest physiotherapy exercises outside of hospital.

Based around the Positive Expiratory Pressure (PEP) exercise, the Pepster system consists of a breath-measurement device that plugs into a tablet computer and a suite of applications which transform measurements into interactive experiences for the user.

Pepster records the breath measurements taken while the patient plays the game, allowing physicians to monitor their patient’s process.

Currently, a medical trial of Pepster involving 30 patients at the Mater Children’s Hospital is underway.

About the UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Located within the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, the School of ITEE is at the forefront of research, teaching and learning across the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) and Engineering disciplines.

The School of ITEE offers a multifaceted suite of teaching programs, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, in Information Technology, Engineering Hardware, Software and Information Management, Human-Computer Interaction and Multimedia Design.

The school boasts a strong, internationally recognised research base and through its association with a number of research centres, is a research leader in a number of fields including

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cognitive Systems Engineering
  • Complex & Intelligent Systems
  • Data & Knowledge Engineering
  • e-Research
  • Microwave & Optical Communications
  • Power & Energy Systems
  • Security & Surveillance
  • Systems & Software Engineering
  • Ubiquitous Computing

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Find out more about IT and engineering programs available at the University of Queensland and at other Australian universities. Contact OzTREKK’s Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

New Dean heads UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and IT

Internationally renowned engineering academic Professor Simon Biggs has been appointed as the new Executive Dean of The University of Queensland Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology.

UQ engineering, architecture IT

Study at the University of Queensland, Australia

Professor Biggs joins UQ from The University of Leeds in the UK, where he was Pro-Dean for Student Education for eight years.

He said he was looking forward to building on the faculty’s groundbreaking curriculum developments and outstanding research.

“The faculty is fortunate to have genuinely world-leading activities in both research and student education,” he said. “This is rare, and gives us a great opportunity to deliver a challenging research-led and problem-based curriculum.”

Professor Biggs takes over from Acting Executive Dean Professor Caroline Crosthwaite, who will return to her position as the Associate Dean (Academic).

Thefaculty’s Associate Dean (Research) is Professor Stuart Crozier, who co-invented and developed patented technology used in about 70 per cent of the world’s MRI machines.

Professor Biggs said he felt honoured to be working with a team with an outstanding reputation.

“It is my privilege to be able to work with Caroline and Stuart—two outstanding academic leaders who bring a wealth of expertise and innovative thinking into the team,” he said

About Professor Biggs

Professor Simon Biggs is a chemical engineer and pioneer in the application of atomic force microscopy to the study of colloid particle science.  He was appointed to the Royal Academy of Engineering/BNFL Chair in Particle Science and Engineering at the University of Leeds in September 2002 after spending eight years at the University of Newcastle (New South Wales, Australia).  Professor Biggs has been Pro-Dean for Learning and Teaching at the University of Leeds since 2006.

Before his appointment at Leeds, Professor Biggs developed his research career through post-doctoral positions at the Institut Charles Sadron (Strasbourg, France) and the University of Melbourne. His undergraduate and doctoral education was undertaken in the UK at the University of Bristol from where he received a PhD in Colloid Chemistry.

Professor Biggs is an author of more than 150 refereed publications. He is the Director of Chamelic Ltd and Escubed Ltd – spin-out companies from the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Leeds. He received the 2005 Beilby Medal from the RSC/IMMM/SCI for his contribution to research of practical significance.

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Find out more about IT and engineering programs available at the University of Queensland and at other Australian universities. Contact OzTREKK’s Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Local app to save motorists from parking fines

A smartphone app developed with support from the University of Queensland’s ilab start-up accelerator is set to help motorists avoid parking fines.

ParkingMaestro is a “set and forget” solution that warns the user when they should start their return journey to their car, based on the distance to the vehicle and the time remaining before the parking expires.

Users either scan the street parking sign using the app’s image recognition function or manually enter the details of the sign or parking ticket. The app then tracks their movements and uses an algorithm to determine how long it will take to walk back to the car.

ParkingMaestro co-founder Mark Schroder said he developed the app with Patrick Acheampong to solve a significant issue he faced while living in Sydney and then in Brisbane.

“Whether I was at home, at work or going out with friends, I realised my car was nearly always parked in a restricted area,” he said. “There are few people living in inner city areas who have their own garage and don’t have to worry about when their parking is expiring,” Mr Schroder said.

