An assessment of the role of local government in the fight against climate change has won Planning student Bianca Fernandes the Urban Development Institute of Australia's (UDIA) Tertiary Award for Excellence 2008.

"While some critiques may be quick to dismiss councils as key players in the climate change arena, the considerable autonomy they possess allows them to exert influence over land development and energy efficiency," explains Bianca, whose thesis is titled "Bright Ideas: Local Government Action and Barriers to Climate Change Responses".

Bianca was also awarded the NSW Department of Planning Prize for the best overall performance in Year 5 of the Bachelor of Planning Program.

FBE students' innovative solutions to climate change also saw them excel in the Student Organised Network for Architecture (SONA) super studio.

The students were asked to examine the impacts of climate change on an isolated community transitioning from a fossil fuel to a renewable energy economy.

FBE students Alison Huynh and Claire Hosking won the competition with fellow students Barbara Busina, Emelie Westergren and Ian Robertson receiving a judge's commendation.

SONA is part of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

Students from the FBE's Industrial Design program have once again dominated the Southern Cross Design Awards with five of the University's 10 entries receiving awards.

Thomas Baker beat 625 students from 33 institutions in the national packaging competition to win the gold medal for his "Quick Fresh Salad" design which incorporates croutons and salad dressing in the container's lid.

Kin Jing Ly won the silver medal for his "Fenix" energy drink pack design, while Wai Yin Cheng's "Prawns Tackled Seafood", Berty Bhuruth's "Havana Portrait" special occasion chocolate box, and Seaton Drew McKeon's "Go" energy drink all received commendations.

Design student Hollie Baigent has been named as the inaugural winner of the FBE's Nissan Scholarship in Industrial Design. The scholarship, which was announced late last year, was established to encourage exceptional students to undertake undergraduate coursework in a Bachelor of Industrial Design at the FBE.

FBE's Associate Dean (Research), Professor Martin Loosemore was recently appointed to the Built Environment Industry Innovation Council (BEIIC) by the Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Kim Carr.

The BEIIC is the first of a set of Innovation Councils to be established by the government. Professor Loosemore's appointment recognises the high regard with which he is held in the construction sector.

Media Contact: Victoria Brown | 02 9385 3263 |