Published on 28 August 2014
Three USC graduates who have achieved extraordinary results in their fields of water quality research, digital design and sports business will receive this year’s USC Outstanding Alumni Awards.
More than 100 people are expected to attend the awards ceremony on Thursday 11 September from 6-8pm at USC’s Innovation Centre auditorium on campus at Sippy Downs.
USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the event included two new categories.
“In addition to the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, the Regional Achievement award recognises USC graduates making an impact on the Sunshine Coast, while the Rising Star is for those aged 35 years or younger or those who graduated in the past five years,” he said.
Brisbane-based water quality microbiologist Dr Warish Ahmed, who gained a PhD from USC in 2006, is this year’s Outstanding Alumnus.
Dr Ahmed is a Senior Research Scientist with the CSIRO’s Land and Water Flagship at the Ecosciences Precinct in Brisbane and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at USC.
As part of his doctoral research at USC, Dr Ahmed developed a microbial source tracking (MST) method known as “biochemical fingerprinting” to identify sources of faecal pollution in Australia’s waterways.
His CSIRO research into health risk assessments of roof-captured rainwater has received significant attention from state health departments and internationally, and he is involved in research collaborations examining sewage impacts in global waters.
USC’s Rising Star 2014 is Jessica Huddart, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Design and Marketing) in 2006.
Ms Huddart is the Creative Director and Partner of Josephmark, a Brisbane-based design and branding agency that has had international success and now has staff in America.
Since joining Josephmark’s co-founders in 2005 as their first designer, she has helped grow the business into a leading digital agency, working on projects for global social media and multimedia companies. She curated the ‘Seven with Another’ exhibition series at the Brisbane Powerhouse Museum.
USC’s 2014 Regional Achievement Award will be presented to Brendan Powell, who received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University in 2006.
Mr Powell is the co-owner and Director of Business Operations at Queensland Oztag, a social, non-contact sport that can be played from ages six to 60.
Under his leadership since 2009, the number of venues across the state has grown from seven to 44 and the number of players from 4,500 to 30,000. Oztag is fast becoming one of the most popular junior sports on the Sunshine Coast, bringing a range of benefits to the regional economy.
Mr Powell has had a long association with USC, including helping establish the Buranga Centre in 2001 to support Indigenous students.
Light refreshments and finger food will be served at the free awards event on Thursday 11 September. Graduates and anyone interested in USC are welcome.
— Julie Schomberg