19 Aug 2022 Surveying Education Grand Prize
The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying awarded its 2022 Surveying Education Grand Prize to the New Mexico State University Geomatics/Surveying Engineering program. The $25,000 grand prize is the second received by NMSU, the first awarded in 2019. The NMSU program received a $10,000 prize in 2017 and a $15,000 prize in 2020 from the organization. NMSU’s program in geomatics received accreditation in 2021 by the Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Over the past several years, the NMSU College of Engineering has made significant changes to the program to keep pace with changing technology in the profession to include an emphasis on geomatics and make the program more accessible to students. The program was redesigned with substantial direction and support from industry, state and national professional societies to meet current and future industry demands.
Courses cover a wide range of classic and contemporary topics in surveying and geomatics. Topics include Public Land Survey System, Legal Principles and Boundary Law, Spatial Data Adjustment, Ethics and Professionalism in Surveying and Mapping, GNSS positioning, Precise Aerial Mapping, Construction Surveying, and Emerging Techniques in Geospatial Technologies. Students learn new technologies such as drones, laser scanning, satellite positioning and automated machine control. Students are also required to take a practicum course under the supervision of a professional land surveyor.
NMSU has made the program more accessible to students. A room is equipped with technology for teaching geomatics classes online. The flexible program enables students to attend two years at a community college and two years at NMSU either face-to-face or online to complete the degree. Articulation agreements between NMSU and other two-year institutions have been made to facilitate this process.
NMSU has the only four-year degree program in geomatics/surveying engineering in New Mexico. The geomatics/surveying program collected more than $500,000 from private donors, the New Mexico Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and including the NCEES awards, to upgrade classrooms, update the curriculum, support students, purchase new advanced technologies such as satellites, drones and high-resolution scanners.
“This is a field that is in high demand. With more surveyors retiring nationwide and the rapid advances in this field, the demand for well-educated and skilled surveyors is booming,” said College of Engineering Dean Lakshmi N. Reddi. “Our geomatics graduates have 100% employment and earn very competitive salaries.”