Canberra student takes out top ‘Unleash Your App’ award

A Canberra undergraduate student has taken out the top ‘Unleash Your App’ award after developing an Android app for public transport users.

Zakaria Bouguettaya, a final year software engineering student from the Australian National University (ANU), won the ‘Unleash Your App’ competition for the development of MyBus2.0; an app that displays and searches Canberra public transport timetables and then uses GPS capabilities to map the nearest path to a bus stop.

Federal communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, presented Bouguettaya with a $5000 prize and Samsung Galaxy S II at Parliament today; saying the awards are important to the future of the IT sector.

“It gives me great pleasure to present this award to a young student who we know is on the path to a bright future in Australia’s information technology industry,” Conroy said.

“To help ensure Australia’s future prosperity, we need agile, smart technologies that make the most of emerging platforms.”

Bouguettaya will also receive technical and commercial guidance to develop his app, with Optus providing training and an opportunity to have the app feature on the Optus app store.

The awards, sponsored by National ICT Australia (NICTA) and Optus, were launched to unearth hidden IT talent, NICTA’s director of infrastructure, transport and logistics, Rob Fitzpatrick said.

“NICTA and Optus launched this competition not just to unearth Android apps, but also to help talented university students bring their ideas into reality,” he said.

“We believe that our investment in today’s students will reap rewards for Australian research and innovation in the future."

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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