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  The American Surveyor     

Woolpert Adds 4 UAS Pilots to Growing Fleet, Expands Applications Print E-mail
Written by Woolpert   
Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Dayton, Ohio (March 15, 2017) — Woolpert has increased its pool of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) pilots by four, it was announced today. Kris Froiland, Ethan Schreuder, Joel Doughty and Rich Gerdeman join Woolpert’s expanding team of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commercial UAS/drone Woolpert uses UAS to monitor the construction phase of a 500-foot runway extension at Paoli (Ind.) Municipal Airport.certification resources.

These new UAS pilots bring the firm’s total to five and are located at four of the national architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm’s 23 locations—Chicago, Denver, Dayton and Columbia, S.C., where the firm also is establishing UAS hubs.

Woolpert was the first surveying and aerial mapping company to be approved to fly a UAS commercially in designated airspace, earning an FAA Section 333 Exemption in December 2014.

Aaron Lawrence, Woolpert’s UAS Technology Manager, earned his UAS license on Aug. 29, 2016, the first day the certification was made public by the FAA.

Froiland and Schreuder are survey technicians, and Doughty is an engineering technician with Woolpert. Gerdeman, a UAS pilot and engineering phase manager, also is one of the firm’s nine airplane pilots, who can operate a UAS under the Section 333 Exemption.

Having both UAS and airplane pilots increases the firm’s versatility with its various collection methods, enabling the firm to use a lone unmanned pilot or employ manned pilots in concert per FAA mandates.

Woolpert is working on multiple UAS projects that reflect this versatility, from creating high-resolution structural representations of locks and dams to pipeline inspections to digitally preserving historic bridges to construction design monitoring for airport runways.

The firm, known for its survey-grade accuracy standards and high-resolution imagery collection methods, looks to continue to expand the application of UAS to its multiple industries.

“We are known worldwide for our mapping capabilities,” Lawrence said. “By increasing our fleet of UAS pilots, we can more expansively apply this expertise. It’s all about what tool in the toolbox to use to meet the project specifications, and how to do it in the most cost-effective manner.”

About Woolpert
Woolpert is a national architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm that delivers value to clients by strategically blending engineering excellence with leading-edge technology and geospatial applications. With a dynamic R&D department, Woolpert works with inventive business partners like Google; operates a fleet of planes, sensors and unmanned aerial systems (UAS); and continually pushes industry boundaries by working with advanced water technologies, asset management, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and sustainable design. Woolpert’s mission is to help its clients progress—and become more progressive. For over 100 years and with 23 offices across the United States, Woolpert serves the needs of federal, state and local governments; private and public companies and universities; energy and transportation departments; and the United States Armed Forces. The firm currently is doing business in all 50 states and in five foreign countries. For more information, visit woolpert.com or call 937-531-1258.

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