Winners of the UNIGIS Academic Excellence Prize 2023

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Winners of the UNIGIS Academic Excellence Prize 2023

UNIGIS Honors Top Master’s Students with 2023 Academic Excellence Awards

The UNIGIS International Association (UIA) is proud to announce the winners of the 2023 Academic Excellence Prize. Since 2008, this prestigious award has recognized outstanding Master’s theses in the field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from students at UNIGIS partner universities worldwide.

Rigorous Competition Yields Exceptional Winners

This year, the UNIGIS International Association Review Board had the challenging task of evaluating seven exceptional Master’s theses. After careful consideration, they selected three winners:

First Place: Christopher S. Hayner, University of Southern California (USA). Thesis title: “Exploring the Pernicious Effects of Redlining and Discriminatory Policies on an American City: A Spatio-Temporal Case Study of New York City.”

  • Christopher’s thesis, nominated unanimously for the top spot, explores the lasting impact of historical injustices on urban environments.
  • “I am incredibly honored,” shared Christopher. “This recognition underscores the importance of examining the legacy of discrimination in our cities. I am grateful for the exceptional support from USC’s geography department and my thesis advisors.”




Second Place: Telmo Geraldes Dias, NOVA Information School – Universidade Nova de Lisboa (NOVA IMS, Portugal). Thesis title: “Three-dimensional mapping of ocean variables and marine ecosystems characterization on the Portuguese coast.”

  • Telmo’s work focuses on 3D ocean mapping and marine ecosystem characterization, crucial for sustainable ocean management.
  • “This recognition is a true honor,” Telmo remarked. “I share the credit with the NOVA IMS faculty, especially the thesis supervisors, Prof. Ana Cristina Costa and Cdr. Paulo Nunes, and the course coordinator, Prof. Marco Painho. As a Navy officer involved in oceanographic research, I believe continued ocean mapping efforts will lead to better science and informed decision-making for a safe and sustainable future.”


Third Place: Sina Bernhard, University of Salzburg (Austria). Thesis title: “Analysis and prediction of microgeographic location of software firms. A comparison of the U.S. and Germany.”

  • Sina’s thesis delves into the factors influencing the location of software firms in the US and Germany.
  • “Winning third place is a humbling honor,” said Sina. “This recognition reflects not only my dedication but also the outstanding education provided by UNIGIS Salzburg. I am particularly grateful to Professor Resch for his invaluable guidance throughout my thesis research.”

The future of GIS is undeniably bright, and the remarkable achievements of these award winners highlight its immense potential.

Congratulations once again to Christopher, Telmo, and Sina!

2024-05-21T17:00:47+00:00May 21st, 2024|Blogs, News, Theses|0 Comments