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Lauren Holland

Lauren Holland 1

Lauren Holland is a Land Surveyor for Murphy Surveys, based in Central London.

How did your career in surveying begin?

I’ve always loved the outdoors and Geography was my favourite subject at school. I decided to follow my instincts and go to Aberystwyth University to study Geography.  While I was there I developed an interest for 3D modelling. However towards the end of my degree, I was still unsure of what I wanted to do.  I booked an appointment with the university’s careers advisor for some help and advice. She asked me a lot of questions about what I liked doing, which mainly involved being outside and 3D modelling. She suggested that I look into surveying as a career option. At this point I had never actually heard of surveying, so I did some research and contacted a survey company in London. I did a week of work experience with them and I loved every single day. Once it was over, they offered me a job and my passion for 3D modelling and surveying has grown from there.

In a typical week what sort of work are you doing?

I work in our monitoring department, where I support our clients to understand the structural movement and environmental impact of buildings, bridges and tunnels. This involves spending most days on construction sites, using instruments such as a total station TM50; this is a monitoring survey instrument that sits on a tripod and measures the difference in vertical and horizonal angles and slop distances, or, using sensors, the level of dust or noise on site.  This is a critical part of the construction (and demolition) process.  It means I enable our clients to minimise the risk to those working in and around the site as well as safeguarding the public. The rest of my day is spent in the office processing the data and producing reports for our clients. It is really exciting for me to be part of this specialist department and it means I can become an expert in my field of work.

I am also lucky enough to be supported by my company in becoming a STEM ambassador, which involves visiting schools and promoting the surveying industry to the next generation, and also being a female role model to the students. I’m becoming more active in the geospatial industry in general, working towards my membership of the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors and attending networking events, where I can meet and talk to clients and fellow surveyors.

Can you give some examples of memorable projects you’ve worked on?

Being based in Central London I’ve been privileged to work on some amazing projects in heritage, property and infrastructure. Recently I scanned Churchill’s Old War office in Whitehall. It was amazing walking in his footsteps. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, scanning every centimetre of where he masterminded his Second World War manoeuvres. The building had 1,100 rooms and two miles of corridors. I’ve also worked on a structural monitoring project that excavated Shakespeare’s Curtain Theatre, which dates back to 1577. This was where Romeo and Juliet was first performed!

What part of your job do you most enjoy?

I love being outside, seeing London change every day and working outside usually involves being in a team. At Murphy Surveys, it is one big community, so it is like spending the day with friends. Working outdoors comes with challenges, such as weather and especially obstructions on construction sites. But I love that it keeps your brain constantly active and overcoming the challenges really does give you a daily sense of achievement. 

What advice would you give your younger self on whether to choose a career in surveying?

I would say go for it, full speed ahead! If you listen to your heart and keep doing what you enjoy everything will fall into place. And I would tell my younger self that you can really do anything if you put your whole mind to it!

Norman Oliver

Norman Oliver

Norman Oliver is Managing Director of N D Oliver & Co Ltd, an SME Geomatics (Land) Survey company based in Sale, South Manchester. The company was first established in 1995 as a sole trader and grew from there to become the current limited company in 1999.

How did your career in surveying begin?

My father is a chartered land surveyor and had his own company (M N Oliver and Co), so my earliest experience of surveying was helping him at weekends or sometimes on jobs which by chance seemed to coincide with family holidays! Having decided on a career as a land surveyor, I went to North East London Polytechnic to complete an HND in surveying and take the RICS final exams. Following this, I started full time as a surveyor with M N Oliver and Co and completed my APC to become a chartered surveyor in 1989 and continued to gain experience of surveying and managing a SME company until setting up on my own.

In a typical week what sort of work are you doing?

As the company has grown, my role has increasingly become more and more office based and that of a manager of a small business rather than a surveyor. This has some benefits such as meeting clients but is a source of some regret as I do very little surveying now.

I have been privileged to work on some wonderful projects. Here are a few examples.

