Chairman of the Board
Mark ArujaChairman of the Board
Mark Aruja has diverse experience in defence, government, industry and the not-for-profit sector spanning over 40 years, characterized by leading change. His boyhood dreams of flying were fulfilled with a 32 year aviation career in the Canadian Armed Forces ending with a number of senior appointments including Wing Commander. His first transformational change opportunity came early in his military career during the Cold War, in the arcane business of underwater acoustics, being part of a core team who dramatically changed the Canadian Navy’s approach to underwater warfare. Over the years, leadership on change initiatives varied, including laying the framework for dramatic reductions in air force personnel in the mid-1990s, creating the operational and political context for the Baltic Air Surveillance system and the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He created a number of defence space projects, including what would become Canada’s first operational defence space satellite, Sapphire. Mark closed his career by being selected to be the first Commandant of the Canadian Forces Experimentation Centre where he established the first experimentation program with UAVs, and the start of his engagement with Unmanned Systems Canada.
Mark leveraged his operational and procurement experience in defence during 12 years as a Business Development Manager with Thales, a multinational company in the defence, aerospace and security sectors. He delivered numerous programs crossing a range of technologies to the Canadian Forces and other government customers including the first fleet of UAVs procured by the CF. He also contributed to the government’s review of defence procurement with inputs to key decision papers known as the Jenkins and Emerson reports.
Mr. Aruja’s first participation with USC was in 2003 at the inaugural annual conference, participating as an industrialist. He viewed this association as an invaluable vehicle to bring together the diverse parties necessary to create and realize transformational change opportunities. When he was voted to the Board, he championed the strategic focus of the association on civil and commercial UAS opportunities, now being realized in dramatic fashion. While there is much to be done in this sector, the next true leap for Canadian society promises to be in automated vehicles, where a new leadership team and network will need to be created.
Mark is an engineering graduate of the Royal Military College and has taken numerous courses over the years in aerospace systems, international security and in business management.
Michael CohenVice Chair - Strategy
Michael is a former Airline Captain (Boeing 737 NG) and holds a Master Degree in Aeronautical Sciences from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He has served as Chairman of Air Safety (Air Line Pilots Association: CJA), and as a member of the Air Canada Emergency Response Team. Michael is active Board Member of Unmanned Systems Canada.
After leading Industrial SkyWorks to nation-wide UAS flight approvals within Canada (2013-14), Michael authored the first Nighttime Commercial UAS approval (2016) issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (USA). In 2016, Michael was named as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, and in 2017, named by Commercial UAV News as one of The 25 Most Influential People in the Drone Industry.
Michael Campbell, P. Eng.Vice Chair - Operations
Michael Campbell is currently Owner and Chief Photographer, Videographer and UAV Pilot at his business, ckmmphotographic.
Mike has a certificate in Digital Photography from George Brown College and is currently a licensed Professional Engineer in Electrical Engineering with Professional Engineers Ontario. He is also a member of IEEE.
Prior to launching ckmmphotographic, Mike worked for over 35 years in Telecommunications and High Tech, holding progressively more senior positions, as well as managing technology lines of business for a major corporation, Nortel Networks.
.Mike is also active in several volunteer roles and is currently the Vice President of and a Director on the Board of the NRPC, a non-profit corporation set up to represent the pensioners and former employees during the extended bankruptcy proceedings of Nortel. He is also a Director on the Canadian Federation of Pensioners, an advocacy group for pensioners’ interests.
Calvin ReichChair - Membership Committee
Calvin Reich has been involved in aviation since 1992. After always dreaming of being a pilot, he decided to get his private pilots license and then went on to complete his commercial license as well as his float, multi engine and IFR ratings. He has worked with companies such as Harbour Air Seaplanes, Alta flights Ltd. and Okanagan Skydive. He has also studied business at Okanagan University College and Simon Fraser University.
Calvin has been with Capri Insurance for the past 14 years and has been involved in the Aviation and UAV insurance field for much of this time. Calvin has been a member of Unmanned System Canada and has been involved as a presenter in 2014 and again in 2015. He has also been very active in, and moderating a number of UAV discussion groups with respect to UAVs the SFOC process and the Exemption Rules.
Curtis Parks is the General Manager of the Geomatics division for Rocky Mountain Equipment Canada Ltd, RME Geomatics. He is a Professional Engineer in Ontario with a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario.
