Travel, topographic surveys and piloting a drone is all in a day's work for project surveyor Harriet

Harriet Glenc graduated from the BSc (Hons) Geology and Physical Geography course and is now an Assistant Project Surveyor at GWP Consultants based in Charlbury

Harriet Glenc graduated from the BSc (Hons) Geology and Physical Geography course and is now an Assistant Project Surveyor at GWP Consultants based in Charlbury, Oxfordshire after being offered the position during her final exams.

About my job

"The main portion of my work involves undertaking topographic surveys and setting out for the quarrying and landfill industry in the UK using robotic total stations and GPS equipment. 

I often work alongside hydrologists and geotechnical engineers within the company carrying out blast matrix and water monitoring exercises. In addition to surveying, I produce detailed plans and drawings using AutoCAD 2018 and 3D modelling within LSS which is equally as important as collecting the data.   

"I am currently training as a pilot using our multirotor UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) which is ideally suited to small aerial surveys. I also undertake the role of observer and flight assistant when using our fixed wing UAV on site. I now work alongside two previous students of USW – Rhys Morgans and Dan Watkins – who make up the remainder of the surveying department at GWP Consultants.

"No two days are the same, this has given me the opportunity to travel to many places in the UK that I would never have had the chance to visit. One of our regular work assignments is to undertake movement monitoring at a World Heritage site in Sheffield to ensure that blasting within the nearby quarry is not having a negative impact on the structural integrity of such an important historical site.

About my degree

"I was drawn to this specific course through my love of geography but also my interest in geology, which I had not previously studied. Combining the two for my degree covered all of the fundamental aspects of geology and physical geography but also allowed me to tailor my degree to my own requirements through choosing to specialise in particular areas.

"The fieldwork throughout the course was an essential part of learning as going out into the field and being able to identify terrain features has helped me hugely in my work. In addition to this, the work experience module of the course played a key part to me getting a career in surveying as I spent many hours shadowing a surveyor learning the basics of the job.  

"One of the main highlights of my geography degree was the second year excursion to Sicily – climbing Mount Etna and getting to visit the Etna Volcano Observatory really made the trip for me, as well as getting to spend time in an unfamiliar country with course mates was definitely a plus.

"For future students, my advice would be to utilise the resources available to you and try your hardest not to leave things until last minute - I know that’s easier said than done!"