First, as a callow 16- year-old going to Garyan, Libya to work as a chain lad for a month as part of a topographical survey team – quite an eye opener!

North West Ethylene Pipeline

My first big project for M N Oliver and Co, running a team of surveyors (7 teams at the peak) setting out the route, completing crossing surveys for design and as-built surveys. Our section of the pipeline was 92km long stretching through Lancashire and Cumbria. I learned a lot about organising teams and liaising with the main contractor.

Manchester Metrolink Phase 3 expansion

This was the first big project carried out by N D Oliver & Co. The survey included all the new routes (75km) for the proposed “big bang” expansion of the Metrolink system. The work included using OS background maps, aerial photography, videos and structure elevations, as well as detailed topographical survey. It is hugely satisfying to have had a part to play in the development of a great transport system which has been such a benefit to my home town.

TIES Project

This was a government leaseback scheme, where the DWP proposed to sell off over 800 job centres to a private company. N D Oliver & Co Ltd was engaged to survey all the properties for NIA and many with full floor plans as well. The work had to be completed in a relatively short time period which meant sub-contracting many of the sites to other survey companies, generally by geographical location.

Cooling Tower Surveys

This work has been on-going since the 1980s and has become a bit of a specialist service for us. Cooling towers have been surveyed for shape, in comparison to the design and visually inspected for defects. As survey equipment has developed so too has the techniques employed, evolving from two instrument intersections, to reflectorless observations and now laser scanning. The specialised nature of the work has given us the opportunity to work on cooling towers as far away as Australia and recently in Maryland, USA.

What part of your job do you most enjoy?

Originally it was working outdoors in unusual, interesting and hugely varied places. There is also the opportunity to travel all over the UK and sometimes abroad and this is all paid for by the work. As my role has changed, I still get to travel a little, but meeting clients and other surveyors is the most enjoyable part of my role

What advice would you give your younger self on whether to choose a career in surveying?

I would have no hesitation in recommending a career in surveying. In my case I set up my own company, but it is important to get a good education in the basics / theory of surveying and then to gain experience doing the job first.

Claire Fenwick


Claire Fenwick Spatial Dimensions

Managing Director Spatial Dimensions

Member of The Survey Association (TSA)

Claire Fenwick is a graduate of the TSA Course at The Survey School.  The aim of the Course is to equip surveyors with the professional and practical training they need to work as a geomatics surveyor.  Company membership of TSA requires the business to produce work of the highest professional standard.


After studying for a BA Honours degree in Graphic Design at KIAD (Kent Institute of Art and Design), Claire decided to change career completely. Geomatics surveyors work outdoors, and the role offers considerable opportunities for travel which also appealed to Claire.


She chose to retrain as a Geomatics Surveyor at The Survey School in Worcester at the age of 23. Claire graduated from the TSA Course in Surveying and quickly progressed from trainee surveyor to senior surveyor with Maltby Land Surveys, one of the UK’s leading survey companies.


After relocating to Sevenoaks, Claire joined a small local surveying company and worked her way up to manage large survey projects.


In 2011, after having her second child, Claire left, to work for herself, freelancing on behalf of large surveying companies across the UK. As part of this role she also offered survey software training, helping other companies progress into digital site surveying.


Claire was inundated with work and soon had to employ additional staff.  She invested in the latest survey technology and with a mission to provide outstanding customer service, Spatial Dimensions started trading in October 2012.


Spatial Dimensions survey, measure, map and model, land and buildings, mainly working within the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry. They cover all elements of surveying, and undertake utility surveys, subsurface mapping as well as aerial surveys and inspection using small unmanned aircraft.


As one of the leading innovators in modern 3D surveying techniques, including, laser scanning and photogrammetry, their work in SCAN2BIM has attracted new clients from a variety of sectors. They are now privileged to work with many of Britain’s top architectural practices and have had ongoing involvement in some impressive construction and refurbishment projects.


