UNSW Surveying Student Shines at the Annual EISSI Awards

Kenneth Tsang (second from right) receives his University Student of the Year award from Michael Lamont (L-R) President of the Association of Consulting Surveyors, Richard Ingham representing CRKennedy (platinum sponsor) and Tony Proust President of the Institution of Surveyors, NSW.

Kenneth Tsang from the University of NSW has won the University Student Project of the Year Award for his thesis Developing a Bus Travel Speed Model for the Greater Sydney Area at the Annual ESSI awards. The 2019 Excellence in Surveying & Spatial Information Awards were held on Saturday night (7 Sept) at the Hyatt Regency in Sydney with a gathering of almost 500 industry professionals. The NSW awards, which are jointly presented by the Association of Consulting Surveyors NSW and the Institution of Surveyors NSW, recognise outstanding achievement in surveying and spatial information.

Ken’s thesis demonstrated how a travel speed model can be created using publicly available Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) data.

Associate Professor Samsung Lim supervised the project and remarked, “The majority of the work in this thesis was focused on processing and analysing historical data to create a data model, however, the algorithms and techniques are also capable of real-time processing. Ken is a very impressive student.”

The extendibility and flexibility of the data model means that the data can be used for more than just identifying and analysing congestion events. For example, the data can be used to model travel times and identify correlations between travel time and socioeconomic background using the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ household income data and Transport Performance Analytics’ journey to work data.

The same model can be implemented in other jurisdictions as well. The availability of transit data in open and standardised formats like the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) and crowdsourced road network data such as OpenStreetMaps means that similar models can be created for other cities without substantial redevelopment time and cost.

The judging panel commented, “This project is a high-quality, well-researched presentation. There has been considerable originality of thought and direct application to solving transport problems in urban areas.”

Ken Tsang won univeristy student of the year at the 2019 ESSI awards


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