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UC Pro-Vice-Chancellor wins international geospatial award

UC Pro-Vice-Chancellor wins international geospatial award


The University of Canterbury’s College of Science Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Wendy Lawson has won the Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA) Professional of the Year 2016 award.

The award was presented to her at a gala dinner at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour in Sydney last week.

The APSEA award event was held in conjunction with the recent Digital Earth & Locate17 symposium. Eight people were shortlisted for the Professional of the Year award from around the Asia-Pacific region.

The judges’ citation highlighted Prof Lawson’s sustained strategic leadership and influence in the geospatial sector, both in New Zealand and internationally.

Among the geospatial initiatives that Prof Lawson has led and driven are: the strategic partnership between UC and the Melbourne-based Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI); the establishment of the Geospatial Research Institute Toi Hangarau at UC; and the development of the Master’s degree in Geographic Information Science (GIS), which is hosted at the University of Canterbury, and delivered in partnership with AUT and Victoria University Wellington.

She also contributed significantly to the development of the New Zealand Geospatial Research and Development Priorities and Opportunities 2016-2010 strategy, released by the Minister for Land Information in November 2015.

Prof Lawson is currently Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) Research and Education College, and also represents the CRCSI research community in planning for the future of the CRCSI after the current funding ends in 2018.

In her acceptance speech at the ceremony in Australia, Prof Lawson shared a whakataukī to acknowledge the broad, cross-sector collaborations that underpin the various geospatial initiatives: “Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini – success is not the work of one, it is the work of many.”

She was nominated for the award after winning the Professional of the Year Award at the New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards (NZSEA) at an event held at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, in November 2016.


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