In 2016 Claire won the Kent Women in Construction Award, helping Spatial Dimensions raise their profile within the industry. She also speaks regularly at local schools and colleges on the topic of careers in construction for young people. As part of this, she actively promotes careers in the built environment for females, to try and redress the gender imbalance and skills shortage in the industry. Claire loves her job and enjoys being part of an ever changing and growing industry.



Francesca Little


At just 23 years old, Francesca Little has already shown she has the drive and ability needed to take her to the very top of the surveying profession.

She joined Site Engineering Surveys as an assistant surveyor three years ago and is based in London. The company specialise in surveys for planning, pre-construction, construction and structural monitoring and Francesca has been involved in several of the city’s high-profile residential and commercial projects.

With promotion to senior surveyor now in sight, she explains why she thrives on extra responsibility and new challenges.

How did your career in surveying begin?

I didn’t do that well at school but just before GCSEs, I moved to a different school, got my head down and worked hard. I didn’t know what I wanted to do so, like many of my friends, I applied for a course in hairdressing at my local college. I’m a hands-on person and I learn best by doing something practical.

After some work experience at a firm of architects I had a change of heart about hairdressing. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be an architect, but the design of buildings really interested me, and I knew that I wanted something more for myself than hairdressing. The college put me on the Level 3 BTech course in Construction and the Built Environment, where I was the only girl in a class of 15 students. The course included a good insight into all the job roles in construction, but it was surveying that really grabbed me.

After college I had to be very single-minded about finding the sort of job I’d trained for. I was unemployed, and the Job Centre only offered me office or retail work. It was hard to keep my goal in mind because I needed the money.

Everything changed when I joined SES as assistant surveyor. I was given a lot of opportunities to learn and gain the experience I needed to be promoted. I was keen to take on extra responsibility and soon got made up to graduate assistant, then junior and now surveyor.

In a typical week, what sort of work are you doing?

I could be on site, setting out, establishing grid control or talking to clients. No two days are the same and the job can sometimes throw up a few surprises, such as the time that we discovered that all our control points had to be re-established as they had been waterproofed over!

After some competitive tests, I was one of only two members of staff selected by SES for a place on the TSA Surveying Course at The Survey School in Worcester. Studying and practising the principles of surveying through each block on the Course has given me a better understanding of the instruments and the skills needed to question and investigate readings.

What kind of projects have you worked on?

I assisted the project surveyor on a £500m project for the London HQ of a global bank soon after joining SES. There were five teams of surveyors and I was based there for six months. We had to establish control points and datum levels on each floor of the building. Every day was different and dealing with the challenges of the project kept me interested and keen to learn. I stayed there until the handover to the fit-out company.  From there I went to the work on the new European HQ of a multi-national online retailer, another prestigious commercial and residential development in London.

What part of your job do you most enjoy?

I love working independently, planning the work and speaking to clients. The more responsibility and the more pressure, the better I like it. I find the problem-solving that comes with the job stimulating. For example, we had to do a lift shaft survey in a basement. There were no control points and we had to find a place to set up. Working in awkward spaces and overcoming those challenges is one aspect of the job that I particularly enjoy.

What advice would you give your younger self on whether to choose a career in surveying?

Sometimes I can’t quite believe that I’ve worked on such huge projects, how I’ve planned and overseen the jobs and dealt with the responsibility. As a woman it was a little daunting at first, but I’ve never had any trouble on site. The self-belief that comes with experience has earned me respect. Some very experienced people have questioned my results, then after checking they told me they were wrong, and I was right! So perhaps I should have had more confidence in myself at an earlier age because I had the ambition and self-motivation to succeed.

Now I’ve found the right career for me, I don’t intend to stand still. The opportunities in surveying are endless. I hope to continue progressing as much as I can and maybe in the next ten years I could be working in a management position, either within the company I’m in now or elsewhere, either UK-based or overseas. Setting up my own survey company is something I would also consider. I’m excited by the opportunities that could come my way and where a career in surveying will take me.

