The Survey Association’s £2000 bursary award is set to boost the career prospects of two exceptional geomatics students at Newcastle University. The winners, Connor Foxall and Oliver Smith, received their cash prize at a TSA conference where they also had the opportunity to network with industry professionals and guest speakers.
These included Matt Shaw of ScanLAB Projects Ltd., whose laser scanning expertise was recently featured in the BBC series, Italy’s Invisible Cities. Following the conference, Connor was offered a week-long work placement at ScanLAB’s London office and used some of the bursary money to fund his travel and accommodation costs. Connor commented on his time at ScanLAB. ‘’Talking to the different members of the team, exploring new software and equipment and practising the industrial processes needed to produce a deliverable was invaluable experience.I intend to use most of the remaining money to fund a second work placement during the summer,’’ he added.
TSA has awarded a bursary to second year students at Newcastle since 2011. This year, applicants were invited to submit a paper on ‘Building for the Future,’ focussing on ideas of their choice, such as BIM, Smart Cities, and advances in mapping and measurement technology. TSA President, Adam Bradley, said, ‘’The judging panel comprises three TSA Council members, the Secretary General and myself and we were all impressed by the quality of this year’s winning entries, the interpretation of the Building for the Future brief, and the relevance of the submissions to the geospatial context. It is very encouraging to hear how the TSA Bursary helps graduate entrants to the profession access the right contacts and opportunities to help them develop and progress their careers.’’
A proportion of Oliver Smith’s award will be used to fund research tools needed to create new analytical techniques for his dissertation project. Oliver Smith explains, ‘’My project uses telecom network data to map and analyse the influences on pedestrian movements in city centres. The TSA Bursary will be used to purchase data and subscribe to online software used to visualise the flows over time. I’m aiming to produce innovative research that will interest telecom providers, showing them how the analysis of big data can lead to profitable opportunities,’’ he added.
The TSA Bursary will also support Oliver’s attendance at the International Geodetic Student Meeting (IGSM), a major event offering networking and learning opportunities in geodesy, cartography, photogrammetry and GIS to students from 34 different countries.