Valentina Russo’s civil engineering degree and customized drone helped her become one of Italy’s experts in photogrammetry

I’m one of the few Italian women drone pilots.  In the 2011 I won an European research scholarship based on high technology development. This allowed me to enter the drone world. At that time drones in Italy were almost unknown except for those who used them for military purposes.

Then I started collaborating with the University of Ferrara at the Civil Engineering Department, in particular with the topographic team.

We started using drones for research applied to close aerial photogrammetry and we discovered how useful the instruments were.  So, that’s how everything started. Since then I’ve been called around italy as an official speaker in many geomatics and photogrammetry conventions and workshops.    

In 2014 I’ve been involved in the creation of the first Italian Drone Federation and I became one of the founders of the FIAPR (Federazione Italiana Aeromobili a Pilotaggio Remoto). Nowadays, I’m still on the board of directors and I’m the responsible for the Geomatic Departments.

I have a Civil Engineering degree with honors from the University of Bologna, one of the oldest universities in the world (Founded in 1088 a.d. it’s know as the “Alma Mater Studiorum”, the big mother of all the studies) and right now I’m a free lance engineer. I found a personal study in Bologna named “Errealcubo” (Cubic R) specialized in the geomatic fiels, close range photogrammetry, precision farming, cultural heritage surveying, 3D modeling, laser scanning and so on.

I think that UAV aren’t games at all, but useful instruments for my job and they have to be approached in the right way.

With them I travel the world to do photogrammetry or simply videos: sometimes seeing the world from another angolation is wonderful. I often go with Humana Skala, an afroitalian society, in Cape Verd, Africa, to help the government to acquire different information about their land, impossible in another way.

In italy drones are under the law enacted by Enac (Ente Nazionale Aviazione Civile) that limits very much our job, but it’s fundamental to educate the population on how to use drones correctly.

I’ve build up a customized drone for aerial photogrammetry, another finalized in collecting sample from lakes, sea or river for water analysis.  

In my “freetime” I manage a huge space in Bologna with more than 7,000 associates where people can pratice extreme sports such as indoor climbing, parkour (of which I’m teacher), aerial silks and so on. We also opened an FPV drone racing circuit, a kind of a gym who wants to learn or practice safely with it’s own drone.

Submitted by: Valentina Russo, Italy

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