Hoffman began his surveying career back in 1978 when he worked for his uncle, Bernard Godfrey. After graduating from Paul Smith’s College, he worked his way from rod-man to transit-man and eventually party-chief. In 1988 when Adam received his Land Surveying license, he and Mr. Godfrey formed Godfrey-Hoffman Associates. After 12 years of a great partnership, Mr. Godfrey retired which left Mr. Hoffman with the entire business.

3D Laser Scanning Saves Time

Laser technology in the fields of engineering and land surveying is sweeping across the country. By using lasers to map coordinates, shapes and elements of an area that will be constructed upon, engineers can quickly, accurately and effectively capture the full breadth of an area. Laser scanners produce point clouds that can be turned into 3D or even 2D models of buildings and landscapes that can be used for planning and other data collection. Laser technology is definitely the future of engineering and surveying and schools are jumping on the bandwagon with high tech engineering firms.

For instance, this technology is being taught at the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, according to The Chronicle Herald. Students at the school are learning how to use the laser scanning tools to create models of structures automatically from hard resin, instead of paper. The article explains the process:

“Brandon Smith, a mechanical engineering instructor, waves a laser wand around an angular piece of metal in a workshop at the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth. A few metres away, the information from the laser sensor appears on a computer screen, slowly building into a three-dimensional replica of the object, which was once part of an airplane. That computer image will be fed into a large “printer” on the other side of the room and in a matter of hours, an exact three-dimensional replica of the part — made of a hard resin material, not paper — will be produced for the aviation company IMP.”

This type of process would have taken weeks without the technology now available to students studying engineering in schools all over the world. The article goes on to say that the skills associated with using these types of tools will help students get acclimated with real-world “customers, deadlines and engineering challenges.”

Wooden Whaling Ship Back in the Water

In this blog, we have discussed the usage of laser technology to create 3-D models of buildings to help aid engineers with recommendations for land that is complex and time consuming to survey with standard engineering tools. Technology is one of the major backbones of engineering and 3-D imagery is just one of the newest techniques for making the science of engineering more precise and accurate.

Using lasers as the “eyes of an engineer” can be a very effective way of determining how a structure needs to be fixed in order to achieve maximum stability and long lasting structural integrity. A 3-D scan provides engineers with a model that looks very similar to the computer generated imagery used in the classic movie “Tron.” Using this technology paired with the engineering skills gained from the study of math and science, engineers can interpret a model and make recommendations to clients. This process also saves a massive amount of time for engineers, who would normally have to manually make measurements on difficult pieces of land.

This process isn’t just used for scanning areas of land and current building structures, but also used for restoring old ships, according to this blog entry from Gizmodo. The entry speaks about the restoration of the world’s last great whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan. The wooden ship was scanned with lasers and X-ray technology to determine where its weak spots are, so that a $10 million restoration could begin.

According to the piece, the boat should be restored by 2012, but that whaling will not be possible. At this point, the boat will be preserved for history’s sake. Without 3-D scanning technology, the last whaling boat in the world would be gone forever.

Hackathons Mine Engineering Minds

In the world of computers, the idea of hacking is met with various responses. Some look at hacking as a form of virtual terrorism and others look at hacking as an art form that can change the way computer systems and online media are used to enhance performance and usage of computers across the world. In a lot of ways, some hackers deserve to be lauded for their efforts.

A lot of hackers use their knowledge and abilities to alert corporations and software developers of bugs and holes in security programming. In this way, hackers are very useful to the safety of our personal and private data. Once a hole is discovered, the developers can go in and make a patch or rewrite a piece of code before the problem is discovered by malicious hackers.

That’s why University of Illinois students are hacking Facebook with permission. The Daily Illini has a story about how Facebook has set up a Hackathon at the university and a few others. What do Facebook developers hope to get out of this hacking? Some of the best Facebook features of the past few years:

“On Friday, students formed teams to work for 24 hours straight on hacks for new product ideas that could very well result in similar success. Hackathons are usually internal operations at Facebook where engineers get together to try and create innovative new products using the Facebook platform. It was at one of these hackathons that Facebook Video and other products such as Facebook Chat were invented.”

This kind of story proves how valuable that engineers can be in the landscape of the world, whether it is virtual or otherwise. While one Connecticut engineer is surveying an area for planning and zoning commissions, a computer engineer in California is inventing the next big social network.

Serious Shortage of Software Engineers

Engineers complete a variety of difficult, but essential tasks that make a lot of things possible in the world. That is why the education that all kinds of engineers go through is so rigorous and time consuming. Without engineers, buildings wouldn’t get built, roads would never get fixed and computers would never have any decent software and hardware systems.

In the world of software engineering, there is a serious demand for “decent engineers,” according to this article from the San Francisco Chronicle. At first glance, a shortage of software developers seems impossible, seeing as the media world is constantly expanding on a daily basis. According to the article, that is the precise problem: the tech bubble is growing so rapidly that there are not enough software engineers to take crucial positions in companies. Of course, there are software engineers out there, but they simply do not have the skills necessary to fit into these serious positions:

“The most obvious cause of increased software developer demand is that the Internet is still rapidly growing; the tech sector accounts for an ever bigger chunk of the economy. Young companies like Google have created thousands of new programming jobs. More recently, Twitter, Facebook, and Zynga have been throwing money at every engineer they can find.

But the problem is especially bad in the startup community, because of the surge in early stage funding. Getting new consumer web companies off the ground is vastly cheaper today than it was just a few years ago; as a result, venture capitalists and angel investors are increasingly focused on seed stage investments. Since such investments are much smaller than later round ones, that means far more companies are getting funded, and they all need engineers to get them up and running.”

Just imagine if a shortage of civil engineers occurred in the near future, particularly with a lot of stimulus money going towards road development and reconstruction. Engineering is a great skill to learn and if more of us don’t do so, we may be at a loss in the future.



Hodge LLC. was hired by Maric Builders in 2008 to complete a boundary survey and map all existing features of the property. We located the house, driveway and patio’s etc.  The house was a beautiful old 1920’s or 1930’s English Tudor with a lot of character, but quite rundown. The project began with designs, town approvals and the teardown of the original house. Hodge LLC. provided the layout to the foundation crew as well as information to the crews building the driveway, walls, patios and the pool. The homeowners, architects and Meric Builders had the vision to turn it into what we see here today. This project is currently nearing completion after several years but with many details to be tied up. Meric Builders has used Hodge LLC. for many of their projects and we look forward to many more in the future.