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R.A. Smith National Conducts Land Surveying/GPS Demonstration for Point Park University's Civil Engineering Technology Students

by Karen Wiesneski 5. November 2015 08:43

R.A. Smith National — a multi-disciplined civil engineering, structural engineering, and surveying firm in Pittsburgh – recently demonstrated the use of GPS (global positioning system) to students enrolled in survey courses at Point Park University. This year marks the sixth year that R.A. Smith National extended this opportunity to the civil engineering technology students at the university.

R.A. Smith National’s Pete Brothers, survey manager, has conducted this hands-on GPS demonstration during fall in each of the last six years. The demonstration has been well received and appreciated by the students and instructors. This is the first year that two sessions of the survey course were offered due to increased enrollment. John Harrocks and Dan Powell, also of R.A. Smith National’s Pittsburgh office, assisted Brothers with the first day of the two-day presentation.

Earlier this year R.A. Smith National sponsored (for the second consecutive year) a project for the capstone course that runs during the summer term at Point Park University. A project was created and outlined by R.A. Smith National’s civil engineer Anthony Simelis who is a 2010 graduate of Point Park University. This year a group of five civil engineering technology students worked closely with R.A. Smith National to create a site plan, identify zoning criteria, work through grading concepts, and establish and design a storm sewer system for the capstone project. The final project was presented in August to the class, faculty and industrial sponsors. R.A. Smith National plans to continue its sponsorship of a capstone project annually.

The GPS demonstrations and capstone course sponsorships have been initiated and led by John Frydrych, R.A. Smith National’s eastern regional manager. Frydrych has volunteered as an active member of Point Park University's industrial advisory committee since 2003. In this role, John provides guidance for the program's curriculum; monitors trends within the industry; and assists with the accreditation of the CET program by the accreditation board for engineering and technology.


R.A. Smith National's Pete Brothers (at left) conducts a demonstration of the use of GPS for land surveying purposes to a class of civil engineering technology students at Point Park University.

R.A. Smith National’s Nathan Vaughn, Licensed Professional Land Surveyor, is Appointed to the Wisconsin Land Information Council

by Karen Wiesneski 7. October 2015 10:47

Nathan Vaughn, licensed professional land surveyor with R.A. Smith National, has been appointed by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) to the Wisconsin Land Information Council. R.A. Smith National is a nationwide, multi-disciplined civil and structural engineering and surveying firm with Wisconsin offices in Brookfield, Madison and Appleton.

Vaughn is one of 12 members appointed by the DOA for three-year terms. Membership on the Council consists of representatives from various sectors that develop or utilize land information records. The Council’s purpose is to advise the DOA on the administration of the Wisconsin Land Information Program (WLIP) which includes grant funds allocation; assistance in the implementation of the statewide land records modernization initiatives; recommendation of guidelines to coordinate the modernization of land records; review and recommendation of statutory updates to improve land records modernization; and other related activities.

The Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors (WSLS) Board of Directors nominated Vaughn for this position after inviting surveying professionals from throughout Wisconsin to represent WSLS and the surveying profession on the Wisconsin Land Information Council.

Vaughn is the survey transportation manager at R.A. Smith National and also serves as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Southeast Region survey data coordinator. He joined R.A. Smith National in 2006 and has a total of 12 years of experience in the surveying industry.

Vaughn has extensive experience in drafting and producing standard and TPP (transportation project plat) type right-of-way plats, roadway design files, ALTA/ACSM Land Title surveys, preliminary and final subdivision plats, certified survey maps, plats of survey, easement exhibits and property exhibits. He is a Wisconsin Department of Transportation Certified Trainer for Civil 3D Survey and Plat Workflows.

Vaughn holds a bachelor’s degree in geography with a minor in environmental studies from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and is a professional land surveyor. He is a resident of Johnson Creek. 

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Karen Wiesneski
(262) 317-3292
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Chuck Stevens
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