Sizztech and Unitywater have helped University of the Sunshine Coast town planning and engineering students gain practical experience by providing data, software and real-life infrastructure scenarios as part of their course work.
Students undertaking ENP336 Strategic Infrastructure Planning have been able to merge their studies with industry-specific information and solve problems using a simplified version of Unitywater’s demand forecasting models.
The software, developed by Sizztech, has been used at Unitywater for three years and models where future population and employment growth will occur, when it will occur and by how much. It helps town planners and utilities providers know what infrastructure to provide, and when.
Unitywater Executive Manager Infrastructure Planning and Capital Delivery Simon Taylor said collaborating with the university was beneficial for both parties.
“These students may very well be planning our region’s future and we are happy to help support their learning,” he said.
“We have been able to provide local council planning and population data as well as guidance on demand forecasting methodology.”
USC Town Planning Program Coordinator Nicholas Stevens said the software, course mentoring by Unitywater Planner Chris Teitzel and delivery by Nicholas Patorniti had been invaluable.
“Using the software during their studies means students have an early introduction to real-life programs used in this industry and real issues that may arise,” he said.
“Working with a large business like Unitywater is hugely valuable for our students and establishing these types of infrastructure and technology industry relationships is what makes our Planning Program unique.”
Sizztech Managing Director Bradley Rasmussen said the company was delighted to collaborate with Unitywater and the university.
“The Forecaz Modeller software is a revolutionary tool and it’s pleasing to see USC take an innovative approach to exposing the students to these new technologies and processes as part of this course,” he said.
“Industry will welcome USC’s addition of this course to its curriculum, providing graduates with core competencies in strategic infrastructure planning.”