National award to Surveying graduate

Todd Lyon

Graduated surveying student, Todd Lyon, can now add a national award to his growing list of academic achievements.

After taking out the Surveying and Spatial Science (SSSI) WA’s Undergraduate Student Award for his final year project at the WA Spatial Excellence Awards (WASEA) last year, Todd was then nominated by SSSIWA for the Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards. In early April, Todd travelled to Sydney to be part of the awards night and was honoured to be presented as winner of the national and regional award. Nominees for this award included final year undergraduate students and graduates including Honours, Graduate Certificate/Diploma, and Vocational and Educational Training students from all states and across the region.

The award is always conferred on a student who has undertaken a research project in the course of their studies that “contributes to the ongoing progression of the surveying and spatial profession”. The award was based on the quality of Todd’s final year project which involved establishing a ‘gravity base station’ at Curtin University.  The project was supervised by Associate Professor Jon Kirby.

Gravity base stations provide an accurate and precise value of the Earth’s acceleration due to gravity at their location, and are used to tie relative gravity measurements from local surveys to the national gravity datum, the Australian Absolute Gravity Datum 2007 (AAGD07).

Todd’s project required learning the fundamentals of gravity surveying (greatly helped by Richard Haines of Haines Surveys), conducting the survey by tying the new Curtin station to several existing AAGD07 stations around Perth using Spatial Sciences’ Scintrex gravimeter, and processing the data.

The results of his work were deemed to be rigorous enough by Geoscience Australia for his new station to be included as a part of the Australian Fundamental Gravity Network (AFGN). Throughout his undergraduate studies, Todd won numerous Department prizes for his excellent academic achievements in the Bachelor of Surveying.

The Department extends its congratulations to Todd for his latest award.

Todd is currently working as a Research Assistant for Professor Will Featherstone from the Department of Spatial Sciences on the project “Geodetic and hydrogeological investigations of groundwater abstraction from confined aquifers: elastic response, heights, and sea level change” funded by the ARC, Landgate and the WA Department of Water.