QWMN External Engagement Program

The QWMN has initiated an External Engagement Program to help build the capacity of water modelling and user expertise in Queensland, facilitate engagement across the full range of actors in the Queensland water-modelling ecosystem, and stimulate innovation in all aspects of water modelling and use. A consortium, led by the International WaterCentre, is delivering a program of work that complements QWMN activities and investments to facilitate greater collaboration among water modellers, users and decision makers across Queensland, creating a community of water modelling excellence.

The QWMN External Engagement Program will result in a range of activities. These include:

Water Modelling Skills and Knowledge Audit

The Water Modelling Skills and Knowledge Audit will characterise both current and future water modelling workforce capability development needs, along with the full range of current formal education and training opportunities of relevance to those needs in Queensland.

QWMN Innovation program

The QWMN Innovation program is based on the good practice lessons from successful Industrial Doctorate Centre (IDC) and Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) models that have been running in the UK for the past two and four decades respectively. The program has 5 Innovation Associates (IAs), conducting applied research on water modelling problems proposed by industry and government partners including the Queensland Government, SEQ Water, Gold Coast City Council, C2O Consulting and the Bureau of Meteorology.

The IA’s are being supervised jointly by Queensland researchers and government and industry scientists. The program will produce useful water models and modelling solutions for policy, planning and management issues in Queensland, develop the capabilities of the next generation of water modelling leaders, and act to attract the best potential candidates nationally and internationally to research, live and ultimately work in the Queensland water modelling and use sector. The IAs will also act as ambassadors for the QWMN and provide an important link between undergraduate students and the water modelling sector.

Water Modelling Mentoring program

In collaboration with QWMN members, a mentoring program has been established to provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to interact with water modelling professionals from government and industry with a view to developing their understanding of the use of water models in policy delivery as well as career opportunities available in the water modelling professions.

The mentoring program is a skills-based mentoring program, so students are better able to join the water modelling workforce in Queensland. The first pilot has been run at Griffith University, with further iterations due to be run at James Cook University, The University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland and QUT.

Priorities for Future Investment report

A series of targeted interviews will be carried out with QWMN members and international experts to identify priority areas for future investment in education, research and training to support sustained sector-scale water modelling and use in Queensland. A scoping paper report will be provided that captures the outcomes of these interviews along with a prioritised and quantified list of future investment areas in terms of estimated returns on investment.

Water Modelling Hack Challenge

A 2-day Water Modelling Hack Challenge will provide a way for teams of junior-mid career water professional and postgraduate students to engage with sector stakeholders, to learn from real, practical problems and from the process of generating feasible innovative solutions. Hack entries are assessed by a panel of government, university and industry QWMN members. The event provides a mechanism to recognise talent and incentivise entrepreneurial activity in water modelling in Queensland.

QWMN Forum

The QWMN Forum is an annual 1.5-day event designed to bring together water modelling and use professionals from industry, government and research to share good practice, learn from each other across application areas and organisational divides, and to connect and create opportunities for collaboration.

QWMN Community of Practice

Community of Practices – CoPs – are a mechanism for enabling wider engagement across the modelling community, including with modellers, end-users and other actors in the sector. The QWMN CoP activities will seek to

  1. enable participants to meet and collaborate to develop and champion agendas in water modelling
  2. generate practical and influential thought and advocacy outputs that reflect those agendas
  3. generate mutual understanding, trust and the desire to collaborate (the ‘social infrastructure’ which underpins improved capacity to innovate in water modelling)
  4. contribute to professional development and peer-to-peer learning and in doing so to help address some of the needs identified in the skills and knowledge audit.

CoP activities are organised around three main thematic areas – urban-focused events, landscape sustainability-focused events and skills-focused events.

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