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S-5B Students Have Their say in Spatial Source Magazine.

Home S-5B Students Have Their say in Spatial Source Magazine.

S-5B Students Have Their say in Spatial Source Magazine.

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Putting hydrographic theory into practice

By jnally on 4 October, 2022 Spatial Source Magazine






















Rod Tansley and his course partner jumping in at the deep end during the hydrography course.

Earlier this year, a group of industry members gathered in Victoria to participate in an internationally recognised S-5B hydrographic training program delivered by IIC Academy in partnership with Deakin University.

The course attracted a range of participants, from those who knew essentially nothing about hydrography to current surveying business owners and everyone in between. The program comprised 13 weeks of theoretical instruction (delivered online) and 7 weeks of practical assessment, including time spent on the water.

In the following, we hear from two of the participants in the program.

Jeremy Monteath: There was a broad range of experience among the students on the course, and I was without doubt the least experienced; in fact, I had never heard of hydrography prior to getting my job at Seismic Asia Pacific in 2020. However, despite this, I was able to fairly easily grapple with the content during the theory stage.

The practical modules have not only given me invaluable hands-on experience but have provided lifelong memories and cherished friendships. Each day we would work on a different task together; sometimes half of us would be out on the boat while the other half were on the computers doing processing. To be honest, I was very apprehensive going into this segment as I knew I had the least knowledge in the whole crew. Thankfully, my concerns were allayed by the staff and the other members of the course, who were very welcoming.


















Jeremy Monteath (right) looks on as a total station is demonstrated by Deakin staff.

We conducted our final field project in Portland. The students were split into pairs and tasked with surveying a third of the port. My partner and I were allocated the shallow area. We set off in calm winds, weaving our way around the jetties, ‘mowing the lawn’ with our multi-beam and doing multiple SVP casts. It was a highly informative couple of days.

Truly this was a once in a lifetime experience. Not only was I able to learn and develop my hydrographic abilities, but I have formed many long-lasting friendships.

Rod Tansley: I own a hydrographic survey company, Sandmap, based out of Brisbane. I joined the S-5B program as someone who had a fair bit of land survey and GIS experience over 25 years, along with about 3 or 4 years of hydrographic experience with an interferometric system. As a small hydrographic survey company owner, I wanted to fast-track my certification process but also to act as a test case for potentially putting employees through the course.

I found the course to be by far the best I have completed in my career. The theoretical component gave me a solid grounding and background information to reinforce what I already knew, but also supplied me with a lot of new information that has been extremely helpful already.

The practical component held at Deakin University in Warrnambool made it stand out from every other course I have done. The IIC instructors come from a solid hydrographic survey background with years of experience at sea, and I was able to have many technical and practical discussions with them about all things to do with hydrographic survey, which have helped my business immensely. I learned more about hydrographic survey in the 7-week practical component than I did in three years of being on the job and researching through the internet.














Deakin University’s survey boat, Yolla.

Being at Deakin University was an absolute privilege. Their survey boat Yolla was first class, and the first thing I did on arrival back home was to purchase and fit out a 5m version of their 9.2m Stabicraft for our own work.

I would say that this course has advanced my knowledge and my business much more than I ever expected it would. I came in with the main purpose to just complete it as another step towards certification, but left with so much more.

Details of future programs can be found at or by emailing



04 Oct, 22