Top National Spot

A team of three Troy University geomatics students became the first to win a national prize in back-to-back years at the 11th Annual NSPS Student Competition.

Hosted by the National Society of Professional Surveyors, this year's competition among eight universities with baccalaureate degree programs in surveying, surveying engineering technology or surveying engineering, was centered on a four-month project about "Surveying Applications in Geographic Information Systems."

The team had to prepare a 30-page paper, a map and give a 25-minute presentation at the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon conference, held earlier this month. Their project was titled "Alabama Public Land Survey Data Management and Retrieval System." The final product of the project is a Web-based GIS application that can be used for managing and searching public land corners and survey control points. The functionality of the application allows users to view, analyze, manipulate and evaluate survey data. It was created as a prototype system for the surveyors in the state of Alabama to adopt it as a basis for corner record management and will ultimately include it as a part of their regular work activities, said Dr. Jim Rinehart, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"I congratulate this team of champions," he said. "Clearly, Troy University has emerged as the nation's premier degree program in surveying and geomatics sciences."

The TROY team consisted of Michael Johnson, a senior from Cleveland, Justin Murray, a senior from Wicksburg; and Joshua Butts, a senior from Luverne all geomatics majors with business minors. Serving as primary faculty advisor is Dr. Xutong Niu, an assistant professor of surveying and geomatics sciences. Co-advisors are surveying and geomatics sciences faculty members Dr. Steve Ramroop, associate professor, and Dr. David Griffin, an assistant professor.

The University's Surveying and Geomatics Sciences Program achieved specialized accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in 2011.

Teams were judged on procedure as well as content using a scoring system that awarded a total of 400 points. The Troy University team earned 359 points for the both project itself and their ability to communicate their approach.

Troy University Surveying and Geomatics Sciences students, from left, Justin Murray, Michael Johnson and Joshua Butts earned first place in the National Society of Professional Surveyors Student Competition this month. The team, with their advisor Dr. Xutong Niu, right, traveled to Portland, Ore. to compete against seven other universities.