USC-STC Leadership Team
Board of Directors Chair
Executive Committee Chair
ISO Mirror Committee Co-Chair
Michael is a former airline captain (Boeing 737 NG) and holds a master’s 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 was nominated for and assumed the role of chair of USC-STC in October 2019.
You can reach Michael at [email protected]
Vice Chair, Operations & Treasurer
Conference Committee Chair
As the President of AERIUM Analytics, Jordan brings a wealth of experience and knowledge around the safe integration of drones into the airport environment. Responsible for over 2000 flights on airport property at such airports as Edmonton International Airport, Chicago O’Hare and Calgary International airport, Jordan brings an unconventional perspective to how unmanned and manned aviation can work together for the airports of the future.
Jordan and AERIUM, as part of Project SkySensus, are also driving forward the use and safety cases for BVLOS operations in airport and urban environments. The development of these practices, procedures and real-world applications will continue to drive forward BVLOS operations in Canada and the world.
Prior to co-founding AERIUM, Jordan completed a Bachelor of Management from the University of Lethbridge and gained over 10 years of experience in land management, environmental services and regulatory compliance. Jordan has managed teams in energy, mining, and remote accommodation sectors.
Jordan has been part of the USC-STC board of directors since 2017 and is the current Vice Chair of Operations and acting treasurer.
You can reach Jordan at [email protected]
Declan Sweeney is the Executive Director of Unmanned Systems Canada – Systèms Télécommandés Canada (USC-STC)
Declan is recognized as a champion and veteran of Canada’s unmanned systems industry, having been involved in the commercial sector in many senior leadership roles in both the private and public arenas. Declan began volunteering with USC-STC in 2008 in various capacities, including positions on the Board of Directors, Strategic and Regulatory Committees, Vice Chair of Strategy, as well as organizing and running the civil/commercial workshops for USC-STC’ s national annual industry conferences. In 2016, Declan received the Pip Rudkin Individual Achievement Award for over a decade of contributions that helped to establish and grow the unmanned vehicle sector across Canada.
Declan is also the Managing Director of Unmanned Solutions, an independent consulting group specializing in unmanned systems event management, research initiatives, business case studies and pilot projects. Declan holds an advanced RPAS pilot certificate with a flight reviewer rating.
You can reach Declan at [email protected]
Women in Drones Committee Chair
Kristin brings over 30 years of sales, marketing, corporate training, and business development expertise to USC-STC’S board of directors. Kristin entered ‘the drone world’ in 2015 as a co-founder of a drone management software company (Airmarket) and.was first nominated to USC-STCS board of directors in 2017. She continues to advance the Association’s strategic goals to promote drone safety and boost diversity and inclusion outcomes for under-represented groups in our sector, including females and indigenous peoples.
Kristin is leading USC-STC’S initiative to support the growth of a national #womenindrones committee. her collaborative and unique approach is based on experiences gained by launching a marketing company (spiritlink communications) in 1999, her work to launch the BC chapter of the Canadian council for aboriginal business in 2000-, and two-decades entrepreneurship training and economic development work with over 30 indigenous communities. she earned a Master of Education degree in education from SFU in 2010 and has maintained her Canadian sales professional designation (CSP) designation since 1999. Kristin works to turn the spirit of reconciliation into reconciliaction and acknowledges that she is privileged to live, work, and play in Vancouver, BC on the beautiful, unceded traditional territories of the coast Salish peoples.
You can reach Kristin at [email protected]
Training & Accreditation Committee Chair
Kate Klassen is a commercial pilot of both drones and airplanes.
A transplant to British Columbia from the east coast of Canada, Kate loves teaching and learning. she holds an MBA from Simon Fraser University and works in the drone education space providing training and consulting services to pilots.
You can reach Kate at [email protected]
Nominations Committee Chair
With a background of tech start-up and commercial aviation, the world of unmanned aerial systems was a logical one for Philip Reece, the founder of InDro Robotics.
Fresh from the world of commercial general aviation, as the CEO of a seaplane airline flying 16 flights a day with a fleet of De Havilland DHC-2 “Beavers”, Philip noticed many of the industry flights for clients in construction, mining, forestry, and wildlife could be carried out by UAVS. From there it was a matter of finding the smartest people in the industry and building up a team that could set about bringing the professionalism of commercial aviation to the burgeoning world of “drones”.
Prior to his role in aviation, Philip started and successfully built companies in it, oil & gas and control and instrumentation taking him from one end of the world to the other, opening offices in London, Houston, Toronto and satellite offices in many locations ending in ‘stan. now primarily based at the R&D office on Salt Spring island, BC he still gets to travel to far flung places when servicing the humanitarian aid clients that InDro Robotics works with, recently completing work in Haiti and Nepal.
