USQ survey students benefit from new tech

By on 7 September, 2021

From left to right: Matt Thomas, Geospatial Sales Manager QLD at Position Partners; Dr Glenn Campbell, Surveying and Spatial Science Program Director at USQ; Chris McAlister, Professional Fellow (Surveying) at USQ; Greg Frankish, Australasian Regional Manager at Topcon Positioning Systems.

University of Southern Queensland (USQ) students are being given a taste of the most modern survey and mapping instruments as the institution upgrades its entire technology fleet.

Supplied and supported by Position Partners, the upgraded fleet includes total stations, GNSS and field tablets, along with 3D laser scanners, CAD office software and field software.

With more than 650 survey and spatial science students, USQ has the largest surveying degree program in Australia.

“Industry expects students to have been exposed to the equipment that they themselves use,” said Dr Glenn Campbell, Surveying and Spatial Science Program Director. “This arrangement gives us confidence that we can continue to meet that expectation.”

Position Partners designed a flexible model for the university to help minimise capital outlay and ensure students are always utilising current equipment.

The new instruments include twelve Topcon GT robotic total stations, twelve Topcon HiPer VR GNSS, 24 Topcon FC-6000 field tablets, all powered by MAGNET Office and Field software, along with two Z+F 5016 laser scanners and a range of survey accessories.

All systems are connected to Tokara, Position Partners’ remote access platform that enables support technicians to view and control the user’s device to provide training and technical assistance.

“We are so pleased that Position Partners has been able to work with us to develop alternatives to the large capital outlays we have faced in the past,” said Dr Campbell.

“Working with Position Partners to put together this equipment package has meant we’ve been able to balance the needs we have for teaching — ease of use, intuitive and robust design; alongside the industry need for students to be skilled in current technology and its application the minute they start work,” added Chris McAlister, Professional Fellow (Surveying) at USQ.

“Now that we’ve got this fleet of current equipment that’s all the same, remotely supported by Position Partners’ Tokara service, our teaching can focus on the concepts more, rather than spending time trying to get equipment to do what we need.”

Professor McAlister added that the partnership with Position Partners has allowed for more flexibility for the University to meet the needs of its students with specific technology needs.

“The relationship we now have because of this program means that if we want to explore something new — a student wanting to do research with a drone and a cutting edge sensor, or analysing new GNSS signals — exploring that opportunity is just a phone call away, and that’s a great outcome for our students all over the country,” she said.

Martin Nix, CEO of Position Partners, said engaging with the next generation of surveyors is an honour for the company.

“It has been a pleasure to work with the USQ team on a solution that gives them maximum flexibility and the ability to keep their systems current, not just at the start of the partnership, but over the longer term,” he said.

“We are excited to work with the next generation of surveyors, learning how best to support them with their evolving equipment needs.”

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