Topcon partnership keeps Ohio State students one step ahead

Posted: November 18, 2021
students using Topcon surveying equipment
CEGE students using new Topcon instruments during a surveying class

Topcon Positioning Systems, a leading manufacturer for the construction, geospatial, and agriculture markets, has formed a new partnership with The Ohio State University that will expose students to innovative technology and hands-on learning, helping ensure their success as they enter the workforce.

The partnership includes access to state-of-the-art precision positioning equipment, which will be provided on a rolling basis to the Departments of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering (CEGE); Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE); and the School of Earth Sciences. Equipment will be used primarily for surveying classes and lab exercises.

“As the expression goes, ‘you learn by doing,’ and the Ohio State partnership with Topcon offers that opportunity to our students using the same state-of-the-art equipment that they will use later in the workplace,” said CEGE Chair Allison McKay. “The success of all civil and environmental engineering projects depends on accurate measurements of the earth surface, and natural and built structures." 

“These first-hand experiences have really improved student understanding of concepts and technology applications being taught,” added FABE Professor John Fulton. “From an instructor’s perspective, it’s great to have modern technology to teach with and complement the concepts that I am wanting students to learn.”

students using Topcon surveying instruments

Students graduating and entering the field without exposure to or understanding of the latest technology is a dilemma many universities face, according to leadership at Topcon. The pace of technology development and the fact that some equipment takes longer to wear out because it is not heavily used can result in students learning on obsolete technology before an institution can justify or fund replacement products.

“This agreement with Ohio State, an institution that we’ve long respected for its development of leaders in the geospatial, engineering, and agricultural fields, is designed to solve that situation and give students access to the most up-to-date technology tools available,” said Jamie Williamson, executive vice president of Topcon Positioning Group.

Along with preparing Buckeyes for their future after college, Topcon hopes new graduates can look to their company as part of their career path.

“We have a saying at Topcon that we are always one step ahead in technology,” said Williamson. “We are looking forward to giving students the opportunity to be a step ahead in their careers and in their contributions to the industry.”

by Meggie Biss, College of Engineering Communications |

Category: Giving