The Central Dacotah Section of the American Society of Highway Engineers honored DeLane Meier of Bismarck, North Dakota last June for his work ethic and innovative ideas during his long career for the North Dakota Department of Transportation. The award acknowledged Meier as being instrumental in bringing the electronic age into every aspect of surveying and plan preparation.
Meier began his career at the NDDOT in 1957 working with rudimentary surveying equipment. He was active in the collection of survey data for construction and improvement of many of today’s highways. His more than 50-year career with NDDOT evolved into diverse areas of operations beyond surveying and construction, including spearheading a new division within the DOT as director of Computer Automation. Subsequent to that milestone, he was manager of Surveys and Photogrammetry, one of the department’s most technologically driven sections.
Under Meier’s guidance, the Surveys and Photogrammetry section embraced multiple ground breaking technologies. The concept of collecting data from field surveys with an electronic data collector instead of paper field books was first established under Meier, as was the use of Total Stations as survey instruments.
In the early 1980s Meier incorporated a Tetronix computer display into the process of creating roadway alignments definitions, virtually the first computer used by the department for the processing of highway related data.
After much research, Meier convinced NDDOT to forge ahead with the purchase of a digital mapping camera and a full suite of state-of-the-art applications that function with the new digital imagery.
Colleagues say his success is due to proficient management skills, comprehensive research, determination, curiosity and not a small amount of risk taking.
In honor of this award, Meier received a $1,000 check made out to the charity of his choice, which was the Adventist Development and Relief Agency.
This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of OUTLOOK. It was written by Jacquie Biloff, communication director for the Dakota Conference, with the North Dakota Department of Transportation.