Steve Cottis

Steve Cottis 1

Steve Cottis is a land surveyor with Atkins, based at the consultancy’s Chelmsford office. He is a valued member of a team of geomatics professionals, serving a client base that includes national, international and local government agencies, transportation departments, private developers and contractors.

Steve graduated from the TSA Course in Surveying at The Survey School, with the Best Student award (pictured below, with TSA President Mark Combes).

V3631N_Low Res

Since completing his studies he has continued to impress his employers and has further extended his knowledge and interest in high definition surveying techniques by attending an in-house training course on laser scanning.

How did your career in surveying begin?

At university I studied for a degree in Geography and I really enjoyed the mapping, remote sensing and aerial photography aspects of the course. I still wasn’t too sure what I wanted to do when I got my degree but I went on to gain a PGCE qualification, with a view to teaching Geography,  but ultimately decided teaching wasn’t for me. I preferred working outside and seeing new places rather than being in a classroom or office environment all the time. I responded to an advert for an Assistant Surveyor with Atkins, was offered an interview and got the job. I started by assisting the on-site team and I learned a lot from senior people with great experience, knowledge and expertise.  I was able to incorporate my learning into what I was doing and gradually build up my skills until I was ready to lead small teams myself.

My employers had sufficient confidence in my abilities to further invest in the training provided at The Survey School and I know they are pleased with my achievement on the Course. It was at The Survey School that I was first introduced to some of the exciting new technologies, such as laser scanning that are increasingly required by Atkins’ clients.

In a typical week what sort of work are you doing?

There is really no such thing as a typical week in my job but broadly speaking I spend about 60 per cent of time on site and 40 per cent in the office processing the data from the field. I could be working on small surveys over a couple of days or jobs that might extend over months. I recently worked on a large project for Thames Water to set up a power line between two pumping stations in London. This took the lead surveyor two months to complete.

What are some of the memorable projects you have worked on?

Several jobs spring to mind. It was a particular thrill to carry out a survey at Lord’s Cricket Ground in preparation for the venue to install temporary media tribunes on the pavilion for the 2012 Olympic archery events. This survey involved a highly detailed 3D model of the Pavilion seating to help position the commentary booths. Unfortunately the survey was completed in January in the pouring rain and I felt a bit guilty about walking through the famous old building with both equipment and clothing dripping wet. For the Olympic rowing events at Eton Dorney, we had to RTK the ground levels for a final plan designed to accommodate spectator seating and access routes.

I was also based in Qatar for a month to install and GPS ground control points for an aerial photo survey that covered Doha and further inland. The work was fairly tough going in the heat and I won’t easily forget the day we got lost and ended up driving towards the royal residence The armed guards didn’t take too kindly to our presence and we were sent on our way after a tense standoff. However, it was a great experience to visit a new place and play a role in the large scale and rapid development of the infrastructure in Doha.

What part of your job do you most enjoy?

I enjoy the problem solving that goes with surveying. I’ve learned that you can never approach a survey job with a closed mind on how to complete it. You always need to be adaptable. Sometimes you really do need to think outside the box to ensure best practice and the highest quality deliverables for the client are maintained at all times. I consider myself very fortunate to have worked in different places in the world and in every part of the UK. My job has given me access to spectacular workplace locations in Northern Ireland, Wales, Derbyshire and Norfolk and opportunities to appreciate how they change through the seasons.

What advice would you give your younger self on whether to choose a career in surveying?

I would have told myself to actively consider surveying as a career at an earlier stage. It wasn’t my first choice and I was lucky that an opportunity presented itself.  A degree in Geography is useful for surveying but if I had my time over again I would have chosen differently to get started on my career faster. A degree in Surveying, Maths or Engineering might have been a more direct route to the kind of career that would best suit my abilities and interests.

James Pike

When leaving school, I had a keen interest in Computing, so I ventured on to college to study a BTEC National Diploma in Computing & Networking. Initially the prospect of working in IT was engaging. After completing the two year course, the thought of working in an office environment day to day seemed a little tedious unchallenging. A career was required that could provide me with ample opportunity to see new environments and test my abilities.

