Thomas Harris, 21, is the summer intern with NCDOT's Photogrammetry Unit. Working directly under Don Early, Special Project Engineer, they have made this summer one to remember.
The Photogrammetry Unit creates aerial imagery and geospatial information products that are used for transportation planning, design, construction and maintenance.
"I use Art GIS or Micro Station to edit, modify or create new aerial photography projects," says Harris. "I also work on digitizing historical projects we are working on now."
Despite what some may say is a tough job, it offers many rewarding moments.
"The most rewarding thing is getting through a challenging project. If he (Early) needs me to figure something out, I try to do things as fast as possible and find ways to get through it. And once I do figure it out, I feel really good," says Harris.
On the other hand, Early enjoys the reactions of others.
"I deal with a lot of people outside of DOT. It's always pretty exciting when you see products that you have done and you get positive feedback," says Early.
When interns come to work with Early, he sets specific goals for them so that they can get the full experience of the internship.
"We like to bring them in and introduce them to what we do here at a certain skill level. We try to expose them to as much of the inner workings of photogrammetry and DOT as possible. If there's anything that I feel I can expose him to, whether it's in DOT or outside of it, I try to do that. I like to find out that when they graduate from school, they have found a job in this career." said Early.
Each year, NCDOT places interns in various units and offices throughout the department. These internships provide students with hands-on experience, as well as an idea of what it is like to work their specific field of study for the government.