A lot can be accomplished in less than a fortnight, as Oregon Institute of Technology Geomatics student Daniel Helmricks just demonstrated. Helmricks was recently awarded the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping (ACSM): 2010 FIG (International Federation of Surveyors; “La fédération internationale d'Arpenteurs de Geomatic,” or “FIG” in French) Congress Student Fellowship Award. By winning this award Helmricks will receive a round-trip all-expense paid trip to Australia to present his award-winning technical paper on Forensic Surveying.

Helmricks heard about the competition Oct. 13, 2009. The deadline to complete the paper was Oct. 30, giving him only 17 days to complete a well-researched 10-page technical paper. Helmrick’s main research was done through the Oregon State Police Department and Mitchell Duryea, OIT Geomatics Instructor. Helmricks wrote a tech paper titled “Motor Vehicle Accident Forensic Survey.” His paper consisted of an explanation of and demonstration of forensic surveying that can represent many types of crime scene surveys, and he writes of how forensic surveys have come a long way in the light of conducting surveys. He also writes about how you may use forensic surveys to find what caused an accident and that you could present the information found to a court to prove it what happened.

Meeting the competition requirements was no picnic. In addition to developing a top-notch paper in a limited amount of time, he had to successfully complete the tech paper to strict specifications from a three-page tech paper guideline created by FIG Congress 2010. Other criteria for the award included that a student be currently enrolled as a student at a 4-year U.S. institution in an ABET accredited surveying/geomatics program; student membership of ACSM; and possession of a current, valid U.S. passport with a minimum of six months remaining beyond dates of Congress.

Twenty-one other schools were invited to compete. There were 10 other students representing 21 schools invited that met the requirements and had their papers reviewed. Other participating ABET-accredited four-year programs were: The University of Akron– Community and Technical College, University of Alaska Anchorage, Alfred State College, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California State University, Fresno, East Tennessee State University, Ferris State University, University of Florida, Idaho State University, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Michigan Technological University, University of Maine, New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Mexico State University, Ohio State University, Old Dominion University, OIT Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University at West Lafayette, Southern Polytechnic State University, St. Cloud State University and Texas A & M University at Corpus Christi.

This fellowship award provides full funding for the Helmricks to travel to, attend, and participate in 2010 FIG Congress being held at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre in Sydney, Australia, and provides the opportunity to participate at the preeminent international surveying conference, network with surveyors, fellow students and young surveyors from around the world while living with a local surveyor/student family during the Congress. At the congress there will be a full professional program consisting of more than 80 technical and poster sessions, several workshops, pre-congress seminars, and special forums. The technical program will offer space for 600-800 papers. The Congress expects more than 2,000 participants from nearly 100 countries to attend.

This is the first time for this prestigious award. It is sponsored by the three ACSM Member Organizations that participate in the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG): AAGS (American Association for Geodetic Surveying); GLIS (Geographic and Land Information Society); and NSPS (National Association of Professional Surveyors).

Helmricks will travel to Sydney, Australia, where he will be given complimentary registration for 2010 FIG Congress with all Congress benefits. He will participation as an official ACSM FIG Forum Delegate at the Congress and give an hour-long presentation on his paper. He will also have the opportunity to present his paper at the 2010 ACSM Annual Conference and give a short presentation on what being the Fellow Award winner and their experiences at the FIG Congress has meant to him. While in Sydney, he will be accommodated with surveyor/student family while attending Congress. Helmricks will also be invited to participate in selected activities such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb at Twilight, a Tour of the Sydney Opera House, Discover Blue Mountain, Tech Tour, Gala Dinner and will also participation with FIG Young Surveyors Network. Helmricks is excited to journey to Australia to attend the conference, go sightseeing and possibly take a few tours that are offered.

Upon graduating from Oregon Institute of Technology in the spring of 2012, Helmricks plans on attending Portland State University to pursue another bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justices in hope of fulfilling a career with the Oregon State Police in the field of accident reconstruction.

Helmricks hails from Newport, Oregon.