McWhorter School of Building Science teamed up with Marshall McLeod LLC to take a 3D scan of the Toomer’s Oaks that will build an accurate digital model of Toomer’s Corner.
While Auburn University is making every effort to save the historic Toomer’s Oaks that were poisoned in February, faculty from the McWhorter School of Building Science have helped to preserve what the trees look like for posterity in case the trees do not survive. After the news broke about the Toomer’s Oaks being potentially destroyed, Dr. Richard Burt, Head of the McWhorter School of Building Science, proposed the idea of using 3D laser scanning technology to Paul Holley, Aderholdt Professor in BSCI, to digitally preserve the trees. Burt had used this technology to record international historic sites.
In researching the potential of using the 3D Scanning, Holley learned that not only was Marshall McLeod’s firm in Mobile the regional expert but that McLeod is also an Auburn alumnus (a 1965 graduate of College of Engineering). When Holley approached McLeod about the possibility of collaborating, McLeod generously agreed to donate his time and use of his state-of-the art 3D Laser Scanning equipment to the project.
“The gear that Marshall uses is the ‘latest and greatest’ type of 3D Laser Scanning equipment on the market,” says Holley. “From a single ‘set-up’ of the instrument, it collects several hundred thousand ‘points,’ and defines each one accurately in spatial 3-dimensions, based on military supported GPS satellites. In other words, for any given point, the equipment defines exactly where it is relative to everything else on the planet.”
The end result is a three dimensional model that is accurately scaled to the real trees. Auburn now has an accurate digital history of the oaks as they looked on the day that they were scanned and could create representational memorial if the need be. The scans are also a teaching tool for building science students.
McLeod and his wife and owner of Marshall McLeod LLC, Linda Burkett, were on hand with Interim Dean Rebecca O’Neal Dagg, Burt, and Holley to scan the oaks on March 7, 2011. They presented their initial scans to students and faculty at the Gorrie Center that afternoon and have made several informal presentations since then.
“This project opportunity meant a lot to Marshall because he graduated from Auburn and is thrilled to give back to the University,” said Burkett.
This collaboration has continued with McLeod doing a 3D laser scan of the Gorrie Building to demonstrate this technology to Building Science students. Marshall McLeod, PLS, LLC also donated a scanner to BSCI that is already being used in the Design-Build program.
“This is a wonderful example of an Auburn alumnus giving his time, talent, and gifts to enrich the student experience,” says Burt. “I hope it’s an example that other alumni will follow.”
The impact of McLeod’s gift and time donation is already being felt not only by students benefitting from hands on experience with industry tools, but by the school’s constant need for individual and corporate partnerships.
This type of partnership and all similar aiming to bridge industry and alumni involvement with students aides the CADC’s Office of Development’s efforts, which collaborate with alumni, friends, industry leaders and all committed to the success of the CADC’s students and graduates such as McLeod.
The Office of Development is extremely proud of both the quality of our current students and of the accomplishments of the graduates of our program. Private support is an essential element in the effort to provide a state of the art educational environment the CADC students deserve.
For more information on how you can support the CADC’s development efforts please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Director of Development Angela Wimmer or Development Coordinator Grace Anthony at 334-844-1161.