You can reach Philip at [email protected]
Membership Committee Chair
Trevor began his career in aviation over 20 years ago as a private pilot. While building hours toward becoming a commercial pilot, he discovered a passion for aircraft maintenance engineering. This career change led to a wide range of opportunities such as working as an M2 AME for cargo and passenger commercial airlines, corporate aircraft operators and the United Nations (African Mission in Darfur) as well as working alongside the Royal Canadian Airforce as a civilian contractor with General Dynamics Canada for the new CH-148 (Cyclone) Maritime Helicopter Program.
In 2014, Aerovision Canada Inc. (AVCI) was born out of an interest to commercialize a small multirotor drone with a GoPro. Over the past 6+ years, the company has grown to employ staff in multiple locations across Eastern Canada and has served clients globally on four continents and seven countries. AVCI has achieved numerous milestones and other industry firsts, advancing the RPAS industry forward through positive public relations and education. Trevor joined the Unmanned Systems Canada Board of Directors in 2018 and continues to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience through his volunteerism.
You can reach Trevor at [email protected]
Flight Safety Action Team (FSAT) Committee Chair
Anne-Sophie is a co-founder and board member at EXO Tactik Air Support, an RPAS operation company specializing in municipal and public safety operations. Anne Sophie draws on her years of experience as a Canadian forces glider instructor to lead the organization’s air operations. Graduating from the RCAF’S flight safety course in 2012, she has been a flight safety officer with the air cadet gliding program since 2012. Anne-Sophie obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration from HEC Montréal.
Anne-Sophie’s mission at EXO Tactik is to create robust, yet efficient, operating procedures ready for real-world implementation. Often performing complex, sometimes unique, missions, EXO Tactik is currently developing the certification of standard procedures to provide emergency services with prompt air support.
You can reach Anne-Sophie at [email protected]
Awards Committee Chair
Dr. Frederique Pivot grew up in France, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. Since her early childhood, she developed a great passion for the polar region, which largely influenced her coming to Canada and her career choice as a remote sensing 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, Dr. Pivot has explored multi-stage remote sensing approaches using remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) for improving the collection of cryospheric information at different spatial scales and the retrieval accuracy of snow and ice parameters from space. Dr. Pivot obtained her first SFOC in September 2012.
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.
You can reach Frederique at [email protected] .
Flight Safety Action Team (FSAT) Committee Co-Chair
Sean Adams is the CEO/President of 3 Points In Space Media Ltd. and with his team, is leading the emergency operations unmanned division for the Independent First Nations Alliance in Northern Ontario.
Sean’s greatest passion is in mapping, specifically on Maritime archaeological sites. He has led and co-led many exciting archaeological discoveries using remote sensing and unmanned technologies. With this innate passion for science and exploration, Sean recently received the honour of being recognized as a new Fellow at the College of Fellows for the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.
Sean has over 25 years of business management experience; growing, developing, and handling various large-scale automotive, nautical, and aerial operations. Sean has spent the last number of years focused on the aerial attack of forest fires using both manned and unmanned platforms. Sean serves as the co-lead on Unmanned Systems Canada’s Flight Safety Action Team where the focus is on safety best practices and regulatory compliance to ensure safer skies. The team is committed to securing safety framework and regulatory development of RPAS operations in Canada.
Sean’s current work and focus on Indigenous safety and emergency operations is proving an invaluable opportunity to empower the youth of today. He ensures that students, members of USC-STC and the public have a place where they can get accurate information and support for the ever-changing RPAS industry in Canada.
You can reach Sean at [email protected]
Teara is a changemaker, bridgebuilder, and co-creator who values love, liberty, courage, and community. Becoming a pilot was transformational, truly giving this young Métis woman wings and her feisty entrepreneurial spirit led her to become the first indigenous woman to launch an airline in Canada.
Teara serves as vice-chair for the British Columbia aviation council and is an industry partner in the Canadian air mobility consortium. Teara sees herself as a bridge builder between traditional air service and the sustainable technology of the future. She is beyond excited to contribute to decolonizing, decarbonizing, and transforming the aviation industry for a better future for humans, all of our relatives, and mother earth.
Teara is the visionary behind the Raven Institute, Ravenspeak, give them wings, and indigenous lift collective. She holds a Master of Arts in leadership degree from royal roads university, and she is a certified executive coach. The journey of learning now takes her back to royal roads as associate faculty in the Master of Arts in leadership program and to Fielding University where she is studying in the human development Ph.D. program.
You can reach Teara at [email protected]
Regulations Committee Chair
Nicholas Brodeur comes from a background in aerospace engineering with over 15 years of experience in propulsion, rotorcraft flight controls, hydraulic and mechanical systems, and project management.
In 2017, he joined the Bell Textron Canada innovation team in Mirabel Quebec where he leads UAS systems development, operations, and regulatory affairs.
