BackgroundProfessor Rod Walker was the founding director of the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA), co-founder of the UAV Challenge (Outback Rescue), founding Board Member of AUVS-Australia, respected researcher and educator at Queensland University of Technology, and a passionate advocate for the civil unmanned aircraft systems industry. It was Rod’s vision to see unmanned aircraft routinely benefit all Australians in applications such as search and rescue, bushfire fighting, emergency response, environmental and infrastructure management, and the provision of aerial services to rural communities. For more than a decade Rod led industry, government, and academia in addressing the many technical and regulatory challenges facing the realisation of his vision. Sadly Rod passed away before he could see his vision realised. However, he left behind the foundations for a viable and sustainable commercial unmanned aircraft systems industry. The Rod Walker Award for Advancement of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems is the first of many initiatives to be supported by the Rod Walker Memorial Endowment Fund. The Award will be used to inspire and recognise final year undergraduate students whose project or thesis demonstrates excellence in the advancement of civil unmanned aircraft systems in Australia.
Rod Walker Memorial Endowment Fund Donor OrganisationsThe Rod Walker Award for Advancement of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems has been made possible by the kind donations from the following organisations.
Application for the 2016 Award round has now closed. The Rod Walker Award for Advancement of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems will be presented at the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) Conference, in partnership with the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition at Avalon in Victoria, from the 26 to 28 of February 2017. One of the objectives of the Award is to provide the opportunity to network with sector leaders, therefore the individual or the nominated team representative receiving the award is expected to attend the conference to receive the Award and to actively engage in the associated opportunities.
The Rod Walker Award for the Advancement of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems is valued at more than $5,000, and comprises:
1. $2,500 cash 2. Up to an additional $2,500 towards approved professional development activities (for example conference attendance and travel as approved by the Rod Walker Memorial Award Steering Committee*) 3. Registration for the AAUS Conference 26-28 February, 2017 4. Complimentary entry to the Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition at Avalon, Victoria for the AAUS conference on Tuesday 28 February, where the award will be officially presented.
* Valid for 12 months after the Award date.
The applicant or team of applicants must have submitted their final year thesis in 2015 at an Australian tertiary education institution, within Australia, as part of an Engineers Australia accredited professional engineering program, and have been awarded a high grade. At institutions where the final year thesis is replaced by a scholarly paper, the paper may be submitted for the award.
Only one submission per institution will be accepted - it is the responsibility of the endorsing academic at each institution to determine which application best addresses the criteria.
CriteriaEligible entrants will be judged on the following criteria: 1) How their research enables Professor Walker’s vision to see Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) benefit all Australians; 2) How their research builds on Professor Walker’s foundations supporting a viable and sustainable commercial UAS industry; 3) Academic excellence in research; and 4) The high quality of the thesis itself.
JudgingApplications will be judged by a panel of industry experts.
EndorsementEach applicant or team of applicants must be endorsed by an academic from the applicant's graduating institution to verify that the information provided by the applicant on the form is true and correct. As noted in the eligibility criteria, only one submission per institution will be accepted and it will be the responsibility of the endorsing academic at each institution to determine which application best addresses the criteria.
Call for applications: Monday 24 October, 2016
Submission closes: Friday 18 November, 2016
Notification of Awardee: Monday 19 December, 2016
Presentation of Award: Tuesday 28 February 2017*
* Award presentation date and time will be provided closer to the date