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Jonathan DavisBSurv (Hons) 2000

Living in Sweden, and working with the development of highly advanced optical positioning systems, is not something Jonathan Davis had in mind when he embarked on a Surveying degree. But only a couple of years after graduating with honours, he transferred from Christchurch, where he joined Trimble, to the company's office in Stockholm.

Though Jonathan started out testing field and office software used by surveyors and engineers, he's more involved with product management and marketing these days, but he tries his best to maintain a good technical contact with the projects he is involved in. Products he works with include various GPS satellite navigation equipment, but he spends most his time working with robotic optical total stations and field computers. The optical total stations are instruments that measure very accurate angles and distances to generate position information. The field computers compliment these by reducing the need for field notes and enabling more automated data collection. These products are mainly used by surveyors, engineers and other construction professionals.

Working for Trimble, Jonathan is literally at the cutting edge. “A couple of the systems can use the position information from the instruments to automatically guide a bulldozer or grader blade as it drives across a development site. They can automatically cut out designs for construction projects such as golf courses or dams," he says.

Jonathan believes the Surveying degree at Otago "is so broad you can do anything”. While I'm working in product management for a surveying technology company, other classmates who graduated with me in 1999 are doing a diverse range of things - from traditional residential subdivisions in New Zealand, to hydrology, mapping the sea floor and engineering projects all over the world."

For now, Jonathan is enjoying working and living in Europe, and says “most of my friends are over here now so it is a great place to be, but one day I would like to return to New Zealand, see the All Blacks live and find a place by the beach!”