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Surveying Mentor Hall of Fame: 2023

Earlier this year across Trimble Geospatial social media channels, we asked you to nominate your favorite surveying mentor, by sharing a story about them in the comments. There were over 250 comments, and we selected 19 that stood out to us based on the story that was written about them, and the context of what the story was about.

  • Herman Husselmann. The best of the best in his field of work. He’s been in the industry for many years. I remember when I was still a child he used to take me to his survey office with him where they surveyed on those big tables with huge maps of the mines. He grew with the industry and technology over the years completing numerous courses and receiving a generous amount of diplomas. Today he has a very successful survey business in the Northern Cape supplying survey services to various mines using different types of survey methods and equipment from drone/flight survey to land survey. He also enjoys it to develop new young up coming surveyors by taking them in every year and teaching them everything he knows. Truly a humble man of integrity and highly skilled in his job. Doing what he loves everyday. 🙌🏻
  • Luke Harris with Integrity Solutions Field Services. He has been a mentor to literally 100s of guys in our industry and still continues to teach in the field today. He has put in thousands of hours and miles during his career while providing top-notch information and knowledge to everyone he has worked with.

    Luke has been walking the walk (literally) for over 15 years. He thoroughly understands the equipment he uses and has a unique way of breaking concepts/actions down to a simple and digestible level. He was an excellent mentor in my introduction to surveying and CP testing. I can't think of a better person for this acknowledgment!
  • I nominate Mthokozisi Maduna. He is very patient and supportive when it comes to mentoring and doesn’t make you feel like you are not good enough. He has done everything to help me grow in the industry from teaching me how to use different Survey machines, to land survey research’s and connecting me with people who are also in the same field because he believes that we need each other in the land surveying industry. He motivates me and always remind of how good I am as a female in this male dominated industry. He recently started mentoring me on how I can start and run my own company. He is not just a mentor but a brother and a friend I can rely on.
  • My father, Jack Griffin, he taught surveying as an adjunct professor for over a decade. I can't tell you how many times he has written a recommendation or been a professional reference for other surveyors. He has personally taught hundreds of students. He still helps people learn surveying. When someone is sitting for a test, my Dad will help get materials together for them to study. He's had several people over to his house to teach them. He goes out of his way to further the profession of surveying. He has a very good reputation as a surveyor in our state. He actually helped rewrite the states survey manual for the department of transportation. He helps put out a survey related newsletter as well. He taught me everything I know and I'm recently licensed because of this. He has almost 40 years of experience under his belt. He is a survey legend. If he doesn't know an answer, you can be sure he knows of someone who does. An absolute wealth of knowledge and a humble and generous man.
  • @robertharper20 I am where I am as a Surveyor in training here in Texas and a large part of it is because of Robert. Robert has shared his expertise on Professional Surveying from field to finish. Aside from coaching me to resolve Boundary conflicts in the office, my most memorable experience is using a Trimble scanner in the field and processing the scan data through Trimble Business Center and just to undergo the process with him all the way to creating the topographic surface for the site was an extraordinary and a knowledgeable experience. Robert continues to share his knowledge and wisdom to his associates and students such as hosting a Surveying workshop in Laredo College and attending a Surveying class as a professor at Lonestar College. Thank you for bringing the best out of everyone and I with your mentorship Robert!
  • Surveying in the Australian outback is hard work and @joe.daloia taught me not only essential surveying skills but also how to lead with empathy and compassion. Truly my first and most influential @trimblegeospatial mentor.
  • @vanlen_consultants @kunfuukenny My nomination would be my first party chief and now one of my closest friends Kenny Puentez. After seventeen years of surveying I’m still learning from him and calling him for advice and/or just to shoot the sh*t. I’m lucky enough to have had a few great mentors in the industry but none have had the impact that Ken has had on my career and life. Lesson number one was the first day I met him, as we sat in the truck together for the first time the first words out of his mouth were,” Okay, you’re gonna be seeing me more that you see your wife so we’re gonna have to learn to get along!” Seventeen years later and we’re still getting along. Thanks for everything bud!
  • Christo vd Westhuizen from Norel Forty Two. He is the best surveyor and mentor that ive ever met. He helped me to get my business up and running in the survey industry in a time when i had nothing and didn't expect anything in return. I will always be so very grateful for Christo 🙏
  • I could sit here all day and write a 20 page essay on all the reasons why this man Haval Mohammed deserves it. But to put it simply, he puts everyone before himself, making sure that they are well mentored to be confident, allowing them to stand on their own and excel in their careers. Haval, my brother and role model is the reason I am in surveying, and due to his drive and motivated passion towards the industry, it allowed me to push myself with his support and mentoring skills. He taught me to aim high and to never give up, he would always take time out of his own day to tutor me for things I couldn’t wrap my head around. I went from a failing and unmotivated student to achieving distinctions and loving the survey industry, and finally reaching my last semester at university as a student mine surveyor.
  • Callum McNaughton, Joshua King, John Maconachie you all deserve to be nominated for taking a pale faced, wide eyed grad under your wing. For passing on your passion for Mine Surveying, for the gentle lessons, blunt advice, for the encouragement and patience and answering my dumb questions. For always getting me back on track when I was deep in conversation and helping me learn how to be a successful adult away from home
    I will always be thankful for your friendship, mentoring, life skills and for setting me up for success so early into my career.

