A team from The University of Western Australia has been named by internet giant Google the "Champions of the Earth" after their win in Google SketchUp's "Build your Campus in 3D Competition".
The eight-member Team UWA, shortlisted for the award in December along with two teams from The University of Melbourne, was named the winner for its 3D virtual UWA at a ceremony in Sydney.
"They are almost the only 3D buildings in WA on Google Earth," one of the team leaders, Jay Jay Jegathesan, said.
"This win is an important outcome for the University, because potential students from regional areas and overseas can now get an idea of our campus' magnificent architecture and grounds - and perhaps, as a result, choose to study here," he said.
"We took more than two months to create the 28 3D models which include 56 different buildings on most of the campus surrounding Winthrop Hall up to Engineering."
Along with Mr Jegathesan, who is School of Physics manager, the other team leaders were Computer Science PhD candidates Chris Thorne and Wong Tzu Yen. The team also included undergraduate and postgraduate students from Architecture, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science: Bradley Curnow, Evgeni Sergeev, Minh Tran, Jonathan Knispel and Michael Huynh.
An all expenses-paid trip to Google Australia's Sydney headquarters and a real tour of Sydney were part of the prize, along with the Professional Edition of Google's flagship 3D modelling tool, SketchUp and the opportunity to take part in workshops with US experts.
"We hope that this win will provide further impetus and interest in our other work, the UWA Virtual Universe project," co-leader Mr Thorne said. "Anyone can log in, choose an avatar, walk around the campus and even ask an avatar of Einstein - which stands outside Winthrop Hall - questions about science."