“It is a twenty-four-hour-a-day problem.

“What compounds the issue is your car is nearly always parked in a different place every day, which can be hard to keep track of, and the time it takes to get back to your vehicle is easily misjudged, or you forget, which results in an expensive fine.

“Our solution was to develop an app that alerts you when you need to start walking back to your car, regardless of how far it is.”

Start-up accelerator ilab is a division of the University of Queensland’s main commercialisation company, UniQuest.

“Being part of ilab was fantastic. They were able to guide us through the complex process of turning an idea into a finished product,” Mr Schroder said.

“It is not until you are in the thick of developing an app that you realise how complex it is, and being able to turn to the ilab mentors for advice was absolutely invaluable.”

ilab Program Director Bernie Woodcroft said the ParkingMaestro developers were outstanding participants in ilab’s Germinate Program.

“The program provides access to industry mentors, successful entrepreneurs and funding support, giving applicants like Mark and Patrick the opportunity to develop their digital business ideas into reality.

“Parking is a huge problem in the world’s cities and I’m excited to see the continued growth of their business with this release.” he said.

ParkingMaestro is available for iPhone via iTunes and through www.parkingmaestro.com, and is being adapted for Android.

Applications are now open for the next round of the ilab Germinate Program. Visit www.ilab.com.au for more information.

About the UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

The UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE) offers a multifaceted suite of teaching programs, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, in Information Technology, Engineering Hardware, Software and Information Management, Human-Computer Interaction and Multimedia Design.

At the School of ITEE, they understand the requirements of the ICT industry and are continually advancing their programs, with strong industry consultation, to ensure UQ graduates are given the foundation for lifelong learning to respond to this exciting and constantly changing field. UQ Information Technology and Electrical Engineering students are also supported in their studies with an extensive range of state-of-the-art facilities including dedicated specialist laboratories, studios and the latest in software and production equipment.

The school boasts a strong, internationally recognised research base and through its association with a number of research centres, is a research leader in a number of fields including

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cognitive Systems Engineering
  • Complex & Intelligent Systems
  • Data & Knowledge Engineering
  • e-Research
  • Microwave & Optical Communications
  • Power & Energy Systems
  • Security & Surveillance
  • Systems & Software Engineering
  • Ubiquitous Computing

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For more information about IT programs available at the University of Queensland and at other Australian universities, please contact OzTREKK’s Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355. Find out more about Australian Information Technology Schools and Australian Engineering Schools.

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

UQ Engineering student speeds up web design process

If necessity is the mother of invention, then frustration must be its father because that is what drove entrepreneur and University of Queensland engineering student Paul Knittel to develop a visual on-line tool for website designers—Documaps.

UQ Engineering School

Study engineering at the University of Queensland

Documaps has streamlined the recreation of web structures from three steps to just one, significantly reducing the time spent on this process.

Mr Knittel and his business partner, Tristan Mathias, are offering free subscriptions to the service, for a limited time, to encourage user feedback.

“Documaps was born from a group of developers frustrated by the waste of time when steps and processes had to be repeated because of inefficient methods of website mapping,” said the UQ Engineering student.

“With our easy-to-understand visual tool, web developers can plan websites with their clients more efficiently.” 

Visual sitemaps are essential for organising the architecture of a website’s content before development begins.

With existing software packages, the same underlying structure needs to be created three times in three different environments: the visual site map, the design document and in the content management system.

Documaps can save developers about 90 minutes each time with its one-step process.

Documaps was launched this year, after being fast-tracked through technology start-up incubator ilab, run by UQ’s commercialisation company, UniQuest.

“Taking part in ilab’s Germinate program was really important for getting our idea ready for subscribers,” Mr Knittel said.

“The network and resources ilab provided over the last three months has really made a difference to our plans and confidence.

“We’re about to really kick off the marketing for Documaps and we have some new features to release very soon, such as the capability to import existing websites,” he said. 

Documaps supports WordPress, Basecamp and Drupal, and the feedback from the free subscriptions should help with adapting the tool for other packages.

The Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology at UQ is characterized by the quality of its graduates, its international research profile, and its highly successful links to industry.

