Featured Student Friday: Nick DiGruttolo

Each week, SFRC highlights a fantastic student or alumnus for #FeaturedStudentFriday. Today’s fantastic feature is Dr. Nick DiGruttolo, a three-time SFRC Geomatics grad!

“I am a licensed surveyor in Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi with over 31 years of experience in all aspects of land surveying, remote sensing, and geographic information systems. Since moving to Gainesville in 2006, from my hometown of Sarasota, I have earned a BSc (2008), MSc (2010) and PhD (2018) degrees in Geomatics from the University of Florida. While working full-time and attending school, I have performed survey tasks in seven countries and 34 states. Currently, I work at Pickett & Associates as the Gainesville Survey Manager.”

Nick at the boundary and topographic survey and aerial imagery control for U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa.

 

What’s the best thing about your current position?

The best thing about my current position is mentoring young surveyors. We currently have two recent graduates of the Geomatics Program working towards licensure and I enjoy passing on the knowledge I have gained through education and experience.

 

Was there any key thing that set you on the path towards SFRC?

After taking a 10-year hiatus from school, I was fortunate to meet Bon Dewitt, the Geomatics Program Administrator, and he convinced me that it would be worthwhile to quit my job and move my family to Gainesville. He was right. It was the best decision I ever made.

 

What drives you?

The history of my chosen profession drives me to continue the proud tradition of land surveying. Many of the founders of our country were surveyors and it is important to me for the profession to regain the status that it once had.

 

What were your struggles to get where you are today?

My greatest struggle has been balancing family, education and career. All three take a great deal of time and energy to do well and finding the right balance to succeed in all three has been difficult. Luckily, I have a very supportive wife who has helped me immensely along the way.

 

What advice would you give to a younger you?

My advice to a younger me would be to start college earlier and strive for greatness. I spent far too long thinking that with hard work alone I could move up the ladder of success. After 10 years working for county government, I realized I would never be able to achieve what I wanted without a college degree.

 

Do you have any favorite memory of your time at SFRC?

My favorite memory of my time at SFRC is the tide study at Cedar Key. An annual tradition that still continues, I look forward to being able to help future students enjoy that right-of-passage as I did by volunteering.

 

Are you working on anything exciting you’d like to share?

Our company has a focus on energy. Since joining Pickett & Associates in 2017, we have helped power companies rebuild after two major storms. The most recent event, hurricane Michael, destroyed 34 miles of a major transmission line needed to provide power to the Florida Panhandle. We helped in preparations for crews setting poles with Blackhawk helicopters. The surveying and engineering needed to be done quickly without encroaching on private property.