The process of becoming an Assistant Surveyor was very sudden, as I had heard about the job opportunity the day before interviews were taking place. A spontaneous decision was made to apply and attend the interview to see how things progressed. Initially I had very little knowledge of what the job title ‘Assistant Surveyor’ implied, yet it sounded intriguing and challenging.

The interview was very engaging, aiding to heighten my interest in attempting this new career path.

Having passed the job interview and being invited to join the Severn Partnership in late 2005, I began my job as an Assistant Surveyor, providing support as part of a Survey team. This involved helping to set up Tripods, installing control and even some instrument work. This actively involves you in the thought processes concerning surveying, creating an insightful opportunity to understand the workings and disciplines of the job.

Surveying has given me the opportunity to travel around the country, seeing all kinds of different environments. Having worked on Heritage sites on old historic buildings, surveying rivers, reservoirs, structures, roads, railways, factories, golf courses and even confined spaces such as tunnels, it is a career with ample variety, making sure no day is the same. Office work is also incorporated into the job, as the data has to be processed, creating time for working with Design Software. This can appealing to people who are interested in working with computer software, yet don’t want to be confined to an office every day of the week.

Surveying as a career gives you a chance to liaise and work with people from all kinds of career paths, giving you an understanding of their roles as part of team to achieve the overall task set for each individual job. This makes you think extensively about the job required as a whole, rather than on one particular task, as required by some other careers.

Having worked as an assistant for one and a half years it was felt I had a good enough understanding to progress onto the role of Surveyor In Training. This brought more responsibilities and provided me with the ability to undertake my own surveys. Being more engaged in each individual job requires you to think on your feet and show initiative making the process more interesting and less of a set task to complete.

Finally, I made the decision to participate in the Introduction To Surveying course, in order to further my climb into Surveying. The course consisted of six blocks, each two weeks long, over the period of two years. Studying part time was the best direction for me, as it enabled me to continue my career at the same time as progressing towards my qualification.

Having participated and completed the course, achieving Distinction & Best Student, I was delighted with my achievement.

The course is very insightful and provides technical knowledge into the practice of surveying, covering a variety of different subjects that are each applicable to the different fields of the surveying profession. Having now achieved a Surveyor Grade 1 position, my next step is to eventually work towards achieving technical membership (TCInstCES) by more formal training within the company I work for.

Peter Barker

My current position is managing director of a geophysical survey company called Stratascan Ltd. I employ 20 people – many of them graduates. We carry out shallow geophysical surveys all over the UK and Ireland looking for archaeology and other buried features such as fuel tanks, mine shafts and pipes and cables. We are also increasingly
carrying out forensic geophysical surveys assisting the police in locating clandestine burials.

So how did I arrive at setting up a company doing such interesting work?

When I was in my early teens I spent most weekends helping my father on archaeological dig in and around south Shropshire where we lived. My stronger subjects at school were in the sciences so I ended up taking ‘A’ levels in maths chemistry and physics. Though I was keen to follow my father into archaeology I decided I would go into engineering which more suited my academic strengths so I studied civil engineering at college. I enrolled on a sandwich course which included working in design offices and out on site. During these periods I worked for Worcestershire County Council Highways Dept and for Slough Borough Council Engineers Section which involved me in carrying out measured survey to provide the base mapping for road improvement schemes and other minor works. I had learnt a lot of survey techniques from my father so I found the work relatively easy to pick up.

Upon leaving college I joined a firm of consulting engineers in Victoria Street in London. In the 19th and early 20th century it was important for the consultants to be close to Parliament to pick up work. Things though were changing and it wasn’t long before we moved to the delights of Penge in SE London. I was soon off onto site looking for
greener pastures – literally – when I was appointed assistant resident engineer on a rural sewerage and sewage disposal scheme in Surrey. It was on site that I decided I would prefer to be ‘contractor’ rather than a ‘consultant’. As a result I joined a contracting company operating in the north west of England and north Wales. I had visions of climbing in Snowdonia every weekend but the truth was I ended up helping to build the motorway system around Manchester.

