The Surveying Engineering Program at Ferris State University has helped transform my life in many ways. When I received my Surveying Engineering Degree in 1995 I set off to the Rocky Mountains and settled in Denver, Colorado. I interviewed with over 30 companies in Colorado in the month before I received my degree and was offered a job at the majority of these firms. All of these companies were impressed with the Surveying Engineering Degree and the depth of the curriculum. My surveying engineering degree has provided wonderful opportunities throughout my work career working as a Land Surveyor, Trainer, Consultant, Adjunct Professor, Senior Lecturer, and CEO/President. I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to obtain my Surveying Engineering Degree at Ferris State University and can state without any doubt that this Degree was worth so much more than I paid to receive it. I feel a debt of gratitude to be a Surveying Engineering Alumni, a Ferris State University Alumni, and to have had the pleasure to have lived in Big Rapids, Michigan throughout my College Career.
8811 E. Hampden Ave., Suite 110
Denver, CO 80231
Office: (303) 283-0343
Fax: (303) 283-0342
I graduated from the FSU Surveying Engineering program in 1993. Upon graduation I was scouted by several engineering firms offering employment. I selected the engineering firm that allowed me to gain valuable experience with large geodetic GPS projects to establish primary first-order control networks for urban municipalities. Our highly accurate networks now serve as a framework for large GIS systems. At the same firm I was able to experiment with a new technology called RTK GPS. Since my degree from FSU is engineering accredited I was also put to work performing runoff calculations, flow volumes and construction quantities for large drain systems. My training at FSU also enabled me to jump directly into AutoCAD to prepare construction drawings and survey drawings for all types of projects. So whenever a work shortage occurred I was able to switch gears and work in other departments as needed. In this aspect the broad depth of the FSU curriculum helped to keep me employed when others were laid off.
Several years after graduation I was once again scouted by engineering firms. I accepted a position with another engineering firm that offered a substantial pay increase. At this point I was still an S.I.T. (not yet licensed). Approximately two years later I sat the PS exam and passed (first time). I also attribute my education at FSU to helping me pass the PS exam on the first attempt. Being newly licensed I approached my employer and requested a $15,000 pay raise (on top of my already substantial salary). I received the pay increase and continued to work on both surveying and engineering related projects.
Several years later I was once again scouted by an engineering firm. This time I accepted the offer not for the pay increase but for the geographical move. After working at the new firm for several years I decided to venture off on my own and I started Landtech in January of 2000. Within six months I had nine employees and grossed nearly one million dollars the first year in business. Since then our average yearly revenue has hovered between 1.5 and 3.0 million dollars with 10-20 employees. Immediately after starting Landtech I sat the E.I.T. exam and passed it. I have two PEs on staff and I continued to work on both surveying and engineering projects. Several years later I passed the PE exam and became a licensed engineer in Michigan. Since then my client base has burgeoned to cover a large portion of the United States. Therefore I became licensed in 31 other states to satisfy my client's needs. I now possess a PE license in 32 states and a PS license in four states. My company has completed nearly 7,000 projects throughout the United States since our inception in January of 2000.
None of this would have been possible without the education I received from FSU. The Surveying Engineering degree has allowed me to become both a licensed professional surveyor as well as a licensed professional engineer. Having a PS or a PE license is invaluable today. Having both a PS and a PE license is extraordinary, allowing for unlimited opportunities. Graduates of the Surveying Engineering program at FSU have the ability to work anywhere in the world and their income is limited only by their drive to succeed.
So I would like to thank you, Dr. Thapa and all my professors at FSU for giving me the ability to succeed beyond my wildest dreams. The Surveying Engineering degree is truly a hidden treasure. Please keep the program running strong. Every Surveying Engineering graduate is a rare and invaluable commodity.