You can reach Nicholas at [email protected]
Erika A. Carrasco
Erika Carrasco leads the emerging technology team and is a partner at Field Law. As a litigator, Erika brings over 12 years of experience providing advice and representation to businesses in the insurance, construction, energy, and technology sectors. Erika has achieved success for her clients at all levels of court in Alberta. more recently, she has focused a significant part of her practice on helping clients navigate the dynamic legal, business and insurance landscape of emerging technologies and risks, including drones, cyber security, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, and AI.
Erika is one of few lawyers in Canada with a focus and experience in emerging technology – she is the only lawyer to have successfully argued an appeal of a charge against a drone operator in Canada under the Canadian aviation regulations. As a result of her unique experience and focus, Erika is sought after by the media and various industries to provide her insight on emerging technology law provincially, nationally and in the US.
You can reach Erika at [email protected]
Calin has over 10 years of deep experience in the Telecommunications sector, and is passionate about connecting people and things globally. His work focused on End to End Network Architectures for large service providers and mission critical systems for enterprise customers.
He is active within the research community and has written several research papers with the latest focused on next-generation optical transport technologies which was published as part of the OFC/NFOEC 2013 Conference. He is a Director of Sales at Nokia Enterprise looking after the Ontario region, and holds a Bachelor of Engineering, with Distinction, from the University of Guelph.
He is a proud member of the IEEE Association, and a Professional Engineer.
You can reach Calin at [email protected]
Michael Nolan, M.A., DIP. ED, CCP(F) began his career in 1990 in Ottawa as a paramedic and has served clinically as an advanced care and critical care flight paramedic.
Administratively, Chief Nolan has contributed to the development of paramedic practice as a Professor, Deputy chief of the Ottawa paramedic service, director of emergency management for the city of Ottawa, president of the paramedic chiefs of Canada and is currently the director of emergency services and chief of the county of Renfrew paramedic service.
Chief Nolan continues to advance and align emergency services leadership through the creation of evidence-based research, government relations, policy development and the creation of standards for all emergency services. Chief Nolan has pioneered the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems as a fully integrated program to support paramedic and emergency management operations.
You can reach Michael at [email protected]
Kathryn is a lawyer and partner at Dentons in Toronto. her key areas of practice and expertise include drone (RPAS) regulation and aviation. Kathryn advises clients from all corners of the drone industry, including drone operators, consumer associations, navigation service providers, production companies, start-up and technology companies and non-aviation companies from an array of industries engaging in drone services.
Kathryn is also a licensed fixed-wing aircraft pilot, a member of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA), and holds an RPAS certificate for basic operations. Her intimate knowledge of Canadian airspace structure and air traffic rules and procedures inform her drone regulatory practice to ensure she provides strategic regulatory and business advice for companies in this emerging area. Kathryn’s more traditional aviation practice focuses on liability of commercial airlines, airports and air operators, and the regulatory framework in which they operate.
You can reach Kathryn at [email protected]
STUDENT COMPETITION COMMITTEE CHAIR
Charles Vidal emerged as a leader in the unmanned systems sector in 2004 when he founded the successful UAS group VAMUdeS at University of Sherbrooke. Today, Charles plays a significant leadership role in the sector by spearheading multiple research initiatives in the UAS sector at National Research Council Canada (NRC), where he is currently the Program Leader (interim), for the Integrated Aerial Mobility (IAM) Program. Charles also has significant engineering experience in leading multi-disciplinary teams creating next generation Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Early in his career, Charles was a highly regarded as the Boeing/Insitu ScanEagle UAS site lead, operator, and maintainer in Afghanistan.
As a volunteer, for the past 12 years, Charles has chaired of the Unmanned Systems Canada (USC) Student UAS Competition committee, maturing it into a world class, highly competitive, highly valued annual event. Few have the breadth of knowledge and experience gained from high intensity military UAS operations to complex commercial service offering, including collaborating with multiple governments, and performing leading edge UAS research and product development.
You can reach Charles at [email protected]
Special Advisor to the Board
Yulia has over ten years of experience in marketing communications and business development, including six years of working with technology startups, helping them to enter the global market. Yulia has a proven track record of building international partnerships in Europe, the USA, Canada, Israel, South-East Asia, and China.
Working around cutting-edge technologies for a long time made her a strong advocate of the startup culture and entrepreneurship, driven to launch and deliver new ambitious cross-border projects, leading to effective cooperation between countries and adding economic value to the global community.
You can reach Yulia at [email protected]
Special Advisor to the Board
John is a former RCAF aerospace engineer with extensive tactical, operational, and strategic experience including deployed operations during his 32 years of service. John has been involved in unmanned systems since 2008 with his involvement in the RCAF weapons systems and project management for the CU-161 Sperwer and later the CU-170 Heron UAS. He was also deployed in Afghanistan 2010/2011 with task force Afghanistan air wing, which employed the CU-170 heron system in operations, as the HQ commanding officer and A4 maintenance.