In 2011, after experience working at Defence R&D Canada, an agency of the Department of National Defence, he co-founded and was CEO of NGF Geomatics, providing aerial survey services to the commercial sector with their own proprietary unmanned helicopter systems.
Together with his co-founder, they designed and developed unique large (>25kg) UAV systems and integrated payloads that specialized in LiDAR and high quality photogrammetry, which resulted in the filing of multiple patents. In early 2015, NGF Geomatics was acquired by Rocky Mountain Equipment (TSX:RME), based in Calgary, Alberta, where Curtis was placed as General Manager to oversee the expansion of the division across Canada in multiple industries of agriculture, construction, energy, environment and infrastructure.
Board of Directors
Jordan CicoriaChair - Gov't Relations Committee
Jordan Cicoria is a Managing Director of AERIUM Analytics, a UAS-As-A-Service company based in Calgary that provides unique UAS solutions and services in and around multiple Industries.
As a small business owner Jordan has a strong focus on commercializing the UAV service industry and has been making forays into the US and Mexico in non-traditional industries like airports and mining wildlife management with the support of Alberta Economic Development and Trade and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. Jordan has over 10 years’ experience the Natural Resources, Energy, GIS and Regulatory industries.
Krisitin Kozuback, MEd., CSPChair - Communications Committee
Kristin is known as a ‘community connector’ and brings 30 years of professional sales, marketing and business development work across Canada to our Board of Directors.
Kristin is passionate about drone safety, compliance, collaboration and Indigenous reconciliation initiatives. Since launching her own consulting and business training company, Spiritlink Communications in 1999, Kristin has taught and coached 470+ entrepreneurs across Canada and worked in over 30 Indigenous communities, colleges, and organizations. She specializes in designing programs and products to enable start-ups, emerging businesses and established companies to increase revenues, expand operational capacity, and take advantage of innovative technologies. Kristin Kozuback co-founded the Canadian drone software solution provider, AirMarket Inc., in 2015.
Kristin earned her Canadian Sales Professional designation (CSP) and Masters in Education Degree (MEd.) with a specialty in Diversity, Curriculum Design & Indigenous Methodologies. Kristin looks forward to helping USC expand its role as leaders in the UAS sector by moving forward initiatives that increase diversity, primarily by promoting #WomenInDrones and driving engagement with Indigenous businesses, communities and organizations.
Kristin acknowledges that she’s privileged to live, work and play on the beautiful Coast Salish territories of Vancouver, BC.
Charles VidalChair - Student UAS Competition
National Research Council
Charles Vidal emerged as a leader in the unmanned systems field in 2004 when he founded the highly successful UAS student competition team VAMUdeS, at Université de Sherbrooke. During his studies, he led the group, developed UAVs and won competitions worldwide.
Today, Charles continues to play a significant leadership role in the unmanned systems sector. Prior to joining NRC, he was director R&D and BD at KoptR and previously, he was Director, Solutions at ING Robotic Aviation where he lead a multi-disciplinary team creating the next generation of Canadian unmanned systems. He was highly regarded as the ScanEagle site lead and UAS Operator/Maintainer in Afghanistan.
Charles also worked for Pratt & Whitney, Bell Helicopter, and CAE. As a volunteer, he has spent countless hours over the past 8 years as the chair of the Unmanned Systems Canada Student UAS Competition, maturing it into a highly-competitive, highly valued annual event. Charles brings a unique and valuable perspective to the USC board. Few have the breadth of knowledge and experience gained from high intensity military operations to the latest operations in the civil sector including detailed dealings with Transport Canada and DND and performing UAS R&D.
Dr. Siu O’Young is the President of Seamatica Aerospace Limited in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Seamatica develops detect-and-avoid (DAA) systems to enable beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) missions for unmanned aircraft. He pioneered BVLOS flights over sparse airspace in 2007, participated in harsh-environment operations including the North Atlantic and the Canadian high Arctic, and have conducted 5+ years of (Detect and Avoid) DAA field experiments using two coordinated unmanned aircraft.
Siu is a contributing member of the RTCA SC-228 work group on defining DAA standards in the United States, and an associate editor of the Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems. He has served on the Board of Unmanned Systems Canada (USC), NATO HMF-170 on Multi-agent Supervisory Control for unmanned systems, and the UAV Working Group at Transport Canada.
