UC’s College of Science Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Wendy Lawson has won the Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards (APSEA) Professional of the Year 2016 award. This was presented to her at a gala dinner at the International Convention Centre in Darling Harbour in Sydney last week on 5 April. She was nominated for this award after winning the Professional of the Year Award at the New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards (NZSEA) at an event held at Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington, in November 2016.
The APSEA award event was held in conjunction with the recent Digital Earth & Locate17 symposium, and eight people were shortlisted for Professional of the Year from around the Asia-Pacific region. The citation read on announcement of her win highlighted Professor Lawson’s sustained strategic leadership and influence in the geospatial sector, both in New Zealand and internationally.
Among the geospatial initiatives that Professor Lawson has led and driven is the strategic partnership between UC and the Melbourne-based Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI), the establishment of the Geospatial Research Institite Toi Hangarau at UC, and the development of the Master’s degree in Geographic Information Science (GIS), which is hosted at the University of Canterbury, and delivered in partnership with AUT and Victoria University Wellington. She also contributesd signiifcantly to the development of the New Zealand Geospatal Research and Development Priorities and Opportunities 2016-2010 stategy, released by the Minister for Land Information in November 2015.
Professor Lawson is currently Chair of the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) Research and Education College, and also represents the CRCSI research community in planning for the future of the CRCSI after the current funding ends in 2018.
In the ceremony in Australia last week, Professor Lawson shared a whakataukī in her acceptance speech to acknowledge the broad and cross-sector collaborations that underpin the various geospatial initiatives: ‘Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, ēngari he toa takitini’ – success is not the work of one, it is the work of many.