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Would you like more information about IT and engineering programs available at the University of Queensland and at other Australian universities? Email OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

UQ invention to revolutionise unmanned vehicle surveillance

Surf lifesavers, police, fire fighters and rescue workers across Australia and around the world could benefit from new unmanned surveillance technology developed in Brisbane, after the signing of an agreement recently.

Brisbane-based air, ground and marine robotics company V-TOL Aerospace will manufacture a prototype unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed by researchers at the University of Queensland.

University of Queensland IT and Engineering

Study at the University of Queensland

The UAV, designed by Dr Paul Pounds from UQ’s School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, could replace piloted helicopters in search and rescue or surveillance operations for a fraction of the cost, with reduced maintenance and risk to people.

Dr Pounds said his unique design for a new type of quadrotor UAV—a helicopter lifted and propelled by four independent propellers—was more agile, responsive and energy efficient than existing quadrotor designs.

“It combines the aerodynamic efficiency of a helicopter with the simplicity and robustness of a quadrotor,” he said. “I’m excited to be able to work with V-TOL Aerospace to take this technology out of the lab and into the field, where I believe it will prove to be the ideal platform for police and emergency responders.”

V-TOL Aerospace Managing Director Mr Mark Xavier said the company was ready to take the UAV to the global market.

“V-TOL will develop not only the product, but the regulator-approved training and support services required to make this product Civil Aviation Safety Authority compliant,” he said. “This will make it very attractive for export.”

Science and Innovation Minister Ian Walker has welcomed the agreement.

“It once again demonstrates Queensland’s growing reputation as a major hub for UAV research and development in the Asia-Pacific region,” Mr Walker said.

“I think what we’ve got right with UAV technology development in Queensland is the strong relationship we have between industry and research and the V-TOL and UQ agreement is a great example of that.”

University of Queensland commercialisation company UniQuest signed an agreement licensing intellectual property for the design to V-TOL.

UniQuest CEO Dr Dean Moss said the agreement reflected the value of UQ’s and UniQuest’s industry engagement strategy.

“This agreement is an excellent example of research and industry coming together to deliver tangible benefit for the community,” Dr Moss said.

Mr Xavier said V-Tol Aerospace recognised the broader value of the agreement.

“This relationship is a significant opportunity to demonstrate how local industry can work closely with Queensland’s premier academic and research institution to develop an innovative hi-tech product in an emerging global industry,” he said.

About the UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

The School of ITEE offers a multifaceted suite of teaching programs, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, in Information Technology, Engineering Hardware, Software and Information Management, Human-Computer Interaction and Multimedia Design.

At the School of ITEE, they understand the requirements of the ICT industry and are continually advancing their programs, with strong industry consultation, to ensure UQ graduates are given the foundation for lifelong learning to respond to this exciting and constantly changing field. UQ Information Technology and Electrical Engineering students are also supported in their studies with an extensive range of state-of-the-art facilities including dedicated specialist laboratories, studios and the latest in software and production equipment.

The school boasts a strong, internationally recognised research base and through its association with a number of research centres, is a research leader in a number of fields including

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cognitive Systems Engineering
  • Complex & Intelligent Systems
  • Data & Knowledge Engineering
  • e-Research
  • Microwave & Optical Communications
  • Power & Energy Systems
  • Security & Surveillance
  • Systems & Software Engineering
  • Ubiquitous Computing

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For more information about IT and engineering programs available at the University of Queensland and at other Australian universities, please contact OzTREKK’s Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Find out more about Australian Information Technology Schools and Australian Engineering Schools.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Technology accelerator launches latest UQ entrepreneurs

Queensland’s ilab technology hot-house has launched its latest batch of entrepreneurs at a graduation event at the University of Queensland.

University of Queensland IT School

Study IT at the University of Queensland

The launch showcased the work of ilab’s latest graduates, including navigation software for the aerospace sector and an online marketplace for spare storage space.

Ilab Germinate Program Director Bernie Woodcroft said ilab was Queensland’s largest and most productive technology greenhouse, providing business mentoring, funding and network access to help entrepreneurs transform ideas into start-up companies.

“The three-month Germinate program gives selected applicants the chance to develop and test their new digital business ideas,” he said.

Germinate gives participants access to industry mentors and successful entrepreneurs and funding support in a program capable of building start-up businesses within three months—a process that would normally take a year or more.

