UWS Engineering student named Sydney's best

Date: 23/09/2009

A University of Western Sydney graduate has been named Sydney's Engineering Student of the Year by Engineers Australia.

James Pirozzi completed his Bachelor of Engineering degree with First Class Honours, receiving an overall mark of 90 per cent for his thesis looking at water flows across eastern New South Wales.

Mr Pirozzi's work enhanced the flood estimation techniques for 56 small to medium sized catchments in the area, in order to help design structures such as small bridges and culverts.

James thanked the staff of the School of Engineering and his supervisor Dr Ataur Rahman in his acceptance speech, which was beamed into the Westing Hotel Grand Ballroom because he was on an overseas study trip for his employer, Snowy Hydro.

"It's been 20 years since the information about eastern New South Wales has been updated, and there have been significant advances in the way flood estimations are made," he said.

Mr Pirozzi's 252 page thesis has since been adapted by University of Western Sydney PhD student Khaled Haddad and Senior Lecturer Dr Ataur Rahman, and will be used to inform the fourth edition of Australian Rainfall and Runoff document.

"It's great that my work is going to be used on a national level, and the knowledge and skills that I picked up along the way will stay with me forever," he said.

The Head of the School of Engineering at UWS Professor Brian Uy says it's the second time the university has had a winner in the field.

"The University continues to produce high quality graduates, which is a tribute to the quality of both the students and the academic staff," he said.

"James had an overall grade point average of 5.97 out of seven, and this award confirms that he is one of the country's most talented engineering prospects."

Mr Pirozzi is now in the running to be named Australia's Engineering student of the year at an upcoming awards ceremony in Canberra.

Earlier this year, Mr Pirozzi was handed the Undergraduate Water Prize by the Australian Water Association.



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Mark Smith
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