Learning concepts in textbooks is one thing but applying those concepts is essential, especially for those aiming to become licensed land surveyors. That’s why each of the courses in the geomatics engineering program at Florida Atlantic University have a lab component.  

“The in-person lab is one of the uniqueness of our program,” says Hongbo Su, associate professor of geomatics engineering at Florida Atlantic University. “Students need more practice to use equipment (and) to get more experience working in the field.”

These labs, which take place from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays, provide students with that much-needed practice — and they offer a unique opportunity to interact with professionals from local industry, adds Sudhagar Nagarajan, associate professor of geomatics engineering. Licensed surveyors from industry come in during these weekend labs, acting as lab mentors, to supervise the students and demonstrate how to do different things. 

It’s a great way for the students to interact with people who could end up being their supervisors after graduation, Su adds, and the program is lucky to have very active support from the local surveying community. 

This local support continues through the program’s advisory council. Members of the advisory council come to campus each semester and students put together presentations to give in front of the council. Each student must meet with the council prior to graduation. 

“Sometimes they even get job offers after that,” Nagarajan says. “They love the group presentations.”

Another way that students interact with local land surveying professionals is by attending two professional meetings in the local area to get to know people. It’s a requirement of the degree program and just one other way that the program prepares students for life as geospatial professionals. 

Because the program is part of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering, geomatics engineering students collaborate with students from different majors within the department — such as civil engineers — for their senior design course, which gives them a flavor of what they will be doing after graduation. 

“They know how to collaborate with other people from different disciplines,” Su says, adding that it’s one of the unique features of the ABET-accredited program.  

A four-year degree in surveying or geomatics is required to sit for the Principles and Practice of Land Surveying (PS). Those hoping to pursue a geomatics engineering degree from Florida Atlantic University must complete the following courses:

Intellectual Foundations Program (39 credits)

  • College Writing 1: ENC 1101
  • College Writing 2: ENC 1102 
  • Calculus with Analytic Geometry 1: MAC 2311
  • Introductory Statistics: STA 2023
  • General Physics for Engineers 1: PHY 2048
  • General Physics 1 Lab: PHY 2048L    

Students must take one additional course from the list below:

  • General Chemistry 1: CHM 2045 and General Chemistry 1 Lab: CHM 2045L
  • Physical Geology/Evolution of the Earth: GLY 2010C    
  • Foundations of Society and Human Behavior Courses
  • Foundations of Global Citizenship Courses
  • Foundations of Humanities Courses

Additional Basic Mathematics and Sciences Electives (15 credits)

  • Introduction to Calculus with Applications: MAC 2210 or Calculus with Analytic Geometry 2: MAC 2312 (Or any mathematics course for which one of the math courses is a direct prerequisite)
  • Introduction to Physical Geography: GEO 2200C    3

Select 8 credits from the Foundations of Science and the Natural World Group A or B not already taken for credit

Business Electives (3 credits, select one course)

  • Principles of Accounting 1: ACG 2021    
  • Entrepreneurship: ENT 4024    
  • Entrepreneurial Assistance Project: ENT 4934    
  • Introduction to Business: GEB 2011    
  • Information Systems Fundamentals: ISM 2000    
  • Introduction to Management and Organizational Behavior: MAN 3025    
  • Principles of Real Estate: REE 3043

Engineering Fundamentals (15 credits)

  • Fundamentals of Engineering: EGN 1002    3
  • Introduction to Mapping and GIS: GIS 3015C or GIS for Civil Engineering Applications: CGN 4321    
  • Geomatics: SUR 3103 and Geomatics Lab: SUR 3103L    
  • Engineering Graphics Elective
  • Computer-Aided Design: CGN 2327 or Engineering Graphics: EGN 1111C Computer Programming Elective        
  • Introduction to Programming in C: COP 2220 or Computer Applications in Engineering 1: EGN 2213 or C for Engineers: EEL 2161

Construction Engineering Core (6 credits)

  • Engineering and Construction Surveying: SUR 3205
  • Engineering and Construction Surveying Lab: SUR 3205L    
  • RI: Construction Project Management (Course is research intensive eff. spring 2021) 
  • CCE 4031 or Introduction to Transportation Engineering: TTE 3004C

Surveying Engineering Core (12 credits)

  • Automated Surveying and Mapping: SUR 3141 and Automated Surveying and Mapping Lab: SUR 3141L    
  • Measurement Theory and Data Analysis: SUR 3520    
  • Cadastral Principles and Legal Aspects: SUR 4403    
  • Geodesy and Geodetic Positioning: SUR 4530 and Geodesy and Geodetic Positioning Lab: SUR 4530L

Reality Capture Core (6 credits)

(select any combination to total 6 credits)

  • Introduction to Laser Mapping Technology: CCE 4514C
  • Digital Photogrammetry Principles and Applications: SUR 4331    
  • Digital Photogrammetry Principles and Applications Lab: SUR 4331L    
  • Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing and Applications: SUR 4384    

Capstone Design (6 credits)

  • Subdivision Design: SUR 4463 and Land Subdivision and Platting Lab: SUR 3463L    
  • Capstone Elective - Select one
  • RI: Civil, Environmental and Geomatics Engineering Design: CGN 4803C or RI: Engineering Technology Capstone (research-intensive component added for fall 2021): ETG 4951    

Technical Electives (Select 18 credits from the list)

Any approved College of Engineering and Computer Science course 3000-level and above

  • Remote Sensing of the Environment: GIS 4035C    
  • Principles of Geographic Information Systems: GIS 4043C    
  • Digital Image Analysis: GIS 4037C    
  • Engineering Professional Internship: EGN 3971    
  • Directed Independent Research in Engineering and Computer Science: EGN 4911    
  • Directed Independent Research in Engineering and Computer Science: EGN 4915    
  • New Venture Launch: ENT 4015    
  • Advanced Business Planning: ENT 4114    
  • Entrepreneurship Internship: ENT 4940    
  • Environmental Issues in Atmospheric and Earth Science: ESC 3704    
  • Principles of Financial Management: FIN 3403    
  • Sea-Level Rise: Impacts and Responses: GEO 3342    
  • Quantitative Methods: GEO 4022    
  • Spatial Data Analysis: GEO 4167C    
  • Water Resources: GEO 4280C    
  • Biogeography: GEO 4300    
  • Urban Geography: GEO 4602    
  • Transportation and Spatial Organization: GEO 4760    
  • Introduction to Mapping and GIS: GIS 3015C    
  • Digital Image Analysis: GIS 4037C    
  • Applications of GIS: GIS 4048C    
  • Programming in GIS: GIS 4102C    
  • Geovisualization and GIS: GIS 4138C    
  • Coastal and Marine Science: GLY 3730    
  • Field Methods: GLY 4750C    
  • Hydrogeology: GLY 4822    
  • Engineering Geology: GLY 4830    
  • Introduction to Hydrogeology Modeling and Aquifer Test: GLY 4832C    
  • Professional Internship: IDS 3949   
  • Leadership, Supervisory Skills and Team Development: MAN 4046    
  • Marketing Management: MAR 3023    
  • Planning Methods: URP 4011    
  • City Structure and Change: URP 4055    
  • Planning Implementation Strategies: URP 4120    
  • Introduction to Visual Planning Technology: URP 4254    
  • Plan Making and Design: URP 4343    
  • Sustainable Cities: URP 4403    
  • Environmental Planning Methods: URP 4420    
  • Urban Development Planning Methods: URP 4546    
  • Capital Facilities Planning: URP 4730    
  • Site Planning: URP 4870    

Visit Florida Atlantic University’s website for more information on the geomatics engineering program.