Sadly this company fell on bad times and I found myself unemployed when they went into liquidation. Though traumatic at the time, in retrospect, is was a good thing as it forced a career change. I set up my first company with a co-director who had also been made redundant as a result of the liquidation. This new company specialised in carrying out CCTV surveys of drainage pipes and quickly grew in size. It is still trading some 30 years later and currently employs over 200 staff. After three years of trading we set up another new company this time to manufacture the CCTV equipment we were using and to move into other areas of remote sensing including thermal imaging and covert surveillance. This company developed many innovative products during the 1980’s selling them through a worldwide network of agents. In addition to these agents we set up subsidiary companies in the USA and Singapore. One of our more interesting customers included NASA where we supplied a number of thermal imaging cameras deployed on the shuttle launch pad to check for hydrogen fires following the Challenger disaster in 1986.

I left the electronics company in 1990 to set up Stratascan allowing me to combine my knowledge of remote sensing and surveying to be applied into the fields of archaeology and engineering. We have carried over 1400 projects since starting with commissions in some very interesting places including The Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace. I would advise anyone with good spatial awareness and an understanding of basic geometry and maths to consider surveying as a career. It combines working outside, travel and practical skills with computing and mapping skills and a knowledge of other disciplines such as building and civil engineering. It is demanding and exacting work but very fulfilling to see the final maps coming off the printer.


Lee Wakelin

Adien Ltd

As I child I was always interested in the world, maps and how they were created. Coming from a coal mining community with a mine that had just closed my job Opportunities were limited to YTS scheme and Apprenticeships. So when I left school I applied to join the army and get a trade. I passed the aptitude test and threw at me was offered a place on a two day assessment at the Army Apprentices College at Chepstow to study for an apprenticeship as a Cartographer. After the two days I was told that I might be better suited as a surveyor engineer and was asked if I would like to take up a two year apprenticeship which I accepted.

I spent two years at Chepstow along with all the military training I was also introduced to for the first time to land surveying. I really enjoyed my time there Learning all the basics of surveying from levelling to setting out using theodolites and hand booking all the readings. This was a good experience a great practice for solving problems in the future. I spent a further three years in the army carrying out small scale setting out and levelling projects around the U.K.

After leaving the army I struggled to get a job as a surveying while living in the south of England and it was only when I moved back to Yorkshire that an opportunity arose for me to return to the industry I enjoyed with Adien.

I have now been working for Adien who are a utility detection and 3D mapping company based in Doncaster for almost five years. Over the last five years I have grown in confidence and knowledge and have moved up from trainee land surveyor to lead surveyor. I also spent a year on site leading a team and tracing the underground utilities myself as well as surveying the results in at the end. I have worked on all of Adien’s large scale projects these include Edinburgh Tram Project, Sheffield Inner ring Road project and the Cavendish Dock regeneration Project in Barrow. I have also carried out many smaller scale projects all over the U.K. Although the Majority of Adien’s work in the UK I have been heavily involved in Projects in Gibraltar and Kuwait. I was asked to lead a team of three men to locate and map the whole sea water cooling system within a large petrochemicals plant on the outskirts of Kuwait city.

As Lead Surveyor at Adien I work very closely with the survey manager to ensure the client gets the survey they want to the right specification. I go out on site on all the major projects that we undertake and ensure that the control networks are set up correctly. I do the majority of the GPS work that is required by the clients and carry out all the post processing within Adien. I help and train all our junior surveyors in learning new skills and adding to their experience.

When I am not on site I spend the other fifty percent of my time processing and editing other peoples work. Because of my experiences I am also part of a small team that checking our finished drawings against any information the clients have provided us with in regards to what utilities they think are in the area. And perform a QA off all our processes and procedures.

