Celebrating National Surveyor’s Week: An interview with Vice President Drew Celovsky

A man with short, curly dark hair and a neatly trimmed salt-and-pepper beard, Drew Celovsky, smiles slightly. He is wearing a dark blue blazer over a light blue button-down shirt and is posed against a plain white background, ready for his National Surveyor’s Week interview.

In honor of National Surveyor’s Week, we asked Vice President Drew Celovsky about his career in surveying and what challenges the field is facing today.

  • What makes surveying a unique career?

Since the beginning of history and with written documentation dating back many centuries, there has always been a need for boundary lines to be established for infrastructure to be built. Land has been fought over, sold, claimed, or purchased throughout history, and the need for boundary lines remains essential in the development of nations, communities, and countries that exist today. This makes surveying one of the oldest professions.

When we take a glance at the founding and settlement of the United States of America – led by recognized surveyors such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Banneker, Daniel Boone, Meriwether Lewis, and William Clark to name a few – surveyors today are often challenged with dedicated research and retracement of the steps of the original surveys established hundreds of years ago.

  • What is the typical day of a surveyor?

As every project is unique in nature, the day-to-day operations of a surveyor certainly change depending on the tasks at hand. Starting with the office, a surveyor can find that they may be researching and plotting vesting deed information, resolving boundary lines for drafting of legal plats from data collected in the field, project management, data processing, and more.

In the field, surveyors can find themselves performing tasks such as coordinating geometry calculations, searching for, and collecting precise electronic data of boundary corners, topography, construction staking, and as-built existing features/infrastructure. These precise electronic devices utilized by the field surveyor can include but are not limited to the following equipment:

  1. Conventional and Robotic Total Stations
  2. GPS (Global Positioning Systems)
  3. UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)
  4. 3D Laser Scanning

 

  • Why did you choose to be a surveyor?

I come from a family of surveyors, so it is safe to say I was born into it. Additionally, my passion for Texas history and the extensive research and boundary retracement of the original Texas patent surveys and Spanish Land Grants as the Republic of Texas made its transition into the State of Texas in 1846. One thing that was quite rewarding for me was finding these original corners and witness trees before being destroyed in many cases by urban development.

  • What challenges does the surveying field face today?

Resources. In my opinion, one of the biggest challenges the field faces today is the lack of surveying graduates. There are not enough to meet the needs across the nation. Another challenge is the rate at which technology continues to advance. Understanding this technology, the respective mentoring and training vs. ROI associated with it are imperative, to say the least.

  • What separates an Atwell surveyor from others?

Atwell is and continues to be one of the industry leaders. An Atwell surveyor is well-rounded and able to quickly adapt to any tasks that may come their way. Many of the Atwell field surveyors are local across our numerous offices while more than 70 crews are mobile across the nation. This blend of unique and diversified surveyors along with their advanced knowledge of the latest technologies and their ability to execute and deliver warrants separation.