UAS Field is Taking Flight

Eyes above the sky are becoming more common thanks to Unmanned Aerial Systems. But for the latest CJ STEMM Idol, the technology is not something new, it's been a passion of his for many years.

Ben Sears is an Assistant Professor of Unmanned Aerial Systems at Sinclair Community College. Sears has been with Sinclair for 7 months but has been an advocate of UAS for several years. While at Sinclair, Sears teaches students how to build, maintain, and operate UAS. There is a growing demand for knowledge in this field as the FAA begins to see how drones could be used in everyday life.  Part of Sears' job is to have an understanding of the constant changes to the rules and guide students in this growing field.

"This is a completely new arena for job growth... we have the opportunity to be at the forefront of this field," Sears said about Sinclair's mission to educate students in this topic.

Sears graduated with a Bachelor of Science focusing on Aviation Flight Science. He has been working in this field for 16 years and spent time with the military as a civilian contractor. Sears was in Afghanistan and Iraq for a combined three years as the MQ 5B Aircraft Commander. He is affiliated with the National Association of Flight Instructors, the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the Civil Air Patrol. Sears has also been an integral part with the Dayton Hoopla and has exhibited UAS during the Hoopla STEM Challenge which is held at CJ.

During his presentation, Sears told students "the sky is the limit" when it comes to the future of UAS.

"Lifeguards can use a UAS to deliver rescue equipment to swimmers rather than going into rip tides and potentially getting caught in them," Spears suggested as one example of future UAS use. "If paramedics are stuck in traffic, they could us drones to deliver defibrillators to people standing at the scene of an accident and those people could then help a victim."

Sinclair is trying to make scenarios like those become a possibility with the training and curriculum that will be implemented soon with the addition of their National UAS training and Certification Center. Sears is helping with this expansion process using his expertise in the UAS field.

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, at (937) 461-3740 x487, or at