Young Surveying Professional of the Year

Ryan Fifield, Survey Manager, Roads and Maritime Services

Ryan recently became the recipient of the Young Professional of the Year at the Excellence in Surveying & Spatial Information Awards (EISSI) where he was recognised for his work as a Surveyor as well as his impressive contribution to the profession.

Length of time working in Surveying

I started working as a field assistant in 2005

Qualifications (completed and/or studied):

Bachelor of Engineering (Surveying and Spatial Information Systems), Hons 1, UNSW
Registration as a Land Surveyor in NSW

What inspired you to become a surveyor?

I undertook work experience with a Surveying firm in 2002. At that time I particularly enjoyed the active and diverse nature of the work.

From that point I was quite keen to pursue a career in Surveying or Engineering.
When it came time to decide on university preferences I went with Surveying at UNSW. A decision that I’m glad I made.

What does a typical day at work involve?

I would suggest that a common response from many Surveyors here would be that most days are different to the last. This is true for me and forms part of the appeal.

Some of the typical types of work that Roads and Maritime Services – Maritime Survey Unit undertake include:

– Land/Cadastral surveys and investigations related to the definition of foreshore property boundaries and subdivision of RMS maritime property
– Hydrographic surveys and surveys for special aquatic events
– Engineering surveys related to structures and development on RMS maritime property

I have been fortunate to work on projects of varying scopes and sizes. Two projects that were certainly interesting and challenging were surveys to establish the stratum boundaries for sections of the Lane Cove and Cross City Tunnels in Sydney.

Both of these survey projects involved complex definition of property boundaries, interrogation and analysis of spatial information in various formats and required the ability to accurately combine and utilise this information.

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Why did you undertake Registration and how has this benefited your career?

Since I began studying Surveying as an undergraduate, cadastral surveying was always interesting to me.

I enjoy the combination of measurement, history and legal aspects, fact-finding and problem solving that land/cadastral surveying involves.

Gaining registration has allowed me to undertake and manage projects involving this type of work. It has also allowed me pursue certain interesting roles where Registration as a Land Surveyor forms a prerequisite.

What would you say to encourage a young person to consider a career in Surveying?

I think the Surveying and Spatial Information industry provides opportunities that would appeal to a range of different people –

It would definitely appeal to someone active who enjoys the outdoors and would also appeal to someone who has in interest in modern technology.

There are opportunities to work in a huge range of locations and on a great variety of projects.

The forecast shortage of surveyors in Australia will only increase the exciting job prospects for someone considering pursuing a career in Surveying over the next decade.

What locations have you worked in?

My work has taken me to locations across the state – including up and down the majority of the coast of NSW and inland to locations such as Parkes, Narrabri and Wagga Wagga.

What do you love the most about your career?

I like the variety a career in Surveying offers. Not only the mix of work indoors and outdoors at varying locations but also the diversity of the Surveying and Spatial disciplines.

The ability to get involved in different types of projects with varied complexities is motivating and means you are continually learning.

What was your reaction to winning the Young Professional of the Year EISSI award?

I was honoured to be nominated for, and receive the award. Throughout my career I have been fortunate to work with many talented colleagues and dedicated mentors. I feel that my eligibility for the award is in no small part a reflection of the generous guidance and support I’ve received from those peers and mentors.

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