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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Engineering professor’s name applied to USI’s first GPS control point

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As a member of USI’s engineering faculty for 30 years, Jack Naghdi has made his mark on the program in many ways. Recently, his name was applied to the first Global Positioning System (GPS) control point to be located at USI.

With assistance from USI alumni Scott Buedel ‘95 of Morley and Associates and Matt Wannemuehler ‘77 of Bernardin Lochmueller and Associates, the Naghdi GPS control point was installed next to Reflection Lake and registered with the National Geodetic Survey (NGS). Both Buedel and Wannemuehler are former students of Naghdi, assistant professor of engineering.

Dave Ellert, instructor in engineering, said that the GPS control point allows someone with a GPS instrument to identify his or her physical location. Latitude, longitude, and elevation are measured electronically, using satellites orbiting the earth. As part of the registration with NGS, former USI student Doug Bacon of Morley and Associates confirmed the USI GPS control point location within a quarter of an inch of an existing High Accuracy Reference Network (HARN) control point located off Broadway Avenue near campus.

Bacon and Mike Ladnier, also of Morley and Associates, demonstrated the GPS system to students in Naghdi’s ENGR 222: Route Surveying class this fall. During the demonstration, Naghdi applied his initials to the GPS control point. “He’s made a mark in surveying courses for 30 years, and now he’s got a mark on that monument,” Ellert said.

Bernardin Lochmueller and Associates physically installed the monument. Morley and Associates worked eight hours over a period of four days to have the control point put in the national register, and demonstrated GPS surveying for the class. Both engineering firms did the work for free.

“This opens the door so that we can do class survey projects with GPS in the future if we opt to do so,” Ellert said. The GPS control point will be used for instructional and demonstration purposes, but also could be utilized for future construction projects such as the new business building.

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