Surveyor & GIS Analyst, Woods Auckland
Gabriela Olekszyk began her geomatics/geospatial career in Western Australia, surveying for mining concerns during vacation breaks while studying for a Bachelor of Surveying Technology at Curtin University. Western Australia has become a crucible for geomatics: a vast land (almost four times the size of Texas), sparsely populated, but with tremendous natural resources and a succession of mining and development booms. To meet these needs, Curtin University is home to several surveying and mining surveying programs, and many students such as Olekszyk gain valuable experience—often very demanding experience in challenging environments—while still in school. [Our own editor can attest to that, having also begun his surveying career in W. Aust.]. Olenszyk also mentored new students and received acclaim for her work, being recognized as the best student in the program (in her third year there) and receiving several other student awards.
After graduation, Olekszyk worked at land survey firms for boundary and other work and then as a graduate mine surveyor. While continuing her education through a master’s program in geographic information systems (by correspondence via Lund University Sweden), she has since relocated to New Zealand and is working as a surveyor and GIS analyst for the prominent multi-discipline consulting firm, Woods, which has provided her with opportunities to apply her talents to small and large projects. She has also been working to optimize field-data-collection practices, workflows, and outputs to better fit working geospatial environments and has been developing web map interfaces to improve access for team members, clients, and stakeholders.