Women to Watch in UAS 2018

Who are the women disrupting, innovating and shaping the future of the UAS industry?

Announcing our 2018 Women to Watch in UAS List!

Who are the women disrupting, innovating and shaping the future of the UAS industry? Who, thanks to smarts, energy and tenacity, is making a difference in the UAS field and helping other women do the same?

Meet these trailblazers, innovators, mentors, and business leaders, and prepare to be inspired.

Fiona Lake

Fiona Lake

AGRICULTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY
FionaLake.com.au
Australia

Why A Woman to Watch?
A seasoned photographer, Lake discovered drones an ideal way to view the massive cattle ranches of Australia. Her images were recently featured in the Whispering Grass exhibit at the Australian embassy in Washington D.C. Lake also established the Rural Drone Academy where she shares her UAS expertise with other farmers.

“The agriculture industry I work in has undergone monumental change since I began, being able to adapt has been vital.”

Dale McErlean

Dale McErlean

AIRSPACE INTEGRATION
Ntsu Aviation Solutions (Pty) Ltd.
South Africa

Why A Woman to Watch?
McErlean is a manned aircraft pilot, dedicated to helping the South African Aviation Authority integrate unmanned aircraft systems. She is leading efforts to define standard procedure for drone operation in controlled airspace, beyond visual line of sight and night operations, contributing to the advancement of the drone industry in South Africa.

“I hope to make a positive impact on the implementation of the regulations and service delivery to industry.”

Heather Hasper

Heather Hasper

AVIATION PLANNING
DHJ Alaska
USA

Why A Woman to Watch?
With a PhD and decades as an Airport Operations and Planning manager, Hasper is working to incorporate drones into complex U.S. airspace. Her efforts include development of a 3D mapping application that will demonstrate where UAS operations are taking place, a big step in the direction toward safe and secure skies for the future.

“Data from a different perspective, from above, could potentially be the next societal change.”

Jackie Dujmovic

Jackie Dujmovic

CONSERVATION
Hover UAV
Australia

Why A Woman to Watch?
This founder and CEO of Hover UAV is an innovator in the field of drone-based shark surveillance, as well as integral part of the Australian government’s shark management research program. Dujmovic’s design for a shark alarm as well as cutting edge drone imagery make her a champion of UAS use in conservation.

“Being a part of an emerging market such as the UAS Industry provides a profound sense of belonging.”

Marjorie Ferrone

Marjorie Ferrone

ENTERTAINMENT & EDUCATION
Drone Parks Worldwide
USA

Why A Woman to Watch?
Ferrone is Co-Founder and COO of Drone Parks Worldwide, a planned indoor facility where a newcomer to the drone hobby can enjoy supervised flight after walking in the door. By eliminating cost and equipment barriers with the benefit of safe and legal surroundings, Ferrone’s vision will bring drone education and entertainment to the masses.

“I have the opportunity to not just advance a new industry, but also to advance equality for women and others.”

Jessica Chosid

Jessica Chosid

INFRASTURCTURE
Reign Maker
USA

Why A Woman to Watch?
Advancing urban infrastructure with UAS and robotic technology is Chosid’s driving force.  She is founder and CEO of Reign Maker, a drone data and information firm that supports the engineering, telecom and utility sector.  Chosid’s company is the first to collect structural data via UAS on a bridge in New York City.

“Simply the UAS industry is fun, unchartered territory where we need to solve problems that haven’t been solved before.”

Gail Orenstein

Gail Orenstein

JOURNALISM
United Kingdom

Why A Woman to Watch?
During her 25-year photojournalism career Orenstein has been reporting stories from places such as Iraq, Bangladesh and Nepal, often at great risk. Adding UAS to her skill set has taken storytelling to a new level, literally, as her drone images provide the world with a new perspective on human suffering.

The ability to transition from still photography to drone technology has enabled me to capture photos that were never within reach.”

Sonal Baid

Sonal Baid

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
Kittyhawk
USA

Why A Woman to Watch?
Baid leads product management and strategic operations for software platform Kittyhawk.  Her focus on safety, compliance and maintenance along with a compelling vision for how UAV operations need to be managed at scale, makes her a trail blazer in the drone industry.

“The fast-paced evolution of UAVs is what excites me the most. It is both surprising and overwhelming.”

