After finishing just over a month of classes I have already completed my first CEE course! Surveying was only a partial semester course. It ended recently to make way for the less than exciting engineering statistics that now takes up my M/W/F morning time slot.
Although it was brief, the required Surveying course was very important for us to take as sophomores in the department. Basically what we learned was how to calculate elevation changes, read topographical maps, understand the properties of angle measurements, and learn how to use the basics of surveying equipment. As an engineer I most likely will not be surveying. Whatever company I work for will likely hire someone who has earned a license in the field for that purpose. However, all of these things will be useful in civil and environmental engineering because it is important for us to understand how to read a map and surveyors notes and be able to work off of those numbers.
Leveling Instrument and Rod
The true reason I enjoyed the class was the labs. Every thursday we would have to meet on the front lawn of the University Center and use the provided equipment to study the topography of the lawn. First we found the elevation and grade of the lawn. The next week we found the angle between objects. Eventually at the end of the program we were able to find the height and elevation of nearby buildings using our knowledge of the equipment and calculations used previously in the course. If you were wondering Fritz Lab (home to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department) is around 70 feet tall.
Total Station: for measuring angles and distances
Although the course did not teach me exactly how to do my job in the future, it did prime me to become a better all around civil engineer. This is something that I find Lehigh does a lot. They don’t just show you how to do your job. They create graduates who have a specific knowledge of their field accompanied by an overall arcing understanding of the fields around them. Surveying was a class that successfully added to that understanding.