Saluting An Indiana Surveying Legend


Tom Campbell/Purdue University

American Structurepoint sends a sincere salute to a Hoosier surveying legend who recently turned 100 years young – Indiana Department of Natural Resources Field Surveyor Bob Vollmer.

It’s safe to say that wherever Bob goes, a tripod, compass, and a Trimble S6 robotic total station are sure to follow. Vollmer, the oldest state employee in Indiana history, is an inspiring, energetic soul who still    works four days a week surveying DNR properties. The state has no mandatory retirement age, and Bob is determined to stay in the field as long as possible.

“I don’t believe in retiring,” Bob is quoted in The American Surveyor Magazine. “When you retreat, that’s when you get in trouble.”

This World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy graduated from Purdue University in 1952 with a degree in biological and agricultural engineering. He joined the state’s Division of Engineering in 1962 when the DNR was the Department of Conservation. Since then, his work has taken him to 90 of Indiana’s 92 counties – all but Dearborn and Switzerland. He’s surveyed nearly every inch of the 3,000-acre O’Bannon Woods State Park that’s nestled inside the 26,000-acre Harrison Crawford State Forest in southern Indiana.

Bob is well-respected and beloved at DNR, so much so that in December, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award. Later this year, the state will dedicate a plaque in Bob’s name at the Ten O’clock Line Trail in Brown County State Park.

Here’s to many more days in the field for this dedicated professional. Congratulations to Bob for reaching this incredible milestone and for a life well lived.