Brooke Tapsall

Brooke Tapsall

SAFETY TECHNOLOGY
DroneALERT
Estonia & Australia

Why A Woman to Watch?
Tapsall‘s experience in the spatial science industry was the impetus behind DroneALERT. DroneALERT is her rapid drone reporting application that can be completed using a mobile device. Law enforcement can then use the photos, videos and geo-locations to track down unsafe UAS activity.

“I see I can fill a market gap in aviation and civil security using a novel technique of using data and empowering people.”

Gemma Alcock

Gemma Alcock

SEARCH AND RESCUE
SkyBound Rescuer
United Kingdom

Why A Woman to Watch?
As the founder of SkyBound Rescuer, Alcock is helping shape the future of UAS use in emergency response.  Her company is involved in drone research, consulting and training with the goal of introducing this new high-tech tool to those in the business of saving lives.

“This industry allows me to merge my 3 greatest passions: lifesaving, aviation and technology.”

About the Women to Watch in UAS List

The award is designed to acknowledge and motivate women who are driving change and leading the drone industry closer to gender parity. In creating this list, we aim to raise the profile of women doing amazing work and to encourage more women to embrace UAS technology.

How We Made Our Selections

During the nomination period, we received 288 nominations from seven countries.  Individuals were permitted to nominate themselves or others. Based on the nominating submissions, twenty semi-finalists were chosen. All semi-finalists were invited to submit additional information about themselves, their work, and their goals. Final selections were made by our judging panel.

 

We considered the following qualities as we reviewed submissions:

  • Dedicated to delivering innovations and solutions that create value for others in the industry.
  • Distinguish themselves by leading people and companies, and investing time and money to enable drone technology to benefit the world.
  • Positively shape the public perception of drones.
  • Advocate for and empower more women to enter the industry and pursue high-level roles.

Our 2018 Sponsors

Meet Our Judges

Christopher Korody

Christopher Korody

Founder, Dronin’ On
USA

Christopher Korody is a 45-year marketing veteran with deep experience in the technology, aerospace and automotive sectors. He launched DroneBusiness.center to provide UAS companies with the research, strategy and communication programs necessary to stand out in this crowded marketplace.

Helena Samsioe

Helena Samsioe

CEO & Founder, GLOBHE
Sweden

Helena Samsioe is the CEO and Founder of GLOBHE, a startup on a mission to create a better future with drones. In 2017 Helena was ranked among the top 100 young business leaders in Sweden, won “Female Founder of the Year” by Di Digital, named among the “Top Women to Watch in the Drone Industry” by Women And Drones.

Jennifer Pidgen

Jennifer Pidgen

COO, Sundance Media Group
USA

As COO of Sundance Media Group (SMG), Jennifer is dedicated to developing sUAS/UAV training programs, overall logistics, and operations for SMG. Co-author of several UAS books, Jennifer guides agencies and organizations with UAS program implementation.

Susan Talbot

Susan Talbot

Co-Founder, Skytango® Ltd
Ireland

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Susan is an Emmy award winning editor, documentary producer and aerial producer. In 2015 she co-founded Skytango, a platform for managing and tracking the compliance of drone operations and data contributing to AI services.

Taylor Mitcham

Taylor Mitcham

Founder & Chief Drone Ninja, SkyNinja
USA

Taylor Mitcham is the founder and Chief Drone Ninja at SkyNinja, a drone service company that helps the construction, telecom, and insurance industries inspect their assets.  She has a weekly show on YouTube, a free online community, and hosts a free annual online conference where she talks about topics related to starting and growing a drone service business.

Wendy Erikson

Wendy Erikson

Podcast Host, Women And Drones
USA

Wendy Erikson, is a Part 107-certified remote pilot and Emmy Award-winning journalist. She hosts the Women And Drones Podcast while also contributing to social media and STEM initiatives for the Women And Drones multi-media platform. Wendy is the co-author of several children’s books about drones.

Founder/CEO, Women And Drones

Sharon Rossmark

Sharon Rossmark is an American entrepreneur, author, mentor and Part 107 certified remote pilot. She has an extensive and diverse background in business and nonprofit board governance. Sharon is the CEO and founder of Women And Drones, the premier global platform for women who are disrupting, innovating and shaping the future of the UAS industry. She is the co-author of several books introducing young children to drones. Most of the characters in the books are girls which is a purposeful, important part of her commitment to engaging more girls in STEM, STEAM and aviation. Sharon is a frequently requested speaker, panelist and facilitator.

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