Past Member Spotlight 2021

June 2021

Alastair (Al) Boulding

Al has played a vital role in SCiDUC from the very beginning working with Joe Burgett and the rest of the Board with a wide range of organizational logistics.  Some of Al’s key contributions are creating the SCiDUC website, coordinating quarterly meetings, keeping up with our social media, and many other critical organizational tasks.  In addition to supporting SCiDUC, Al has been working with Dr. Joe Burgett at Clemson University with their drone program over the past year.  As a Ph.D. student, he has assisted with several drone research projects and has taught drone classes to undergraduate and graduate students.  As a testament to his exceptional abilities and depth of professional experience, he recently accepted a position with Clemson University as a full-time lecturer in the Nieri Family Department of Construction Science and Management. Thank you for all of your help in making SCiDUC what it is today. 


Thanks again Al!!

May 2021

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Dr. Nikos Vitzilaios

Dr. Nikos Vitzilaios is SCiDUC’s Member Spotlight recipient for May 2021.  He is an Assistant Professor of Robotics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina (UofSC). He is the Director of the Unmanned Systems & Robotics Laboratory (USRL) working on perception, navigation and control of unmanned systems focusing on unmanned aircraft. USRL has a fleet of 15 drones including commercial, customized and in-house built systems used in several monitoring\inspection applications.

Dr. Vitzilaios has more than 15 years of experience in the field; he earned his PhD in 2010 working on the autonomous control of small-scale unmanned helicopters. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Alberta (2011-2012) he worked on nonlinear control of heavy lift unmanned helicopters. As a Research Scientist (2012-2015) at the University of Denver, he worked on a National Science Foundation project on the development and integration of teams of aerial and ground robots. Prior to joining UofSC (2017) he was a Senior Lecturer of Robotics at Kingston University London (United Kingdom) where he was elected a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  

Dr. Vitzilaios has more than 30 publications in international conferences and journals. He is a Senior Member of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and member of the organizing committee of the annual International Conference on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (ICUAS). 

Congratulations Dr. Vitzilaios for being our SCiDUC  May 2021 member spotlight!

April 2021


Maziar Fooladi-Mahani

Maziar plays a lead role in developing the Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies’ (CCGT) drone program and keeping the center current with emerging technology in imagery and remote sensing. He is also an FAA Part 107 certified remote pilot and responsible for collaborating with faculty members and researchers at Clemson University with state-of-the-art applications of unmanned aerial systems and implementation of Machine/Deep Learning algorithms for airborne imagery products.


In addition to his role at the CCGT, Maziar is pursuing his Ph.D. in AI and Robotics in Interdisciplinary Intelligence Research Lab at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Clemson University and expects to graduate in December 2021. Throughout his work and research at Clemson, Maziar has worked in various UAV-related projects such as multi-UAV teams motion/mission planning, UAV operating systems, remote sensing, and airborne imagery visualization and analysis.


Thanks, Maziar for everything you're doing!!!

March 2021

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Scott Harris

Scott Harris, is SCiDUC’s Member Spotlight recipient for March 2021.  Scott has been involved with SCiDUC since its first meeting in 2019 and is currently chairing the Policy Committee.  He holds a Ph.D. in geology and is a Part 107 certified pilot who uses drones regularly in his job as a geologist and geoarchaeologist to map, characterize, and visualize short- and long-term changes in the landscape and environment in South Carolina, across the USA, and overseas.  Scott also has an MS degree in Environmental Science and a BS degree In Geology with a minor in Anthropology.  Scott is a faculty member in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at the College of Charleston (CofC), Director of the Archaeology Program, and Chair of the CofC Senate Budget Committee and member of that Senate.  In past years he has served many groups as treasurer, secretary, budget organizer, and chair,  and looks forward to continue serving the public and his colleagues across the globe. 

February 2021

Evan Cook

Evan Cook, GIS Manager of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Marine Resources Division, is SCiDUC’s Member Spotlight recipient for February 2021. Evan has MS degrees in both GIS and Environmental Studies and a background using sUAS within the private sector and not-for-profit organizations. He has experience in coastal research and engineering, surveying, land management, and building information management (BIM). Evan also holds a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate. In his current position as the GIS Manager for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Marine Resources Division, he has become a key source of sUAS information and guidance within the Agency. Since coming to SCDNR, Evan has been particularly successful at helping develop workflows to increase sUAS mapping accuracy and to improve data management. He has been a member of SCiDUC since its inception and recently presented a SCiDUC-related talk at a regional meeting, garnering significant acclaim and positive recognition for the organization. He was nominated for the member spotlight in recognition of his important efforts for both the SCDNR and the SCiDUC organization. 

January 2021

Thomas Knight

Tom’s formal education is in Civil Engineering and has years of field and applied research experience in hydraulic design at SCDOT. This is a perfect background to identify where drones can be used to manage flood risk. Tom has great passion to use drones in disaster management and response. Drones are the latest example where he is interested in using as a new tool to improve flood monitoring and mapping and disaster recovery. Adopting new technologies takes a certain amount of courage and time, however, Tom is dedicated in using new tools for safety evaluation against floods. He is an excellent example of how disaster management and response can benefit from drone technologies and application.

See Past 2020 Member Spotlights Here