As a surveyor I get the opportunity to work all over the U.K and am very rarely in the same place twice. I enjoy the different challenges that I can face from day to day as no two sites are the same. Every site although may have the same features the views and sights are constantly changing. Although I do spend a lot of time in the office I cant wait to get back out on site whatever the weather day or night. I spend a lot of time speaking to and liaising with clients both on site and in the office and enjoy meeting new people. I find it very rewarding to see all my hard work on site being turned into a hard copy drawing sent to the client, I have recently completed the TSA introduction to surveying course on which I gain the grade of distinction along with the ICES prize for best assignment. This course I believe is ideal for anyone joining the industry and just starting out it gives a great insight into many different disciplines within the surveying industry.

Tony Andrews

Surveyor with EDI Surveys

I remember approaching the end of my time at high school with everyone asking me what I was planning on doing after I left. I can honestly say that I had no idea. I tried to buy myself some time by continuing on at my high school’s new 6th Form Centre, thinking that maybe I’d have a better idea after getting my A-Levels. But before the year was up I knew that 6th Form wasn’t for me and left in search of a job.

After going through a month’s worth of job sections in the local paper I registered with my local Careers Advice Centre. I wasn’t holding my breath, as all the jobs I’d seen advertised were administration type roles. But I got a call and was told about a job that had come up at the County Council as a ‘Survey Assistant’, and that’s how I strayed into surveying. It’s fair to say that I had very little knowledge of what a ‘surveyor’ did; well let’s say I had no idea.

I got a copy of the job description, which read:

Collect information in the field by any of the standard methods of topographical surveying, including traversing, levelling and detail survey methods. This will require an understanding of the use of the ‘Moss Site Measurement Module’ and how it is used to produce a digital ground model and topographical survey drawings.

After reading that, I decided that this was the job for me even though I had no idea what ‘standard methods of topographical surveying’ meant, nor did I have an understanding of the use of the ‘Moss Site Measurement Module’. But I could learn, right?

Being a surveyor, I’m not chained to my desk and the best part of my work involves being out on site at different locations across the county. You will need to be comfortable with computers as the majority of survey information is recorded, processed and delivered digitally. I process all my own jobs right though to the CAD drawing or 3D model stage which gives a good sense of achievement.

You’ll also have to learn to apply your knowledge to unusual or difficult situations. These days modern instruments are equipped with lasers for noncontact measurement enabling you to achieve your measurements without having to go near that angry looking dog over the fence.

You’ll be taught to think in 3D for the most part and I like to think my spatial awareness comes from my skills developed whilst building with Technical Lego as a youngster. Recent advances in surveying are in 3D laser scanners which are used to create an exceptionally detailed 3D model of the surrounding environment, which is something I’d personally like to get into.

These instruments are also used in the entertainment industry to create digital 3D models used to create realistic virtual environments for both movies and video games!

I came to a point where I’d been working as a surveyor for a few years and gained a lot of on the job experience, but I wanted to learn some more about the theory of what I was doing and get a recognised survey qualification. I enrolled on The Survey Association training course ‘Introduction to Surveying’ which is a technician level training course. The course was run over two years divided into six two-week blocks. This course gave me the background knowledge and theory behind what I’d been doing day to day at work, and I made new friends and had good times along the way.

After completing The Survey Association course with Distinction and winning the prize for best student I decided to take my education to the next stage and undertook a degree. I’ve now graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Surveying & Mapping Sciences after studying part-time, one day a week at the University of East London.

I continue to work for EDI Surveys and am gaining new skills and applying myself to more and more challenging tasks, from HDS Laser Scanning of historically significant buildings for conservation work to 3D surveys for the production of visualization scenes for Computer Generated Imagery (CGI ) and surveying onboard vessels to enable the calibration of navigation equipment and Remotely Operated underwater Vehicles (ROV’s).

I’ve had the opportunity to work all over the UK and even abroad in the Arab state of Qatar on the New Port Project, surveying the coast for one of the world’s largest greenfield port developments, which includes a new shipping port and Qatar Naval base, spanning an area over 26 square kilometres.