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Students ready to hack into data for skills test

29 Jul 2021

USC Engineering and Computer Science students will hack into open government data to develop creative solutions to real-world problems at the annual GovHack event from 20-22 August.

USC Moreton Bay will for the first time host the opening and closing events of the nationally popular competition, the largest open data “hackathon” in the Southern Hemisphere.

Senior Lecturer in Environmental Engineering Dr Helen Fairweather said the weekend’s activities would encourage university students to test their skills and knowledge and find new ways of addressing a range of serious issues.

USC teams have found previous success in major 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 major sponsor Moreton Bay Regional Council, will attend the opening event on Friday 20 August.

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

“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 to 30 years old.

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

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 6pm to 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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