Matthew Mokanyk, PS, PE,
Licensed Engineer in: AL, AR, AZ, CO, FL, GA, IL, IA, IN, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, MS, NE, NC, ND, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WV & WI
Licensed Land Surveyor in: MI, OH, IN & IL
"32 states, 7100 sites, 99.97% delivered on time"
“My studies in the Surveying Engineering Program at Ferris State have served me throughout my career. Initially, they afforded me with a marketable, technical skill set that landed me a fast-paced, growth orientated job with the opportunity to learn and grow into a technical professional or leadership position, but in many cases both. As my career advanced, so did my knowledge of the profession, and my ability to advise clients ranging from local land owners to Fortune 100 organizations on their land development and real estate needs. As the vice president of a growing consulting business, I attribute my success in part to the well-rounded education I received at Ferris, and the strong foundation it provided for my career.”
Matthew C. Bissett,PS
As a member of one of the first graduation classes of the Surveying Engineering program I was unsure as to what the benefits would be. As I went through the licensing process in a state whose Board had never seen a candidate with a BS degree in Surveying Engineering, many of its reviewing members had limited knowledge about this degree or ABET in general. During that process, the Minnesota Board had a personal interview of every candidate prior to taking the professional exam. My interview contained only questions on the classes I took at Ferris, I was stunned that there were no technical questions nor experience examples for me to recite, only their curiosity of the content of the classes. The interview was scheduled for 45 minutes but 1 ½ hours later they said I was fit to take the exam. It is interesting to note that the Board, soon after I became licensed, created an educational requirement that reduced the experience requirement of the candidate if the candidate graduated from an accredited Land Surveying program. Someone of influence saw the value in an accredited Bachelor’s degree that concentrated on surveying specifically and was an advocate for change.
In the early 2000’s the DOT, along with other infrastructure engineering professionals, both public and private, worked with the University of Minnesota to create a Master’s program in Infrastructure Systems Engineering. These professional organizations asked the University to create a program that concentrated on systems thinking and building leadership skills. This program was only open to engineers until I contacted its champion in 2006 and made her aware of FSU’s Surveying Engineering program and the EAC-ABET accreditation. Low and behold they opened the program to include surveyors. I was accepted into the program without the GRE requirement and received a full scholarship which resulted in conferring a MS degree on me in 2008. Sadly, this program ended in 2011 because only the DOT could continue to fund a limited number of students (3 per year) on an ongoing basis and this burden became too great to sustain a program for the University’s budget and finance folks.
Lastly, I had my first opportunity to hire a Ferris grad and I have to say that her resume’ was quite impressive. I forwarded it on to one of our program managers to see if she was eligible for our Grad Engineer’s / Land Surveyor’s Program along with my recommendation. For the longest time I heard nothing and started to inquire. The program manager thanked me for forwarding the resume’ to him and that he had already hired her. I asked about her progression and the response was that this person is going to be a star and that I could not have her back until she finished the Grad Program. No good deed goes unpunished.
That’s about all I have. Keep up the excellent work.
FSU Class of 1991
Peter W. Jenkins, PLS, CFedS
Asst. Office Director for Surveying & Mapping
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Office of Land Management
395 John Ireland Blvd., MS 630
St. Paul, MN 55155-1899
You have asked me for several years to provide an endorsement for the Ferris State University degree in Survey Engineering.
Your request letter also asks ‘how the EAC/ABET accreditation has affected my life.
Let me first state that my degree from Ferris State University has not only provided me a job, but a profession.
My Degree from Ferris State University has provided me diverse opportunities, from working in the Gulf of Mexico oil fields and overseas to supporting the development of renewable energy of wind and solar for a Michigan energy company.
The Survey engineering degree from Ferris State University provides the graduate with flexibility of career path that many other educations do not.
In the trying times of employment recently in the US, the Survey engineering degree from Ferris State University has not only provide opportunities, but has made me the preferred candidate for several positions.
Like many, I did not start out knowing that I would become a professional Surveyor and engineer, but once the decision was made to follow this path, it is hard to look back without smiling about all the accomplishments, individuals and experiences that my degree from Ferris State University has provided for me.
Paul G. Funk, P.S., P.E.