IT students win prestigious 2021 iAwards for the second year in a row

Deakin news

29 June 2021

For the second year in a row, Deakin School of Information Technology students have won the 2021 Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) iAwards for Education and Students Solutions in Victoria. The peak industry awards program for IT recognises innovative business products and solutions in Australia.

This year, Deakin had four final-year student Deakin Industry Student Capstone (DISC) program submissions, with three making it to the final stage. DISC places final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students in multidisciplinary teams, challenging them to apply knowledge and skills gained across their studies, to experiment and develop innovative technology products for real-world scenarios and become ready as the next generation technologists.

Criteria for the iAwards award includes submitting a pitch presentation on a proof of concept of understanding a problem to be solved, uniqueness on the technology innovation, and the quality and application of the technology solution.

Professor John Yearwood is the Head of School, in the School of Information Technology.

‘DISC has been a combined effort across academic staff, professional staff, students and industry and it is fantastic to see students being recognised through the AIIA iAwards win. Congratulations to the teams and to DISC,’ Professor Yearwood said.

On Wednesday, 16 June during the annual award ceremony, Edge-Perience, an app-based platform for simplified mental health appointment booking, was announced as the Victorian winner at the iAwards. The team included Geraldine Dessa, Bevan Fairleigh, Phuong Dang, Yang Xu, and Mark Sturtz, with Dr Simon James as their academic supervisor.

Bevan Fairleigh and Geraldine Dessa are members of the winning team.

‘Winning the 2021 Victoria iAward for our work on Edge-Perience is the ultimate reward in our journey through the Deakin capstone (DISC) process,’ they explain.

‘Our team of cloud students, who still have not met face to face, formed an effective team to create the app which offers a simplified process in seeking support for mental health. DISC offers involvement in a project that is a real-world problem identified by a client who worked closely with us throughout the process.

‘DISC gave us the tools and techniques to assist us in finding success; and gave us the trust and flexibility required to pursue the goals in our own way.’

For two trimesters, final-year students in DISC developed Edge-Perience in partnership with Valerie Judge, a mental health expert. Valerie was looking for a technical solution to help solve the problem for individuals who did not access mental health services due to the cumbersome and often confusing barriers of finding and booking an appointment.

Valerie Judge is the Managing Director (and co-founder) at Melbourne Edge Consultants, a mental health service supporting children and families.

‘It’s been great to collaborate with DISC students to turn something from an idea to a reality. The level of enthusiasm and professionalism from the seniors superseded my expectations, who went above and beyond course requirements in order to meet deliverables. I also want to say thank you to Deakin for letting me be a part of DISC,’ Ms Judge said.

The Earn Your Scrubs project, an e-learning platform for perioperative nurses (which are experiencing a workforce skills shortage), was a Merit Winner for the award. This team included Melissa Mony, Rodger Middenway, Rohan Singh and Josh Anthony, with Dr Anuroop Gaddam as the academic supervisor. A third project to be included as a finalist was haveibeencyberpunkd, with student leadership from Supriya Roy and Dr Fatemeh Ansarizadeh as the academic supervisor.

The AIIA has been driving innovation through the iAwards for over 30 years and is Australia's longest and most well-known recognition program in IT. The aim with iAwards is to recognise public and private sector organisations and its contributors who have achieved business excellence through the application of information technology.

Learn more about the awards

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