Articles

September Technical Speaker 1

Evolution of Professional Land Surveying

Mr. Andrew Lonnie Sikes, P.E., R.P.L.S.

In the 17th century the modern economy was in the early stages of development. World wide navigation was well established and trade and commerce were expanding. Technology was evolving in the early stages of the industrial revolution. Hand shake agreements became a social and economic problem. In 1677, the English Parliament passed registration that defined actions and documentation necessary to make certain business transactions enforceable in the courts of the land. The application of the Statue of Frauds to a real estate transaction requires a property description. A property description requires the services of a surveyor. During the following 300 years this need evolved into a formally recognized and legally defined profession of Land Surveyor.

Andrew Lonnie Sikes was first introduced to ASCE as a teenager thru the publication Civil Engineer, which his father left laying around. He found the brain teaser problems challenging. He became a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers as a freshman at Texas A&M University in 1964. Mr. Sikes earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering at A&M in 1969. He has been an active member of the society ever since.

Mr. Sikes served as an officer in the US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations’ commission corps rising to the rank of Lieutenant (O3) before returning to Texas A&M to earn a master’s degree in Civil Engineering in 1974.

Mr. Sikes worked at Turner Collie and Braden, Inc. in Houston, Texas from 1974 thru 1977, where he completed the requirements to become registered as a Professional Engineer in Texas. He became registered as a Registered Professional Land Surveyor in 1980. In 1977 he started Andrew Lonnie Sikes, Inc. where he has practiced since.

As an active member of ASCE, Mr. Sikes has served on a number of local and national ASCE Committees. At the national level, he has been a member of the several surveying committees and the Education Committee. He has provided pier review of a number of article which were submitted to ASCE for publication. In Houston Branch, Mr. Sikes was the founding chair of the Surveying or Geomatic Committee. This is a very unique offering that adds to the unique character of the Houston Branch. In 2009, Mr. Sikes was the recipient of the Award of Honor from the Houston Branch, ASCE. In April 2011, Mr. Sikes was presented the ASCE Texas Section Award of Honor.

Mr. Sikes served three Governors of Texas between 1987 and 1999 as a member of the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying, where he also served as Chairman of the Board. During this time he was elected as Vice President of the Southern Zone, of National Council of Examiner of Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES). During his work with the Texas Surveyors Board, he was instrumental in bringing the registration exam in line with modern exam theory and adopting the NCEES surveying exam as part of the Texas registration process for surveyors.

Mr. Sikes is active in his community. He is a life member of ASCE and an active participant in the appropriate professional organizations in Houston. He is a deacon at South Main Baptist Church, Houston, Texas. He has three grown children, all fully educated, and gainfully employed.

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