The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) presented Oregon Institute of Technology, “Oregon Tech,” geomatics faculty and students with a donation of survey equipment valued at approximately $134,000 last week. The donation from ODOT gained even greater value when Kuker-Ranken Inc., the largest construction and land surveying supplier in the Northwest, performed tune-ups on the equipment before it was donated to the university.
ODOT Geometronics Manager Joseph Thomas, PLS, visited the University to officially hand over the equipment. He stated, “We looked for ways to help the surveying industry as a whole. This happened as a result of conversations I had with Professor Jack Walker as I was going to hire an Oregon Tech graduate. We’re donating this equipment to help Oregon Tech and the program ensure surveyor success.”
The equipment includes four total stations, two controllers, three digital levels, and three static GPS receivers with a value of $110,000. The servicing of the equipment by Kuker-Ranken is valued at approximately $24,000, which brought the equipment up to top working order for use by geomatics program students.
“The Geomatics Department is excited to receive this very significant donation,” said Geomatics Department chair and professor, Jack Walker. “It will significantly strengthen the surveying program, and greatly benefit our students with real-world equipment.”
The donated equipment is crucial toward ensuring geomatics students are prepared to work on any devices they may see in their future workplace. Robotic total stations are designed to fit most jobs, including road, industrial and electric construction, archeological and logistic studies, culvert and bridge construction, structural analysis, mine, cave and open pit operations, and of course, land surveying. Geomatics is also applicable to many other functions as modern instruments rely on GNSS and lasers for measurements.
“We look forward to a continuing partnership with ODOT to increase the number of surveying graduates to meet industry demand,” said Professor Walker.
At the event, the Geomatics Department was also presented with an Engineering Education Award from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), which recognizes college engineering programs for engaging their students in collaborative projects with licensed professional engineers. Oregon Tech received the award for the 2017 year, which also came with a $15,000 prize. In recent accomplishments, the Oregon Tech Geomatics Club also won first place in a National Surveying competition in March.
For more information about Oregon Tech’s Geomatics program, visit www.oit.edu/academics/degrees/geomatics.