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Enhancing engineering outcomes: leveraging drone photogrammetry and LiDAR for advanced reality capture

Event organised by ICE

08 May 2024

This event has now ended


The talk will provide an insightful exploration into TerraDat's expansion from a geophysics focus to mastery in reality capture technologies. The diverse applications of these technologies, such as calculating stockpile volumes, analysing archaeological sites, conserving heritage, and documenting construction sites, will be examined. TerraDat's role in television, capturing footage of inaccessible or hazardous locations, will also be highlighted.

Attendees will receive a detailed overview of the current technology in reality capture, including drone-based photogrammetry and LiDAR systems. The presentation will assess the costs and key considerations professionals should weigh when selecting tools for their projects.

The types of deliverables produced by these technologies and the seamless integration of the data into engineering projects will be discussed, emphasising the enhancement of decision-making, project outcomes, and execution precision.

Future innovations in reality capture technology, with a focus on trends like continuous surveying and the advancement of data collection and processing automation, will be spotlighted. These advancements are set to revolutionize engineering project planning, execution, and maintenance.

The audience will learn how the integration of reality capture technology and engineering expertise is shaping the future of engineering applications and how these transformative techniques can be applied to their projects.


Nick Russil

Nick Russil


TerraDat Co founder

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Nick Russil

After graduating from Cardiff University, Nick Russill began his professional journey as an exploration geologist in the Australian outback, working on copper and gold projects. In 1992, he co-founded TerraDat Geophysics, which has since become one of Europe’s leading subsurface mapping companies servicing the engineering, environmental, and energy industries. Today, the company boasts a dedicated team of over 20 geoscientists and has offices in Scotland and Spain. His experience with challenging terrains led him to spearhead the development of rugged all-weather computers under Terralogic Ltd., which served a diverse client base until its sale in 2011.

His passion for mountain and ocean-based sports, combined with his expertise in map-making, drove him to co-found a series of the internet's top specialist weather websites in 1996. These websites now serve over 65 million users annually. He is keen on leveraging these platforms to enhance people's appreciation of the outdoors and encourage responsible travel in light of climate change.

A photography enthusiast, he was among the first to employ kite-lofted photogrammetry to photograph Antarctic islands. His expertise in 3D imagery spans various applications, including Cadastral Mapping in Alaska, Forensics, and digital heritage documentation.

In 1993, he was honoured as the 'Young Welsh Entrepreneur of the Year' and remains deeply committed to inspiring the next generation by speaking at schools and representing the Welsh Government. His role as the Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence and honorary associate professor of engineering at Exeter University was marked by his contribution to the first MEng degree to incorporate gold-standard project-based learning and entrepreneurship. He continues to mentor students and staff startups, often focusing on sustainability.

In 2019, he took on the role of Trustee for a Welsh social mobility charity, aiding disadvantaged Welsh school children in connecting with STEM careers. His career characterises a blend of scientific acumen, entrepreneurial spirit, and dedication to education and social empowerment.