He received his undergraduate degree from University of Saskatchewan and graduated with a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo. He continued onto Oxford University, England designing control systems for nuclear power plants and military helicopters, prior to returning to Canada to join the University of Toronto. He is now a full professor at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, leading research on BVLOS infrared and acoustic DAA sensors, as well as synthetic aperture radars for small unmanned aircraft. He is also a Professional Engineer with 10+ years of industrial experience.
The last few years have seen Alexander Harmsen go from being the first programmer at Matternet, Silicon Valley’s medical drone package delivery start-up, to working for Airbus in Germany, MDA in Vancouver, Defence Research & Development Canada in Quebec and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Los Angeles. Fascinated by the intersections of aerial robotics, autonomous vehicles and real applications that will affect billions of people, Alexander is always looking for new ways to use these technologies to solve global issues.
At school, he co-founded the UBC Unmanned Aircraft Systems engineering team and orchestrated change as the president of the UBC Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. From being involved in UBC’s Satellite Design team to earning his private pilot license, Alexander Harmsen is someone who does not like to let chances pass him by.
As a young entrepreneur, Alexander’s commitment to unmanned aviation was recognized by Unmanned Systems Canada when he was awarded the Mark Cuss Scholarship a few years ago. From presenting a technical paper at a national conference, having formed a team to compete in the USC competition and starting up his own robotics company, Alexander has a wealth of directly relatable experience and knowledge to draw on and thus further USC’s ambitious agenda.
Diana Marina Cooper
Diana has recently joined PrecisionHawk as the Senior Director, Legal and Policy Affairs. Previously, she led the UAS & Robotics Practice Group at LaBarge Weinstein, a Canadian law firm specializing in the technology sector. Her practice there involved assisting clients in the UAS ecosystem including hardware manufacturers, software developers and service providers in navigating the regulatory framework and commercializing their products and services. She regularly presents on legal issues surrounding UAS including at conferences held by NASA, Unmanned Systems Canada, IEEE and Stanford University. Diana publishes a legal column focused on UAS in Robohub and has been quoted as an expert in UAS law by media outlets including Forbes, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail and CBC.
Barrie Kirk is the Executive Director of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence (CAVCOE), and has worked in the technology industries in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S., including senior management positions in Ottawa-area companies.
He has been a consultant since 1982. His projects over the last few years have focused on autonomous vehicles, connected vehicles, automotive infotainment, traveler information services, real-time traffic information, and vehicle use surveys.
Barrie has spoken at many public and private conferences with a wide variety of audiences including smart cities, transportation, transit, technology, vehicle fleet operators, insurance, Internet of Things, real estate, municipal government, parking, Police Chiefs, and unmanned systems.
Barrie received a B.Sc. (Honours) in Electrical Engineering from Coventry University, U.K. He is a Professional Engineer.
Ex-Officio Members of the Board
Katelin KienappleChair - Training and Certification
Kate Klassen (Kienapple) is a commercial pilot and flight instructor on both remotely and directly piloted aircraft. She works as Director of Operations at Coastal Drone Co in the drone education space providing online training and consulting services to pilots.
A transplant to British Columbia from the east coast of Canada, she has trained nearly 1000 prospective RPAS/UAS operators across the country and is a passionate educator and meteorology nerd. Kate loves learning and recently received a Management of Technology MBA from Simon Fraser University while also working on her HAM radio license, beginning helicopter ground school and picking away at French as a second language.
Frédérique Pivot (http://everywhere.athabascau.ca/pivot/) grew up in France, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Since her early childhood, she dedicated great passion for the Polar region, which largely influenced her coming to Canada and career choice as a remote sensing of snow scientist. Dr. Pivot is a tenured Assistant Professor of physical geography and remote sensing at Athabasca University, Alberta. Her main research focuses on developing enhanced observing systems capabilities (technology and algorithms) for monitoring the spatio-temporal dynamics of snow and ice. For the past few years, she looked into multi-stage remote sensing approaches using UAVs, for improving the collection of cryospheric information at different spatial scales and the retrieval accuracy of snow and ice parameters from space.
Dr. Pivot also works on developing technological ways to innovate the online teaching and learning of geography. She is collaborating with computer scientists to implement field work into her courses by means of mobile technology-guided field trips and collaborative virtual geographic environments. In the last five years, Dr. Pivot has assembled several small fixed-wing and multi-rotor UAVs using off-the-shelf components. She has also received education and training to become a safe and responsible UAV operator. She obtained her first SFOC in September 2012.