New Surveying Tool in Civil Engineering Tech

New Surveying Tool in Civil Engineering Tech
New Surveying Tool in Civil Engineering Tech

Trimble Robotic Total Station is state-of-the-science

Alan Hancock, an instructor in the Civil Engineering Technology program at Dakota County Technical College, makes sure his students learn the skills required for their future careers on industry-standard equipment. One new piece of equipment is the Trimble S3 Robotic Total Station, a surveying instrument that allows one person to perform efficient surveying jobs. Traditionally, surveying instruments have required a team of two.

“The Trimble Robotic Total Station has servo drives based on electro-magnetic technology,” Hancock said. “You can choose full robotic mode and operate the instrument using a handheld controller. You can easily be a thousand yards away from the station.”

Hancock added that the advanced technology employed by the Trimble Robotic Total Station enables the surveyor to take measurements without a prism on almost any type of surface. The surveyor can capture information on hard-to-reach targets, measuring quickly and safely without compromising accuracy.

“Our program also has Leica Total Stations and my students really appreciate learning how to survey using instruments they know are the gold standard out in the field,” Hancock said. “As civil engineering technicians they will be working on construction projects that are on the leading edge of technology, projects that involve building roads, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges and edifices of all kinds.”

What is surveying?

Surveying, or land surveying, is the technique, profession and science of accurately determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional position of points along with the distances and angles between those points. Surveying is commonly practiced by licensed surveyors and members of various building professions. The terrestrial or 3D points, usually on the surface of the Earth (but not always), are typically used to establish land maps and boundaries for ownership as well as locations such as building corners or the surface coordinates of subsurface features. Other purposes for surveying are linked to governmental requirements or civil law (property sales). To accomplish their objectives, surveyors apply elements of mathematics, geometry, trigonometry, physics, engineering and law. *

* Courtesy of Wikipedia

Surveying: Then and Now

Why Civil Engineering Technology at DCTC?

The Civil Engineering Technology program at DCTC is designed for one core purpose: prepare graduates to work as civil engineering technicians in a field essential to tackling infrastructure upgrades that are a critical priority in Minnesota and across the United States. The American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure estimates that $3.6 trillion must be invested in the nation’s infrastructure by 2020. In Minnesota alone, $6 billion in drinking water infrastructure and $4.1 billion in wastewater infrastructure will be needed over the next 20 years.

As a civil engineering technology student, you will master state-of-the-art tools and equipment while learning from faculty who not only work in the industry, but also know exactly what employers are looking for in new technicians. The curriculum is hands-on and always relevant. You will visit real-world projects and see firsthand what you will be doing as a civil engineering tech. You will graduate with the skills and knowledge you need to land a great-paying job or go on to earn a more advanced degree.

Green is good

Civil Engineering Technician is on the ISEEK Green Careers track due to the occupation’s strong involvement on conservation projects. Conservation of natural resources will continue to intensify as a national and world priority—and civil engineering techs will be on the front lines of projects needed to make that priority a reality. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for civil engineering technicians shows a growth rate of 12 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. BLS: “The need to maintain and repair an aging infrastructure will sustain demand for civil engineering technicians.”

What civil engineering technicians do: *

Civil engineering technicians help civil engineers plan and design the construction of highways, bridges, utilities and other major infrastructure projects. They also help with commercial, residential and land development. Civil engineering technicians work under the direction of a licensed civil engineer.

* Courtesy of the BLS
Skills and knowledge civil engineering technicians need on the job:
  • Engineering and technology
  • Mathematics
  • Design
  • Building and construction
  • Computers and electronics
Salary information for civil engineering technicians: *
  • Median hourly wage: $29.07
    • Above the statewide median
  • Top earners: $35.99
From ISEEK jobs: Minneapolis/St. Paul seven-county metro area
For more information about Civil Engineering Technology at DCTC, contact:
  • Alan Hancock
    Civil Engineering Technology Instructor

1 Comment

  • I agree with your thoughts. I am Damn Sure that Surveying With Total Station very helpfull compare to like other instrument for Civil Engineers. U know, i am also part of Architects and Civil Engineering Technology

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