25th October, 2020

Day in the life of a Surveyor: Laura Millard

Day in the life of a Surveyor: Laura Millard

Happy National Surveyors Week! We interviewed one of our surveyors, Laura Millard on her experiences as a surveyor and working with Murphy Surveys.

Tell us a little about yourself and your role in Murphy Surveys.
I’m a Junior Surveyor in the Digital Construction department. I attend sites all over London setting out gridlines, establishing Datums, carrying out As-built surveys (and processing the data after!). On the weekends you can often find me on the railways carrying out topographical surveys as-well.

What do you like most about your job?
I have a Geography Degree, and from that took away a love for geospatial data and understanding how it can be used in all different scenarios; whether that be within the construction industry or to aid natural disaster relief. So for me, without a doubt I knew I wanted a job in the geospatial field. (Sector)

Describe what attracted you to the surveying world.
Being a surveyor is just one small part of a puzzle piece in construction and I love seeing how everyone works together in order to create the end result. What I like most is being able to walk past a site I have worked on reflecting on the impact I had there and all the challenges that the site team had to overcome in order to make something work.

What’s a typical day of a surveyor look like?
A typical day starts the night before, charging up all the batteries we need for site. Then we get to site, often have a site induction and speak with the site manager in order to find out exactly what they want, and we figure out the best way to get the job done efficiently and accurately. Halfway through the day, we have lunch and often this is a time to eat (chocolate) and discuss any problems we are having and ways to fix it. At the end of the day we discuss what has been done, speaking with site management again and compiling an email for our manager, and when we get home we upload all of our data to be processed.

Which project / survey has been the most outstanding for you and why?
My favourite project has been working on South Quay Plaza (and everyone knows because it’s all I talk about!) I’ve been on site there since November 2017 and I feel like as the building has grown (67 stories)my knowledge has done the same. I’ve learnt so much there and met some really great people who are always willing to give me help and advice, I don’t think I’d be half the surveyor I am now without that site.

What’s the best memory you have since you started working with the company?
My best memory with Murphy Surveys was completing the 3 peaks in 24 hours for charity. It was one of the most mentally challenging things I’ve ever done, but the memories will last a lifetime and I feel so lucky to have shared them with some wonderful colleagues/friends.

What would your advise be for people who are thinking of becoming a surveyor?
Just do it. Surveying is so broad and there are so many different opportunities out there. When I started at Murphy Surveys I got to spend time in all the departments, from utilities, topographical surveys and rail and monitoring, and in each one I learnt completely different things and realised that surveying isn’t just a singular pathway and everything can be transferred.

What do you think the future surveyor will be like?  What will they be involved with?
I think the future of surveying is going more and more digital. We’ve already seen lots of new technologies coming out that are making onsite work easier and more efficient than back in the times where you would use a string to set out points. I’m excited to see what new developments will come out from the big survey equipment brands in the near future.