St. Clair College: The most frequently and most accurately measured place in all of Windsor-Essex.
That would seem to be the case, anyway. Almost daily – sometimes several times a day – throughout the year, you can see huge crews of students wandering throughout the campus with measuring poles, tape-measures and tiny-telescoped transoms ... stopping, focusing, gesturing to one another (“move a bit to the left”, “over a metre to your right”).
They are Civil/Construction Engineering and Architectural Technology students, learning the fundamentals of surveying – because it is fundamentally important, if you’re building something, for it to be the correct width, length and height.
On March 3, this educational lesson became considerably more “state-of-the-art”.
Amico Infrastructures, a regular employer of St. Clair graduates, has teamed up with Leica Geosystems, a world leader in geopositioning systems, to donate a Leica iCON GPS 70T set for students use in their surveying course. The equipment has a retail value of approximately $34,000.
Amico will also cover the annual $4,300 subscription fee required to access to GPS satellite network.
The companies presented the equipment to the college during a ceremony in the Ford Centre for Excellence in Manufacturing on March 3, featuring an audience of Civil Engineering students.
Tom Youssef of the Oldcastle-based Amico company said St. Clair would be one of the few colleges in the province with such equipment – and the experience gained by using it would be a valuable resume notation to grads seeking employment in the field.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver fixes its location by calculating its distance from three or more Earth-orbiting satellites, whose positions in space and time are known.
The U.S. Department of Defense created the Global Positioning System as an aid to navigation. Since it was made fully available for civilian use in 1994, the use of GPS positioning has expanded to everything from tracking delivery vehicles, to tracking the minute movements of the tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s crust, to tracking the movements of human beings. It has also become an indispensable tool in the surveying industry.