UNE researcher receives prestigious award

UNE researcher receives prestigious award

Dr Jamie Barwick, a researcher and lecturer at UNE, has recently been awarded the Australian Wool Innovation Award.

The DAWW-ABARES Science Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry were recently presented at the 2018 Outlook Conference in March. The awards are aimed at recognising the research and ideas of young innovators that contribute to the success and ongoing sustainability of the Australian agricultural sector.

The award Jamie received was for his work in precision livestock monitoring systems. It is a follow on from his PhD which looks at using accelerometer senses to potentially detect disease in sheep.

“It means a great deal receiving recognition for my research and the fact that the industry sees value in it. It’s a great feeling and it allows for the opportunity to conduct further research into this area” he says.

Being brought up on the family farm just outside Tamworth and studying an undergraduate degree at UNE in Rural Science, has had an influence on Jamie’s interest in precision agriculture.

“I’m interested and passionate about how technology can be used by farmers for their benefit. I hold a strong belief that digital agriculture technology must offer a direct benefit to the farmer, either through more efficient allocation of resources, informed decision making, optimised productivity and sustainability levels and ultimately an improved pathway to profit.”

The award provides project funding for 12 months allowing Jamie and others that work within the Precision Agriculture Research Group (PARG) at UNE to test the use of motion sensors and GPS trackers attached to animals to detect changes in activity and movement.

It is clear Jamie has a strong affiliation with UNE and the New England region. He has studied at and now works for UNE, and he has lived there too. While studying his undergraduate degree, Jamie was a resident on campus at Duval College.

“Staying on campus meant I was able to develop some close friendships with my peers,” he says.

He considers himself fortunate that “opportunities fell into place” in Armidale, particularly with the added perk of being able to live “close to home”.

The results of Jamie’s study will be written and submitted for publication in refereed scientific journals. Findings will also be communicated with tech development companies involved in real-time livestock monitoring, allowing potential incorporation of the behaviour models into their pathway to market.

Author: Alexandra Cook
Office of Advancement
02 6773 2933