Topcon Supports COYO DEC Survey School Launch at Cronton College
Class of Your Own (COYO) – a long-standing partner of Topcon Positioning GB and the education body behind the award-winning Design, Engineer, Construct! (DEC) programme – has launched a new DEC Survey School at the Cronton Sixth Form College in Widnes.
During a week-long celebration event, students were given the opportunity to learn how to set up and complete surveys using Topcon technology and equipment. Gareth Hughes, Topcon’s business development manager for geomatics, and Andrew Evans, senior vice president of the CICES, were on hand throughout the week to show students how to use the technology, and share their words of wisdom on how to enter a career within the digital built environment.
The event was hosted by Steven Hurp, an instructor from The Survey School – a provider of geomatics training for schools. Steven was supported by Gareth and they both showed students how to set up a tripod, use ordnance survey (OS) maps, how map projections work and the different types of surveying – land, hydrographic and building. After receiving a brief on the key principles of surveying, students had the chance to use the technology for themselves, with demonstrations on how to set up an auto level and carry out a level survey, how to use OS total stations and GNSS rovers, and how to complete a resection – a method used to determine the location of one unknown point in relation to known points.
“It’s important that young people are exposed to and get experience of as many industries as possible while they consider their future, and the careers available in the digital built environment are many and so rewarding. "
Gareth explained: “I supported the launch of a DEC Survey School at St Ambrose College a few years ago, and it’s exciting to now see the programme launched at Cronton, in my hometown! It’s important that young people are exposed to and get experience of as many industries as possible while they consider their future, and the careers available in the digital built environment are many and so rewarding. It’s great to be able to support COYO in providing these opportunities to what we hope is the next generation of surveyors. We really enjoyed working with the pupils at Cronton Sixth Form College and we’re confident the experience has inspired a few to consider a career in surveying.”
Students carried out resections throughout the week, using survey data from around the college grounds. They were split into groups and, using set code lists, were instructed to find the buildings, footpaths, manholes, fences and lighting columns. GPS equipment was used to complete grid levels across the college’s sports fields, to highlight the topography and contours of the land, and to show students the importance of collating as much detail as possible before data is processed and passed onto an architect or designer.
“Topcon has been a long-standing partner of COYO so we’re delighted to be supporting the launch of its new DEC Survey School."
On the final day of the event, a presentation ceremony took place and students received talks from a range of industry experts, including: Dave Bennett, Topcon Positioning UK and Ireland regional director; Jo Hall, head of professional engineering and digital built environment at Cronton and Riverside Colleges; Alison Watson MBE, chief executive at Class of Your Own Ltd; Andrew Evans and Nick Hampson, president of The Survey Association and managing director at Malcolm Hughes Land Surveyors. Nick was the guest of honour and presented the students with their certificates of achievement.
Dave Bennett said: “Topcon has been a long-standing partner of COYO so we’re delighted to be supporting the launch of its new DEC Survey School. From speaking to students when I arrived on Friday, it was clear to see that they’d had a fantastic week. They’d really enjoyed having the chance to use the equipment on the field and, for many, this is when they realised what surveying is all about.
“It’s a privilege and a pleasure for us at Topcon to help give students some hands-on experience and real exposure to the career opportunities within the geospatial sector. As an industry, it’s our responsibility to help young people as they start and progress in their careers, and we hope to see some of the students working with us soon, and potentially the leaders of our industry in the future.”
As part of its commitment to COYO, Topcon has also extended its sponsorship of its teaching development manager, Dan McDonagh for another year.