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Student story

Hamish Kingsbury

20 July 2023

"I can use my GIS skills to help a huge range of different industries..."


Bachelor of Science in Geography

Postgraduate Diploma in Geographic Information Science*

Principal Integration Specialist, Abley

* Now offered as the Postgraduate Diploma in Geospatial Science and Technology.

Hamish’s work with Abley began with an internship role while studying, where he is now a Principal Integration Specialist.

"In my role I work with a range of clients helping them deliver and achieve solutions," he says. "My main area of work is in digital engineering – I work with clients to identify, scope, build, and develop solutions to achieve the desired outcome. These solutions all have a core GIS component that drives the direction of the final product."

His favourite thing about his work is how different each project can be, bringing a new set of challenges and knowledge to his role.

One particular area Hamish has received recognition for is his project calculating transportation routes based on road safety data, which earned him a number of awards for such an innovative project – including the 2015 NZ ESRI Young Scholar Award (which included attending the Esri International GIS Conference in San Diego), and the NZ Spatial Excellence Awards Undergraduate of the Year title.

"Working as a consultant opens me up to a huge range of different clients," he says. "As a result I can use my GIS skills to help a huge range of different industries. GIS is a widely applicable discipline that can be used in industries ranging from health to Geology to social sciences and more."

Hamish was fortunate to be involved in the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Rebuild (NCTIR) alliance, as part of the Kaikōura earthquake recovery.

"In that team we are supporting daily operations of the Geotech and Environmental teams, as well as the designers and engineers. This ranges from simple map creations through to developing 3D scenes viewable on web browsers, tablets, and phones."

Enrolling at UC with a UC Merit Scholarship, Hamish had initially gone into university studies with his two interests Geography and Computer Science.

"UC rates highly in both these departments and because I’m a Cantab through-and-through, it was an easy decision to remain in Christchurch," he says. "I really enjoyed the campus, student lifestyle, Christchurch, the range of courses and the lecturers and my fellow students who encouraged me to perform to my best."

By far his favourite memories from UC were the field trips he took within the South Island.

"I took numerous Geology papers – including two week-long field trip based papers. These papers had us stationed at one of UC’s various field stations. A lot of hard work and a lot of fun was had on these trips. I also went on a number of day and overnight field trips with the Geography department."

Geographic Information Science was a perfect combination of both of these subjects at postgrad level.

"My study gave me a broad background in various topics. As I’ve progressed through the professional environment I have discovered areas that further interest me and used my existing skills to help expand my knowledge in these new areas," he says. "You can chose to use GIS in conjunction with a range of other skills. It is both a tool and a discipline – and extremely versatile."

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