Congratulations to UNSW surveying student Matthew Bates who won a NSW University Student Project of the year award at the 2023 Excellence in Surveying and Spatial Information (ESSI) Awards for his Honours thesis “Managing Moving Monuments – Using modern technologies to safeguard the cadastre.”

The aim of his study was to investigate modern measurement techniques and determine their effectiveness and suitability for large-scale ground monitoring across Australia. Specifically, the accuracy and suitability of publicly available Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (lnSAR) data was examined by comparing against trusted ground-based survey methods, namely Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning and differential levelling. The work was supervised by Dr Craig Roberts. 

Matthew reported that as the thesis explored a vast array of topic, it developed from a nebulous idea into a comprehensive product. “I worked closely with my experienced supervisor to pursue a unique area of study, so as to achieve the most fulfilling result possible.”

Over 450 people attended the awards night including the NSW Governor, the Hon Margaret Beazley AC KC, the Minister for Regional Transport and Roads the Hon Jenny Aitchison MP, and the NSW Surveyor General, Narelle underwood.  It was a fantastic and positive profile -raising for the School’s teaching excellence in surveying, and a great introduction to the industry and community for the five SAGE students who attended.

UNSW alumni were of course very present, one of them Gregory Frith (UNSW Bachelor of Surveying 1984), from Rygate Surveyors who won Professional Surveyor of the Year. A Registered Land Surveyor, with particular experience in construction site projects, urban boundary definition, strata plans and stratum subdivision, Greg is a Convenor of the Institution of Surveyors Survey Practice and Legislative Subcommittee, and a Fellow of the Institution of Surveyors NSW, who has spent countless hours running and presenting the Institution’s cadastral workshops for candidate surveyors preparing for their registration examinations.

The Young Professional Surveyors Award was awarded to two outstanding young surveyors, Najib Nicholas from the Spatial Data Group (SDG) based in Sydney’s Baulkham Hills and Nick Thompson, Central Coast Survey Manager & Registered Land Surveyor at Beveridge Williams. Najib is also an alumnus of the School.

And of course the Surveyor General/ Executive Director Spatial Services Narelle Underwood is herself a proud alumnus of UNSW (2008), and a UNSW Medallist. She and her colleague Wayne Patterson at the Department of Customer Service, Spatial Services won the Community & Sustainable Environment Award for the Bathurst Spatial Digital Twin Project

EISSI is a great opportunity, she said, to showcase and celebrate not only the amazing projects and technology but also the critical role surveyors have in our society.


More about the awards

UNSW SAGE Alumnus & EISSI YP award Winner Najib Nicholas with NSW Governor Hon Margaret Beazley
NSW Governor Hon Margaret Beazley, Greg Frith UNSW SAGE Alumnus, and Professional Surveyor of the Year, with Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Hon Jenny Aitchison.
NSW Surveyor General & UNSW SAGE Alumnus Narelle Underwood speaking at EISSI Awards 2023