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News & Press: MSS News

Spotlight: Bryan Haynie

Thursday, November 15, 2018   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Khea Adams
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1.       When did you start surveying?

I started surveying in the summer of 1998.

2.       Why did you get into surveying?

I took a summer job after graduating from high school. I lived across the street from a surveyor that said the company he worked for was hiring so I filled out an application and started on July 5th, 1988.

3.       Describe one of your best experiences while surveying?

I’ve had so many good experiences in surveying it’s hard to pick a best one to describe. I could talk about various projects I’ve had the pleasure of working on like the Central Light Rail Line where we surveyed and prepared plats for the right-of-way in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I could talk about the surveys we did at the B&O Museum as part of the emergency repairs when the roundhouse dome collapsed during a snowstorm in 2003. That was certainly interesting! There are numerous big construction projects that were great to be a part of (although sometimes a huge pain in the a** at the same time!). Uncovering a stone and being able to read the original surveyor’s initials in it that was called for in a deed that was about two hundred years old on a farm in northeastern Baltimore County was pretty awesome. Really the best experiences I’ve had in my career have been meeting a ton of great people and seeing a bunch of different places. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a fantastic core group of people here at Century both in the field and office for a very long time. Working for Century has afforded me the ability to work all over the state of Maryland as well as Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of wonderful people at SHA including meeting Kevin Carberry and Danny Sain on the side of Route 50 in Annapolis twenty some years ago when we were all in the early stages of our career then golfing (if you can call it that) with them on many occasions, working with Morgan France and our Oakland office out in western Maryland, working with our New Cumberland, PA office to subdivide a large tract for Penn State-Harrisburg, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of great people through MSS including the Board members that were nice enough to welcome me with open arms when I showed up out of the blue a couple years ago as the new Baltimore Chapter Chairman.

4.       Describe one of your worst experiences while surveying?

I have two answers for my worst experiences as a surveyor. First, February 1989, Hanover St. & Key Highway near Port Covington in Baltimore City, before anything was built there. Temperature in the teens everyday it seemed, wind always seemed like it was blowing in off the water. We spent several weeks staking piles for the press mats of the Baltimore Sun building that’s there now. I would spend all morning standing behind the gun giving line and shooting distances (dialing in the new distance meter on our Topcon Guppy-the old guys will know what I mean) then after complaining at lunchtime about standing around in the wind all morning I would spend the

afternoons waiting on the I- man to give me line and distance so I could pound spikes into the completely frozen ground. I don’t know which was worse but neither was good and there is no getting away from a cold wind! The second answer is about half the work I do now. In my capacity as the Chief of Surveys for Century I am responsible for all the paperwork and headaches that go along with the business side of surveying. The proposals, dealing with accounting and billing, HR, equipment, supplies, vehicles, etc. All the necessary evil business things that keep me away from doing the “actual survey work”.

5.       What type of surveying makes up most of your work?

Over the course of my career I’ve had the opportunity to perform a lot of different types of survey work. I think it’s about even between private development related work and public work. My survey department works closely with our land development group so we do a lot of design boundary & topo with ALTA surveys usually added in at some point and a healthy dose of subdivision plats, too. More often than not, we carry over into the construction stakeout portion of the development process and finish it up with site and/or SWM as-builts. We’ve had a good number of municipal type survey contracts with various Maryland agencies such as SHA, MTA and DGS so I’ve spent a good deal of time working on topo and right-of-way workmaps and plats. We support the other departments in the company so we also do a lot of right-of-way and topo surveys for highway design as well as public utility work for companies like BGE. We also get into stream restoration and SWM facility retrofits in support of our environmental department.

6.       Who are some of the surveyors that influenced your knowledge in the profession (in school or on the job)?

As far as surveyors that influenced my knowledge and career in surveying I will start first and foremost with the most influential one, Roy Stringer. He was the guy I spoke about earlier that lived across the street and got me into surveying. I worked with him from day one right up until he retired in October of 2015. He taught me so much about surveying from proper field procedures to how to research and read deeds and plats, plotting topo, reviewing title commitments, preparing plats and descriptions, how to do comps for construction stakeout, he taught me how to be thorough and check my work, he pushed me to further my education with survey classes at Catonsville, he pushed me to get my license in Maryland and probably just as important as all that he was there to give me a kick in the backside when I was not taking things seriously at the beginning of my career. I don’t think I’d be anywhere near where I am today without his mentoring. Other surveyors that have influenced my knowledge in the profession are as follows: Jim Mask who I was fortunate enough to have as a teacher at Catonsville before he retired. He taught me how to perform all comps long-hand including the least-squared traverse adjustment and I still have all his ditto handouts sitting in a binder on a shelf in my office. Charles Casey who taught me what meticulousness and attention to detail really means and set a standard that I don’t think I will ever meet. Yale Cohen who taught me the ins and outs of construction surveying and also helped me learn how to deal with being in charge of other people. There are lots of other people that influenced my knowledge and career and I would be remiss in not mentioning the two engineers, Paul Lee and George Lambros, that taught me about the development process, how to deal with county agencies/reviewers, how to deal with clients and how to run a department. I still haven’t figured out how to scream at a client on the phone for 20 minutes like Paul then laugh it off and have them give us more work though.

7.       What advice would you give to new surveyors?

My advice to new surveyors is to pay attention, ask questions, try to learn from the people you work with and don’t forget about furthering your education. Learn as much as you can from every possible source.

8.       When you are not surveying, what do you like to do?

When I’m not surveying I like to spend time with my family, do a little fishing and camping, read, barbecue every now & then or waste away an afternoon cruising around the PA backroads on my motorcycle. I’m a Ravens season ticket holder with my Dad so every Sunday in the fall I’ll be at the game or somewhere watching it on TV. 

9.      How has surveying changed since you started?

The biggest change in surveying since I’ve started is the advancement in technology in both the field and the office. When I first started in the field our crew was lucky to have a distance meter that didn’t require a car battery to run it. Our company was just moving away from the Kern Theodolites, but I had to learn how to read the Vernier anyway. I also had to learn how to read the micrometer on the Topcon Guppy and dial in the distance meter. That was before the days of digital screens & data collectors. When I first moved into the office, I learned Autocad (Version 7) and Microstation 3.0. There was no internet, so I spent a lot of time going through SpecPrint books for tax maps, property owner info & deed/plat references. Then I had to actually go to various courthouses to get copies of everything. Thankfully those days are long gone!

10.      What question did you expect us to ask that we didn't ask? What is the answer?

I think I expected some kind of question like “what would you be doing if you weren’t surveying?”. As for the answer, like any good surveyor I would say that depends. If I never got into surveying at all I think I would have gone on to be a history teacher or done something with computers. In the late 80’s home computing was just starting to get popular and I learned programming in high school as well as how to build them. If I wasn’t surveying now I would be on a boat somewhere down south, maybe the Caribbean, working as a mate, not the Captain! Let someone else be the boss.



R. Wayne Twigg says...
Posted Friday, November 30, 2018
Nice write-up, Bryan!

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