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Interview with a GPR Surveyor

As most people in the surveying industry know, Ground Penetrating Radar – or GPR as it’s more commonly known – is one of the most accurate and detailed ways to capture data. GPR introduces radio waves into the subject material using an antenna which can be handheld, cart or vehicle mounted and allows non-destructive analysis of structural and buried features.

At Catsurveys, we have a dedicated GPR Department that focus on one sole task, ground penetrating radar. This means that we can ensure that the latest technology, survey acquisition, data analysis and training are considered whilst operating efficiently and safely. We can maintain high efficiency, quality and workflow to deliver outstanding results.

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We sat down with Luke Allen, Assistant GPR Surveyor, to get an insight into his experience working with Ground Penetrating Radar.

What does a general day in the GPR department look like?
It depends on whether I’m out on site or in the office. I’ve been in the office extensively over the last 6 months to process hundreds of thousands of square metres of GPR data. So usually, I would come in, make a cup of tea, put on my headphones and my favourite Spotify playlist, and analyse GPR data.

What is your favourite part of your job?
My favourite part of the job is the fact that I have the opportunity to work both on site and in the office. It gives a good balance to the job.

What is your least favourite part of your job?
Working Friday nights. There’s nothing worse than getting ready for work on a Friday night and getting texts in the group chat from your mates about going out.

If you weren’t working in the GPR team, what other job do you think you would be doing?
I would like to think that I would be playing football for West Ham but I don’t think I’m quite in shape enough to do that. Seriously though, I think I would be working in the Major Projects team, perhaps working towards eventually becoming a project manager.

Funniest thing that has happened on site?
Recently, I went on a UTV off-roading course. It was the most fun I’ve had at work for sure. At first you’re not sure how much the vehicle can actually do so you’re really cautious but by the end you want to tackle any hill you come across. It’s a proper laugh!

What is the most interesting location you have surveyed?
The British Airways base at Heathrow airport. We got very close to a Concorde which was really cool.

Anything else you’d like to add about GPR?
It’s really interesting learning about different technologies and methodologies. I’m enjoying learning about the theory of GPR and it’s different applications.

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