After his extensive career in the RCAF, he joined CAE in 2015 and moved to Germany in the role of capture manager, delivering training systems to CAE’S government and military customers in Europe, Middle East, and Africa. After a few years in Europe, he headed back to Canada to take up a similar role on even larger and more complex programs and is currently the CAE lead for their partnership with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) on team Skyguardian as they compete in the Canadian remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) competition.
You can reach John at [email protected]
Special Advisor to the Board
Jason has been an integral part of emergency Management and response in New Brunswick over the last decade and has been instrumental in building capacity for emergency response in the province. Being appointed to the New Brunswick Emergency Measures Organization, he has served in the role of Regional Emergency Management Coordinator for Central and Southern New Brunswick. Jason was advanced to the position of Area Manager for all Central and Southern New Brunswick Regions and then subsequently promoted to the position of Provincial Planning Chief and Air Operations Manager.
In the last 3 years Jason has designed and coordinated the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System Program for the New Brunswick Emergency Management Organization further increasing the reach of the team. Jason’s strategic, operational, tactical training, and experience has provided him with in-depth knowledge of Canada’s provincial emergency management response, plans and processes. He has applied those to the New Brunswick Department of Public Safety RPAS program with the intent of expanding that program and to assist partners in Law Enforcement, Search & Rescue and Correctional services.
The New Brunswick Department of Justice and Public Safety has created a new entity known as the JPS Air Operations Team headed by Jason with the purpose of using the RPAS and other Unmanned systems for the purpose of keeping New Brunswickers secure and safe.
You can reach Jason at [email protected]
Student Special Advisor to the Board
Simran Sagoo is an Aerospace Engineering student at Ryerson University. During her time, Simran has become a community leader involved with the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students, the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, Engineers Without Borders, and the Ryerson International Hyperloop Team, representing Ryerson at the International and national level.
Simran has led and worked on initiatives promoting equity, diversity and inclusion practices within the engineering community. She served as the Program Committee Member for the Conference on Diversity in Engineering (CDE). (CDE) brought together 200 engineering students and industry leaders from across the country, to engage in conversation and learn how they can contribute to creating an inclusive culture within engineering.
Simran has an incredible passion for emerging technologies and was recently appointed Team Captain of the Ryerson International Hyperloop Team after working as a member for nearly two years. Simran is the first female Captain of the team to have this position. She is looking forward to applying her passion for this new mode of technology, in the real world. Simran is looking forward to representing her peers on this distinguished board and learning from change makers in the Aerospace Industry.
You can reach Simran at [email protected]
Advisor to the Board
ISO Mirror Committee Chair
Mark Aruja has diverse experience in Government, Defence, industry and the not-for-profit sector spanning over 40 years, characterized by leading change. His boyhood dreams of flying were fulfilled with an aviation career in the Canadian Armed Forces ending with several senior appointments including Wing Command. He closed his military career by being selected to be the first Commandant of the Canadian Forces Experimentation Centre. Here, Mark 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. 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.
Mr. Aruja’s first participation with USC-STC was in 2003 at the inaugural annual conference, participating as an industrialist. He viewed this association as an invaluable initiative to bring together the diverse parties necessary to create and realize transformational change opportunities. Mark has been an active contributor to USC-STC’s activities, including as a member of the Board of Directors for almost 10 years, and Chairman from 2015-2019.
You can reach Mark at [email protected]
Advisor to the Board
Lance is a co-founder and the Vice President of Corporate Affairs and General Counsel of Industrial SkyWorks Inc., a Toronto-based artificial intelligence company operating in the drone data space.
Prior to taking on his current role at ISW, Lance spent 14 years as a solo practitioner and later as the Managing Director of the law firm of Malo Pilley Lehman, where in addition to managing the day-to-day operations of the firm, he advised SME’s and individuals regarding business law and other issues.
Lance holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School.
You can reach Lance at [email protected]
Advisor to the Board
JR Hammond is the CEO and Founder of Canadian Air Mobility based in Vancouver, Canada with a Canadian wide operational mandate.
Canadian Air Mobility is a For-Profit company mandated on Activist Based Investments in Environmental & Social Joint Ventures and Equity into the Advanced Air Mobility ecosystem in Canada.
Further, JR is the Executive Director of CAAM, the Not-for-Profit Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium. The consortium specializes in creating the marketplace for Advanced Air Mobility in Canada. The diverse group of stakeholders is centralized on the Triple Bottom Line (Environmental, Social & Economic) integration of Zero-Emission Advanced Air Mobility in Canada.
You can reach JR at [email protected]