Capable of designing, preparing and implementing projects, and of working in a multidisciplinary team, the engineer-surveyor-topographer specializes in measuring objects on every scale. He can be in charge of projects in a variety of fields: 3D imaging, cadastral surveying, space geodesy, industrial metrology, geographical information systems, cartography, urban and rural planning, photogrammetry, remote sensing, la lasergrammetry, etc.

The engineer surveyor can be called upon to work in industry, the management and surveillance of existing structures, the observation land movements at continent level, archeology, spatial planning and management, digital mapping and image processing.

The surveying engineering specialization was created in 1897. The department’s experience and constant adaptation to the latest techniques mean that it has won the trust of many companies and surveyors’ offices.


The teaching in the department aims to train engineer-surveyor-topographers with good general knowledge as well as the scientific and technological skills enabling them to access a wide range of careers and adapt to all present or future situations.

The training and the experience students gain in professional settings give them a command of the main disciplines involved in surveying engineering as well as a good grounding in related sciences and techniques.

The training includes:

  • thorough teaching in the fundamental disciplines: surveying instruments and methods, general topometry and error analysis, general and applied computer science, geographical information systems, geodesy, photogrammetry and remote sensing;
  • classes in civil engineering and urban planning enabling future engineers to work with other specializations and take part in projects in multidisciplinary teams;
  • training in legal and human issues: law, land appraisal, human sciences, business management, foreign languages.

engineer and architect

INSA Strasbourg’s dual architect and engineer’s training begins at baccalaureate + 1 year level (after the INSA Strasbourg first year course for the engineers, after the competitive entrance exam for the architects). This is the only way of joining the course.

Students can also train in architecture at the same time by choosing the 6-year dual engineering and architecture course. They will gain a bachelor’s in architecture and engineering (a degree issued by the school equivalent to a “licence” (bachelor’s degree) in architecture) on top of their INSA diploma in engineering.

Following the bachelor’s in architecture and engineering, the students can apply to spend an extra three years on a single course to prepare the two INSA Strasbourg diplomas, in surveying engineering and architecture (7-year course)

Internships and final course project (PFE)

  • End of Years 1 and 2: a mandatory “discovery” placement in a company (4 weeks minimum)
  • End of Year 3: a mandatory “application” placement in a company (4 weeks minimum)
  • End of Year 4: a mandatory “technician” placement in a company (8 weeks minimum)
  • During semester 9: a technological research project

These internships provide the opportunity to carry out projects and work in direct contact with the professional environment. The aim is for the students to acquire professional experience to complete the practical and theoretical training given at INSA Strasbourg and to introduce them to human relations within companies and the role and responsibilities they will hold as future engineers.

As they complete these internships, students move on from a role of observer to that of operator and then assistant to the person in charge of the project, all the while taking advantage of opportunities to apply the knowledge acquired in their specialist field.

The last semester of the course is devoted entirely to the final course project (PFE). This is done individually and will culminate in a dissertation defended at a viva before a panel of specialists. It is an in-depth study intended to make an original contribution to the development of techniques in fields related to the professional specialization. It is completed either in a company or in one of the INSA laboratories in collaboration with the professional environment.

Professional training contract

Surveying engineering students who have passed Year 4, completed their period abroad and passed the TOEIC exam to the required level, and who are not enrolled on a special course (sport, arts, dual course) can undertake their 5th year on a paid  12-month fixed term work contract, during which they will have salaried worker status.

Double degree

A double degree exists with the University of Karlsruhe in Germany (KIT).


During the final year of the engineering course, students can gain an insight into the research world by preparing a simultaneous research master’s.

The surveying specialization’s teacher-researchers are grouped together in the TRIO (remote sensing, radiometry and optical imaging) team at the ICube laboratory. Every year this team of researchers takes students completing final course/master’s projects or doctoral theses. The subjects covered by the research work and transferred directly to the teaching concern the acquisition, 3D modeling and management of topographic features.

The research and teaching are conducted on the surveying engineering platform, which manages the contracts and agreements relating to collaboration with companies. With the three resource centers (surveying engineering, photogrammetry, computer science), teachers and students have at their disposal all the equipment indispensable to the training and the conducting of research projects.

Examples of projects conducted by the TRIO team at the ICube laboratory, on the INSA Strasbourg research blog.



  • Service companies in many different sectors of activity: agriculture, business, industry.
  • Local authority technical departments
  • Practise as a surveyor employed by a firm of surveyors or as a self-employed surveyor. After two years in a firm of surveyors being trained in management and business administration, the surveying engineer can register with the professional body and set up or take over a firm of surveyors.

Surveying Engineering Days

Since 2003, the surveying engineering specialization at INSA Strasbourg organizes the Surveying Engineering Days, when students present their final course projects to their lecturers and also to invited members of the professional world.

For more information see the INSA Strasbourg surveying engineering blog.


Tania Landes, head of the surveying engineering specialization

Eva Lau Wen Tai, secretary of the civil engineering – surveying engineering department office