  • Mark Haskett is my nominee. In 1988 a zit-faced kid with bad hair and straight out of high school took a job as a rodman with a small surveying firm in Suffolk, VA. I was moved to Mark's crew about two months in and got a good lesson in boundary surveying and he was open to showing me the intricacies of surveying. At that time I wanted to make a career out of it. A couple of months later a surveying job with VDOT was advertised and I applied for it. Mark gave me great insight into transportation surveying and to some of the things I'd need to know for the interview and I ultimately got the job. 

    That was all because of Mark's willingness to help out some punk kid and it got my career in transportation moving. I spent 9 years as a VDOT surveyor and moved into utilities for another 9 years, but that surveying background was key to my success and I'm forever grateful to Mark for the assist.

  • Dr. Paul Cross taught me Geodesy at NE London Polytechnic, went on to great things at University of Newcastle and University College London. He also ran, in support of Hunting Surveys, the simultaneous least squares adjustment of the 3,000 plus station Greater Doha Control Network pre-GNSS, terrestrial EDM all-in-view network observations and spirit leveling.

  • I've been really fortunate in my career to have worked with really great tutors. I learned more from Gary Clark, both professionally and personally than any other. When I was a younger surveyor, I occasionally did stuff that needed a good "talking" to. I remember those counseling sessions like they were yesterday. He used to give classes to all us field guys periodically in which I utilize those techniques to this day. There are others I am grateful for also but If had to nominate just one, it would be Gary Clark.

  • Jason Hutcherson, an Army Veteran and seasoned surveyor with a diligent passion for teaching survey field methods. He is very patient and up for any training opportunity in the moment. He's a crew chief with a broad yet refined perspective on field data collection for efficient field to finish. 

  • Albert Masticola 🏅 thanks for having patience and showing me how to see the bigger picture instead of getting lost in the data collector. You taught me a ton in a very short period of time and made me a more competent survey tech.

  • Brandon Montero is the man, he has taught hundreds if not thousands of people in his roles across the world. He also wrote the book on Survey in Construction.

  • Charlie Glover, I was fortunate to live not too far from Corbin when I worked for Trimble and I visited him frequently there. He taught me his method of precise trigonometric leveling which I shared in an article I wrote for Professional Surveyor magazine I think in 1998, still available online. It's worth mentioning how far Charlie's influence has reached to this very day, as a result of that article, SettopSurvey, S.L. produced their Level Me program running in Trimble Access. Amazing!

    I'm very thankful for the friendly association I enjoyed with these two surveyors early in my career which greatly influenced my approach to control surveying, forming the foundation of how I work and mentor now.

Thank you for all of your nominations, and for sharing your stories about the people who have impacted you surveying career, and your life, in a positive way.