Candidates for SCiDUC Board of Elections
Background and Instructions
SCiDUC is governed by a Board consisting of up to nine Directors of which there are only currently eight. Consistent with the Bylaws, a call to fill the open Director seat was emailed to the membership requesting nominations by October 16th. The Board was pleased to received five nominations of eligible candidates in good standing. Included with the nomination package was a statement of qualifications and biographical sketch which has been provided below. As outlined in the Bylaws, nominees with the most affirmatives votes by the membership will be elected to the board.
Please review the statement of qualifications of the nominees below and cast a signal ballot using the form at the bottom of the page. When completing the form, please use your work email address. You vote will be kept confidential known only to the SCiDUC President presiding over the election.
I am interested in serving on the SCiDUC BoD. I have been in the UAS / drone space since 2017. I developed the curiosity to learn more about the Unmanned aviation technology and determine how to use it to serve the public safety and enterprise industry. My 20 years of experience in law enforcement, and the vision of low-cost and low-risk aviation options for any agency regardless of size, has been my driving force in the UAS technology space. My personal goal was to learn all I could to become a knowledgeable unmanned aviator and solutions provider and develop solutions and programs for public safetg. I have reached this goal and continue to grow in this ever-expanding and advancing industry.
I have 20 years of experience as a law enforcement officer in SC.
I have been a FAA Part 107 sUAS pilot since 2017.
I was chosen as an FAA Safety Team Member attached to the SC FAA FSDO in Columbia, specializing as a public safety Drone Pro, and providing FAA sanctioned training opportunies.
I am the drone unit manager / coordinator for the Anderson Co Sheriff's Office, where I built and implemented the program (policy and SOG, operating foundation and training) and trained 15 pilots - all of whom are now FAA 107 sUAS certificated.
I have traveled the southeast and other parts of the US assisting public safety agencies in selecting and implementing solutions and programs that offer low-risk and low-cost aviation options via my business - Airworx Unmanned Solutions - which focuses on training, consulting and systems UAS sales.
I look forward to the opportunity if chosen.
Thank you for your consideration.
Evan D. Cook is the GIS Manager for the Marine Resources Division of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. He graduated with a BS and MS from Florida State University in Geography and GIS, respectively, and an MS in Environmental Studies from Florida International University. Evan holds a current Part 107 Remote Pilot certificate and has previous experience with Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) spanning both the private sector and not-for-profits, covering applications and research in coastal engineering, surveying, building information management (BIM) modeling, and land management. In his current position with the DNR, Evan provides support to in-house research and management groups on all things geospatial, including the use, promotion, and development of UAS applications and methodologies. Evan works with diverse groups of professionals and stakeholders from a range of local, state, and federal agencies in South Carolina.
I am writing to apply to serve on the South Carolina Interagency Drone Users Consortium Board of Directors. Currently serving as the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and LiDAR specialist at the Clemson Center for Geospatial Technologies (CCGT), I play a lead role in developing the CCGT’s drone program and keeping the center current with emerging technology in imagery and remote sensing. I am 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 my role at the CCGT, I am pursuing my Ph.D. in AI and Robotics in Interdisciplinary Intelligence Research Lab at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Clemson University and expect to graduate in May 2021. My research area is in Human-Robot-Interaction, specifically, developing a quantitative trust model in human-multi-UAVs teams using Machine-Learning techniques.
Throughout my work and research at Clemson, I had the opportunity to work in different UAV related projects such as multi-UAV teams motion/mission planning, UAV operating systems, remote sensing, and airborne imagery visualization and analysis. I hold a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, and MS in Automotive Engineering from the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). Additionally, I have experience in integrating UAV systems and geospatial technologies across different applications, including search-and-rescue, first responders, last-mile delivery, airborne Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), and highway engineering for both governmental and non-governmental agencies.
I am passionate about drones, from low-level dynamics to high-level programming. I am especially interested in making drones human-friendly, safe, and smart remote agents across a wide range of applications and industries. My career vision is to leverage the use of drone technology throughout the state of South Carolina and beyond, and I think one essential step forward is to expand the education on UAV applications across numerous multidisciplinary industries. For that, my role here at Clemson Center for the Geospatial Technologies, not just as a pilot, but also as a trainer and educator of the application of the drones for mapping, can contribute gravely to the mission of the SCiDUC.
