Issue 21
Monday, 21 November 2016
Charles Darwin University
First Year Software Engineering student Joel Benesha with his Obstacle Avoidance Arduino robot
First Year Software Engineering student Joel Benesha with his Obstacle Avoidance Arduino robot

IT students show us the future

By Leanne Miles

The next generation of information technology innovators have displayed their talents and received rewards for their solutions tackling industry issues during Charles Darwin University’s recent annual IT Code Fair.

The competition and industry engagement event included a presentation by Glenn Irvine on Google’s emerging technologies, a business and innovation challenge, software and poster competition, coding workshops, student inventions, and the opportunity for students to meet potential employers.

First Year Software Engineering student Joel Benesha, who won Best Novice Coder and People’s Choice First Year at the event for his Obstacle Avoidance Arduino robot, said he had always been fascinated by robotics.

Joel designed and built his robot from scratch with components including ultrasonic sensors, LCD screen, battery pack and motor control board. He also wrote the software to enable it to detect and discern objects in its path.

“Robotics is the future; it is amazing what we will be able to accomplish in the future,” Joel said.

During the event students completed a Business Innovation Challenge to find a better IT solution for communicating NT road conditions.

Final year Software Engineering student Robert Jackson won the award for his original solution to increase public awareness about road conditions for locals and visitors: a traffic website “Road Watch”. Robert also won the People’s Choice Third/Final Year and Best Advanced coding project.

Other award recipients included Jack Hackshaw, who won the Innovation Award, runner up in Best Novice Coder and the prize for People’s Choice VET project. Best Intermediate Software was won by Aayush Sapkota, while the team comprising Poonam Patel and Muhammad Shahab Iftikhar won both Best Intermediate team and People’s Choice Awards. Best Advanced Software team was won by Samuel Walledge and Phillip Davis, while Best Poster went to Ayush Ghai.

IT Senior Lecturer Barbara White said the Code Fair celebrated students’ coding achievements, and was an opportunity for the community to see what the IT discipline was all about and for industry to discover talented students.

“Graduating Masters and undergraduate students attended the speed dating event to meet local employers,” Ms White said.

The event was a partnership between the university’s IT discipline, the ICT Industry Association of the Northern Territory and the NT Government Department of Corporate and Information Services.