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2019 Queensland Water Modelling Hack Challenge

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USQ Springfield Campus

37 Sinnathamby Boulevard

Springfield Central, QLD 4300


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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Event description


2019 Queensland Water Modelling Hack Challenge:

Connect and integrate water, energy and landscapes to create value for our communities

Imagine Queensland in 10 to 15 years’ time. The population of the State has grown, pressures from our water, energy and food systems on our landscapes have increased, and the impacts of climate change have continued to intensify.

What might we do now that could improve integration and co-ordination across water, energy and landscape management that will help us deliver a sustainable future for our communities?

How might we harness the power of data and information systems and models to enhance our understanding of water, energy and landscape connections and improve policy, planning and management or to better engage and bring diverse stakeholders along on the journey?

Join us at the inaugural Queensland Water Modelling Hack Challenge event, where we will foster engagement across professionals, students and interested community members through a fun and engaging competition of ideas – a Hack.

The challenge theme for the Hack event is: Connect and integrate water, energy and landscapes to create value for our communities. This has been chosen to encompass the broader sustainability and resilience challenges that are facing Queensland as it looks to continue to deliver water, food and energy security without degrading the cultural and ecological values of land and water resources in the face of significant population growth and the impacts of climate change.

Queensland Water Modelling Network

The Hack is an activity of the Queensland Water Modelling Network (QWMN), an initiative of the Queensland Government, which has industry wide and university affiliations. The QWMN aims to improve the state’s capacity to model its surface water and groundwater resources by providing the tools, information and collaborative platforms to support modelling best-practice, and the uptake of models by policy makers, end users, and natural resource managers.

The 2019 Hack Challenge

The event is for water and environmental data, information and modelling professionals from public and private sectors, for students, and community members to come together to develop ideas about how to improve the affordability, equitability, accessibility, resilience and prosperity of those that utilise water for sustenance, livelihoods, recreation and ecosystem services.

Individuals and pre-existing teams can enter, although the Hack process will encourage teams to form during the event (see below under event details).

The event is suited to everyone who has a passion for, or interest in, developing integrated approaches to sustainability and resilience across water, energy and landscapes, and who enjoy working collaboratively in a fast-moving team environment to create, share and shape ideas and solutions. Regardless of your level of experience, we welcome your participation.

The Hack provides a mechanism to facilitate the development of low fidelity prototypes by providing a dedicated time, data and model resources with mentoring and guidance in a time focused event. While hacks are competitive by nature, they are also collaborative, where the sharing of insights and expertise amongst the participants are encouraged.


Submissions from teams at the Queensland Water Modelling Hack Challenge will be judged by a Panel of Judges, Chaired by the Queensland Chief Scientist, Professor Paul Bertsch. Hack solutions will be judged for their integrity, effectiveness, efficiency, innovation and uniqueness.

The winning submission will be awarded a $2000 cash prize and be formally recognised during the Queensland Water Modelling Network Forum, to be held in November 2019. Free registrations and a contribution towards travel for the winning team to the Forum will form part of the prize.

The Panel of Judges will also award a runner up prize of $500 cash, plus free registrations for the Queensland Water Modelling Network Forum in November 2019.

During the event, a $500 prize will be awarded by the organisers to the team that demonstrates the best team work and collaboration skills.

In addition, and finally, the City of Gold Coast Water and Waste Directorate (GCWW) have generously allocated $20,000 in funding to be awarded to the team that submits the best practical idea to help address the surface water and groundwater challenges facing the City of Gold Coast, as judged by the Panel of Judges. The $20,000 of funding can only be spent developing the winning idea for GCWW. The funding will only be awarded if the Panel of Judges and GCWW consider the idea/concept/solution to be of value to the City.

Event details

The Hack will be held over 5-6 July at the University of Southern Queensland’s Springfield campus near Ipswich. The Hack will be an open innovation style of Hack where participants take the challenge theme and come up with ideas and potential solutions as they best see fit. There is no single problem to be solved, rather there is a space of opportunity to explore and realise through creativity, skill and team work.

How will the event work? Full rules for the event and an explanation of the open innovation style of Hack will be released shortly.

Day 1

We will spend the morning of the 5 July introducing the Hack theme through a set of selected expert speakers, who will talk about challenges in and across water, energy and landscapes. Then we will explain the event rules before breaking the ice to run a team building process through which the Hack teams will form.

Hack teams will form either by individuals deciding to collaborate with one another or by joining a pre-existing team, or by pre-existing teams who have entered together, deciding to break apart or collaborate with others in some way.

The afternoon of the 5 July will then be spent with teams continuing to emerge as potential ideas are discussed and individuals determine which teams they are best to join based on interest, skill and fit.

A spit roast dinner will be served between 7pm and 8pm on 5 July before Hacking concludes for day 1 at 8pm, with teams finalised and announcing their intent to participate and submit an entry.

Day 2

The 6 July will see the teams initially pitch their ideas to the Hack before working over the morning and early afternoon to develop their ideas to concept and early prototype stage.

Submissions will be finalised by mid-afternoon and followed by a presentation from each team of their final submission. The prize for best team work and collaboration skills will then be made before the Hack formally closes at 5pm.

Logistics and practicalities

The event will be held at University of Southern Queensland’s Springfield campus. Directions can be found here.

Morning tea, lunch and snacks will be provided during both days of the event, including a spit roast dinner on the evening of day 1 and breakfast on the morning of day 2.

Upon registering, we will provide details of accommodation options in and around Springfield for the evening of the 5 July.

If you intend to stay in Brisbane, we can provide free bus transport to the Hack venue and back to Brisbane CBD each day – please ensure you register for bus transport when you complete your registration.

Event partners

  • Queensland Government - Department of Environment and Science and Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy through the QWMN, and the Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist
  • City of Gold Coast Water and Waste Directorate
  • Alluvium
  • BMT
  • Healthy Land and Water
  • SEQ Water
  • Bureau of Meteorology
  • Pointerra
  • Arup

Organisational team

  • University of Southern Queensland
  • International WaterCentre
  • Abel Immaraj
  • Chris Carroll

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Date and Time


USQ Springfield Campus

37 Sinnathamby Boulevard

Springfield Central, QLD 4300


View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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