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2018 Surveying and Geomatics Conference Summary

Friday, June 8, 2018

For the first time in more than twenty-five years, the American Society of Civil Engineers - Utility Engineering & Surveying Institute (UESI) gathered the surveying and geomatics community for a conference. Hosted by Cal Poly Pomona, the 2018 UESI Surveying and Geomatics Conference was a great success. With more than 150 registrants, 14 exhibitors, pre-conference workshops, and plenary sessions, this conference filled some of the long-neglected needs of surveying professionals.

The success of the conference resulted from two years of planning by the UESI Surveying and Geomatics Division, and the Cal Poly Pomona faculty. Since the last ASCE surveying conference was in 1992, planners had a blank slate to work with. While having no established model to follow was challenging, it created the opportunity to develop the conference program without any restrictions.

The conference offered a robust three-track technical program of sessions covering most major issues in surveying and geomatics. Speakers from around the country and around the world presented on topics including Utility and Subsurface Surveying, Terrestrial Laser Scanning, Building Information Modeling (BIM), Mobile Mapping, Remote Sensing Applications, High Accuracy Positioning, Dynamic Coordinates, AAGS: Future Datums, Licensure and Future of Surveying, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and Boundary Surveying Topics. Attendees enjoyed lively discussions during question and answer periods and the opportunity to learn from a wide variety of presenters.

Many attendees started their conference experience a day early by attending a pre-conference workshop. Two were offered, Ground Truth for the Future: Low Distortion Projections and the State Plane Coordinate System of 2022 and ASCE Standard 38-02: Substructure Utility Location: The Design, the Engineer, and the Surveyor . These workshops provided the opportunity to take an in-depth study of the topics.

The conference officially got underway Monday morning with opening remarks by Norma Jean Mattei, Ph.D., P.E., F.SEI, F.ASCE, ASCE's 2017 President. Keynote speaker Fabrizio Pachano, P.E., PLS, Senior Civil Engineer at LADPW, shared experiences on how his surveying background was integral to his career success. Mark Woodson, P.E., L.S., D,WRE, ENV SP, F.ASCE, ASCE's 2016 President, gave the luncheon welcome, and Keynote speaker Robert Kayen, Ph.D., P.E., M. ASCE, of UCLA and USGS, discussed using LIDAR and SFM technologies during extreme natural events. Tuesday's luncheon began with opening remarks by David Totman, M.ASCE, of Innovyze, UESI's President-elect. Keynote speakers Richard Moore, PLS, of the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists (BPELSG), and Patrick Tami, PLS, of R.E.Y Engineers, brought attendees up-to-speed on how ASCE 38 compares to the NCEES Model Law. UESI was proud to present the 2018 ASCE Surveying and Mapping Award to Tomas Soler, Ph.D., M.ASCE, for his nearly 40 years of service to the profession and to ASCE. Lastly, Carol Morman, P.E., PLS, M.ASCE, of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College gave a talk about the future of surveying including results of a recent questionnaire on surveying education.

The sold-out exhibit hall was available to attendees throughout the day. Some of the latest new technologies were displayed and visitors had the opportunity to test out their capabilities. During breaks and the evening reception, attendees had the opportunity to network with their peers.

This conference would not have been possible without the help of the Cal Poly Pomona ASCE Student Chapter. Student Chapter members were involved in staffing the registration desk, assembling registration packets, developing a PDH system, and helping speakers and attendees. The students went over and above to ensure that all attendees had a fulfilling experience.

Many attendees expressed thanks to ASCE-UESI and Cal Poly Pomona for planning and hosting this conference. The positive feedback demonstrated that the surveying and geomatics community is eager for this type of event to disseminate current knowledge about the field.

ASCE-UESI has already started planning for the next conference to be held in 2020 or 2021. Several universities with strong surveying programs have asked to be considered as hosts and partners. ASCE-UESI wants to thank Cal Poly Pomona for establishing a strong foundation for this event to grow.