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Steven Cairns moderating a workshop in Potsdam

© Vasile Chiriac










The changing role of a surveyor in Europe

Moderator: Steven Cairns, Leica Geosystems, Rapporteur: Vice President Mairolt Kakko

The workshop was based on the life cycle of construction, from measurement technologies to BIM with the examples of latest Technologies of Leica production.

Says Steven Cairns: "Surveyors are working in a period of unprecedented change. The fourth industrial revolution is building on an increase of information technology and automation, to revolutionise not only, how physical structures are designed, built and maintained, but also how they are subsequently used. New technologies and changing demands, such as an increase in workloads and a shortage of skills are driving a shift towards more efficient, digital, smarter ways of working. The consensus during this workshop agrees that the role of the surveyor will indeed remain humanised and not die, but will change dramatically in the future."

Main question, actively discussed within all 3 groups: Is technology a danger for Surveying profession? A video about success story with laser scanning to BIM was represented.

Essential opinions were raised from the audience:

- Disruption between different areas of Surveying could be a danger to lose the identity of our profession, but it can be also an oportunity for development.

- Human beings cannot be replaced by the robots, because surveyors work is too individual, only repeatable activities will be replaced.

- Surveyors salaries are not so expensive in comparison with construction costs and with new expensive Technologies. It will encourage clients to demand our services.

- Legislation can be both driver or barrier for new technologies, for example – mandatory of BIM, mandatory membership in a chamber etc.

However, technology is surely changing our role within the profession. We should adopt new technologies and protect our profession with reasonable regulations, otherwise technology could be a danger for us.

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June 2019

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