I believe my strong background in Mechanical Engineering, AI and Robotics, and Geospatial Information Systems together with my on-going experience supporting various research projects across Clemson University, give me a unique edge to serve as the Board officer of the SCiDUC organization. Thank you for considering my application.
I have enjoyed working with and growing the idea of SCIDUC since the first meetings last year into the present day as a full non-profit, and I am excited at the possibility of helping further develop these ideas and directions as a member of the board. Recognizing the importance of this organization to South Carolina and agency drone users throughout the State, I have already dedicated significant time and effort by joining the organization at the outset and by chairing the Policy Committee since its initiation. I look forward to continuing serving the mission of SCIDUC in the future!
To give you some of my background and qualifications, I am a Part 107 certified pilot who uses drones regularly in my job as a geologist and geoarchaeologist to map, characterize, and visualize short- and long-term changes in the landscape and environment. In a broad sense, I am a coastal scientist and licensed professional geologist that has worked in South Carolina since 1994 and lived in the State since 1996 (vacationing since the 1960s!). At first, I lived in Conway (was appointed by city council to their Water Quality and Drainage Commission), then here in Charleston, SC. I do primarily fly in coastal regions for my research, but the most recent project took me to Montana mapping the boundary of the Cretaceous Extinction event in the exposed geology out there! My research and training team of other faculty, staff, and students regularly uses AGISoft, Pix4D, ArcGIS, and Bentley products to map areas. I am also using Adobe Premiere Pro to create videos for further visualization and outreach.
In my career, I have worked in many private and public Earth-related industries: land surveying, residential and commercial electrical and HVAC installation, tank-farm design, environmental hydrogeology and underground tank work, 3D hydrogeologic framework studies, higher-education, scientific diving, and remote sensor network design and deployment. Currently I am 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 I have served many groups as treasurer, secretary, budget organizer, and chair, and I hope to have the opportunity to continue serving the public as a member of the SCIDUC Board of Directors.
Jesse McWilliams has served the State of SC for seven years and has been a member of SCiDUC since its initiation. Jesse’s efforts were foundational to the UAV program maintained by the SC DHEC. Prior to the promulgation of the US Federal Aviation Agency part 107 regulation under which many of the Remote Pilots in Command fly for the State of SC, Jesse advocated for the use of robotics for emergency response operations. Since obtaining a part 107 certificate shortly after said regulations were enacted, Jesse has served as RPIC and other positions for the SC DHEC for numerous events and continues to advocate for the extension of UAV applications to any operations in which the use of such technology may prevent the exposure of personnel to unnecessary hazards or present a substantial increase in the efficiency with which program decisions are informed.
Jesse serves the State of SC within the Division of Emergency Response of the Bureau of Environmental Health Services. In this position, Jesse serves in planning, operations, coordination, and command roles for incidents involving a release of petroleum or hazardous materials. During large scale disaster incidents, he serves in both field operations and remote operations center management. In this position, Jesse also represents the State of SC to the Regional Response Team of the US National Response Framework. As a representative of SC, he collaborates with a number of federal partners, primarily those of the US Coast Guard and the US Environmental Protection Agency, for planning and response programs.
Outside of his service to the State of SC, Jesse is a published research author with manuscripts and degrees in various fields. He also solely manages amoeba.blue, a Limited Liability Corporation officially recognized by the State of SC as well as the US Federal Government and unofficially acknowledged both domestically and internationally, which develops open source applications on behalf of and often at no cost to various governmental agencies and private firms.
The mission statement copied from Jesse’s application for SC DHEC Agency Director. If the State of SC is to maintain its smiling faces and beautiful places into the twenty-first century, strong, decisive, and unapologetic leadership must take swift and drastic action. Consequently, as demonstrated repeatedly by his speech and actions, Jesse consistently refuses to stand aside while others trade the stability and security of the future of SC to increase the quarterly earnings of myopic shareholders. To the extent that the interests of an agency are aligned with those of human civilization and environmental sustainability, that organization has Jesse’s allegiance.
Thanks for the opportunity!