Ambassador Spotlight ‘Joel van Cranenbroeck’

Introducing our latest Brand Ambassador Joel van Cranenbroeck from Namur, Belgium!

Where did you study? I studied in Brussels at the State Technical Institute for Land Surveyor over 3 years. Before I studied Math Sup.

What are the requirements to be a surveyor in your area? Several possibilities : High Schools for a MSc degree in Construction Engineering with Surveyor’s option (last year), University as MSc in Geomatics, Surveying option and still Graduation Schools. To become a Surveyor, you need to complete that study, then take an oath before the Court of First Instance and to be registered at the Conseil Fédéral des Géomètres-Experts. That concerns mostly the traditional land surveyors involved in boundary delimitations and cadastral surveys. We don’t have any cursus for becoming survey engineer or geodesist here in Belgium. Professor PL Baetslé at that time answered that question (how to become a geodesist in Belgium) with a laconic “by accident”.

How did you get into surveying? At the end of my secondary school studies I followed for several days as a helper, a land surveyor. It has been the trigger ! And I decided to become a surveyor for working outdoors, handling instruments and to report surveys on maps.  I also joined as a guest the celebration of a land surveyor’s union (something like 150th anniversary) in Brussels and people there were looking like adventurers, speaking loudly about great projects, Africa etc … Looks like “become a surveyor and see the world” or “surveying is not a job, it’s an adventure”

How long have you been in the industry? 40 years

Are you part of any associations or organisations you would like us to mention? I have been past vice chairman for the FIG Commission 6 Surveying Engineering, WG 6.2 and I am actually member of the French speaking Association of Surveyors (AFT) and member of the regional land surveyors union (UGEC).

Why do you want to be a GKiS Brand Ambassador? To share my passion for surveying and geodesy with kids … something I thought since a while knowing the lack of interest nowadays for our profession … worldwide. 

Why is it important for kids to know about surveying and the wider geospatial industry? They are our future, they are the next generation ! Knowing that many surveyors I know have decided for that profession because they met at that age other surveyors. I think examples are speaking for themselves and actually there is no promotion at school so how young people/students would like to be interested in surveying ?

What are you going to do as an ambassador for GKiS? I will start by meeting kids at school and showing them what is surveying at first simply by mapping their spaces with traditional instruments and then raise their interest and curiosity with advanced techniques.

What are your hobbies? Pottery (throwing clay on the wheel), watercolor painting and sketching, baking breads and cooking, playing 12 strings guitar, discovering new areas and new friends, astronomy and driving my LD Defender and my Vespa GTS125 in the countryside between many other things ! 

If you/your company had a GKiS character, what would it be? Our company is CGEOS standing for Creative Geosensing … Geosensing is the contraction of Geodesy and (remote) sensing  and we do oru business with creativity. That’s also what our customers appreciate working with us as we are always bringing to them quite unique solutions. So the GKiS character would be for us a “creator” an “artist” handling pencils of all colors 🙂

What resources would you like to see next from GKiS? Anything will be welcomed and at first docs for explaining at schools who we are and what we do ! 

Anything else you want to add that you think our audience (surveyors, teachers, parents) would be interested in? I started in 1981 as Land surveyor in Belgium working at the Belgian Cadastre, then at the National Geographical Institute (Geodeti Department), then for Star Informatic (software company), then at the Leica representative in Belgium (Product Specialist and then Sales & Marketing Manager), then at Leica Geosystems AG Heerbrugg as Program Director for GNSS reference station and monitoring program (where we developed SpiderNET and GeoMos) and in 2014 I founded our company looking after 3 market segments (high rise buildings vertical alignments, GNSS navigation and positioning, positioning infrastrures & UWB indoor location and Monitoring). Joëlle Dupont (a retired Chief Nurse) has been married since 1980 and we have 3 children and 9 grandchildren. Now our “kid” Nicolas is working with me …