CQU team wins national GovHack award
A ROCKHAMPTON CQUniversity team have made their mark on Australia's polluted oceans with a new initiative to help clean up the rubbish.
The team of five I.T. employees entered this year's national GovHack competition in September.
The Rockhampton team, made up of Tom Kenzler, Michael O'Rourke, Jacob Murray, Nick Stone and Barend Haks, decided to take a different approach from most and focus on an environmental project.
On November 10, it was announced they had won.
"The government data we used was New South Wales ocean currents and temperatures,” Mr Kenzler said.
"We were then using that data to pick up rubbish was to go into the oceans, where it would flow to and then we could propose catchments in that area to essentially collect all the rubbish.
"We live in a regional area and the environment is kind of important to us.
"Upon talking to people in Sydney, it seems they're desensitized to environment issues.”
Mr Kenzler said the group's conclusion was seeing if their strategy would be a viable option.
"I believe it is a timely, important issue,” he said.
"It was quite overwhelming when we won.”
Mr O'Rourke said their strategy was put through its paces by the Bureau of Meteorology representatives who attempted to find any faults with the feasibility.
"We planned different phases to think ahead,” he said.
"The first phase was the initial employment of trapping rubbish moving in sea currents.
"The second phase was to get data sets of where companies dump rubbish where legally allowed and where rubbish enters currents so we could intercept it before it hit the reefs.
"The third phase was using artificial intelligence to map up frequencies so we could have higher frequency events around Australia to intercept the rubbish.”
Mr O'Rourke said the Department of Defence had shown interest in their idea and that the team will now wait to see if BoM or the Department choose to take on the idea.