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Back to school for Dan Sullivan, Land Surveyor

The continual learning and development of our staff is important to us at Catsurveys. We are keen to boost the skills of our surveyors, and most recently one of our Land Surveyors, Dan Sullivan, attended The Survey School in Worcester to complete two courses that took place over a 5-day period.

Dan documented his experience at The Survey School:

I wasn’t sure how it would feel to be back in a classroom setting, upon arriving at ‘The Survey School’ we found our allocated seats, I noticed there were only five people present for the first 2-day course. Soon after, my classmates started taking their seats and everybody seemed very friendly. Our Lecturer introduced himself ‘Bernhard Becker’ and we went through all the formal rules, for instance, where to leg it if there’s a fire.

The first of the two courses was the levelling course. This was a very informative 2-day short course which was a mixture of theoretical work in the classroom and on site practical work using their existing control network as a base station.

The theory work was largely based around manually calculating our own levels using ‘The Height of Collimation’ method. This wasn’t something I had much experience with, so I found this very interesting. We gained a good knowledge of levelling and what it can be useful to achieve. I left the course with the confidence to perform my tasks at a more efficient grade than before I started.


The second half of the week was the ‘3-day Total Station’ course. This course followed a similar format to the levelling course and we started off by learning the differences between a Theodolite and a Total Station, one of which is the Built in EDM (Electronic Distance Meter).

We had an opportunity to see, what can only be described as historical artefacts (pictured).

Following the theory sessions we went outside and recorded some angles and distances using a TS09 Total Station. We used these later to do some more hand calculations back in the classroom.

The week culminated with us going through the process of setting out a basic L-Shaped house. Using co-ordinates that we were given by the school, we created a .dxf file and made our way out to the park to begin setting out our new house. I found this part of the course very useful as I have little experience with this area and I feel I gained a great deal from learning just the basics. I look forward to advancing this knowledge in the future and sharing my experiences with others.

The week provided me with a great deal of theoretical knowledge and practical experiences to back up my onsite workings within Catsurveys. I’m very much looking forward to the next part of my training with ‘The Survey School’ I would also like to thank Bernhard Becker for his patience and putting up with our constant questions throughout the week.

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