GMIT civil engineering students go hi-tech

Civil Engineering students in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology are to benefit from the purchase of new hi-tech land surveying equipment and a new Global Positioning System (GPS ) station, purchased by the GMIT Department of Building and Civil Engineering.

GMIT is the first third-level institution in the country to take delivery of the Viva Robotic Total Station, an instrument that allows engineering students to learn how to carry out high-end surveys in the industry.

The equipment has the capability to take laser distance measurements of up to 3.5 km and can be used by a single operator, giving the student more control over how the survey is carried out. The new GPS station, which was installed on the Dublin Road campus last year, uses a new technology for information transfer called “Atom”.

“The purchase of this equipment puts GMIT ahead of all other education institutes in Ireland.” says GMIT’s Wayne Gibbons, lecturer in Land Surveying. “It’s the most cutting edge equipment used by the surveying industry, and the fact that our students get hands-on experience with this level of equipment really makes them stand out from the crowd.”

“The new global positioning system allows for much faster transfer of information from the satellites to the user. This greatly increasessurveying accuracy over the older systems. The station can read the position of both the American and Russian satellite systems and is ready for the European satellite system when it comes on-stream.

“The information from the station is made available through a radio transmitter for local use, and over a mobile internet connection up to 30km from the campus,” explains Mr Gibbons.

“All of these innovations seamlessly integrate with computer aided drawing software, making the process from “field to finish” very slick, and the students get meaningful preparation for the industry after studying surveying at GMIT.”

“Our students benefit from the practical aspects to all our courses, and with surveying they get a chance to learn an essential skill for the construction industry by actually doing it for themselves.”

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