“Our graduation event launches 10 start-up businesses on the next phase of their commercialization journey and formally opens applications for the next Germinate program,” he said.

ilab is funded by the Queensland Government and is a division of the University of Queensland’s main commercialization company, UniQuest.

Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts Minister Ian Walker said the State Government and iLab were laying the foundations for a strong and vibrant start-up economy in Queensland.

Technology start-ups will be agents for the diversification of the Queensland economy,” he said. “As a government, we need to create the best environment we can to help get new products, services and innovative processes to market.

“The ilab program is part of our commitment to accelerate partnerships that offer Queensland universities and research organizations opportunities to collaborate with industry and to generate new ideas for commercial benefit.”

The University of Queensland acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Rix said UQ was proud to support ilab and the Germinate program.

“ilab has been achieving excellent results by supporting early stage start-up businesses and at the same time working with industry to create a key support framework for the burgeoning Queensland technology start-up community,” he said.

“The intellect, ideas, technology and tenacity required to create start-up success can all be found in ilab, Queensland’s largest and most productive technology accelerator.”

The next Germinate program starts in mid-May 2014.

UQ School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (ITEE)

Located within the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, the School of ITEE is at the forefront of research, teaching and learning across the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) and Engineering disciplines.

The School of ITEE offers a multifaceted suite of teaching programs, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, in Information Technology, Engineering Hardware, Software and Information Management, Human-Computer Interaction and Multimedia Design.

The School of ITEE offers the following coursework master programs:

  • Information Technology
  • Information Technology (Management)
  • Interaction Design
  • Engineering
  • Engineering (Management)
  • Computer Science
  • Computer Science (Management)

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Would you like more information about IT programs available at the University of Queensland and other Australian universities? Contact Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Information Technology Schools Admissions Officer Rachel Brady at rachel@oztrekk.com or call toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

UQ Information Technology student’s UQnav map app heads in the right direction

A navigation app for getting around the University of Queensland campuses has proven popular, with more than 53,000 downloads in less than three years.

Students, staff and visitors can use UQnav to find lecture theatres, laboratories, as well as where to grab a coffee, the closest bank and nearest public transport stop.

UQ Information Technology Services (ITS) Director Rob Moffatt said the success and popularity of the app highlighted the growing relevance of mobile technology in the university environment.

UQ provides a growing suite of mobile tools for staff and students, such as UQ News, UQ Contact, UQ Open Day, and commercial apps such as Blackboard mobile, Adobe Connect mobile and Skydrive.”

Students Aaron McDowall and Kim Hunter launched the UQnav app in early 2011, after developing it as part of the Bachelor of Information Technology.

McDowall, who now works for UQ ITS, said the figure (last updated in May 2013) included 38,500 Apple downloads and 14,500 Android downloads.

“Android is a little younger, so the downloads aren’t as high, but those figures are growing exponentially,” he said.

UQnav links to other useful sites, including UQ Contacts, UQ News Online, UQ events, the library, plus iTunesU, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube.

The built-in favourites functionality allows users to bookmark the locations they visit most frequently, and they can also email a Google Maps link to others.

Office of Undergraduate Education Director Dr Jessica Gallagher welcomed the app as a key tool for enhancing the student experience at UQ.

“As Queensland’s largest university, it’s important we’re harnessing the latest technology to deliver information and services in an accessible way that’s relevant to students who grew up in the digital world,” Dr Gallagher said.

McDowall said the idea came from trying to navigate campus using a mobile phone, scrolling between a static PDF map.

“I bet there is not a single person who would be able to recall or know where every building is at UQ. It’s most difficult at the beginning of semester when students are trying to find their way to class,” he said.

Their project came to the attention of UQ ITS staff, who were keen to harness the technology to benefit the students, and to reward the pair for creating such a relevant and useful tool.

“It is a wonderful opportunity that has changed our lives and has given us the opportunity to be gainfully employed,” said McDowall, and encouraged students to consider studying for a career in Information Technology (IT), noting that co-creator Kim Hunter, was the “iOS brains of the operation.”

IT is a universal language and has much more international mobility, allowing you to export your career,” he said.

“It helps that UQ lecturers are proactively integrating new technology into the academic arena. That is because, at the end of the day, it is highly practical that you can graduate and then hit the ground running.”

“Mobile apps are still growing and still expanding as a new and innovative space in IT,” he said.