President and CEO
With a background of tech start-up and commercial aviation, the world of unmanned aerial systems was a logical one for Philip Reece, the founder of InDro Robotics. Fresh from the world of commercial general aviation, as the CEO of a seaplane airline flying 16 flights a day with a fleet of De Havilland DhC-2 "Beavers", Philip noticed many of the industry flights for clients in construction, mining, forestry and wildlife could be carried out by UAVs. From there it was a matter of finding the smartest people in the industry and building up a team that could set about bringing the professionalism of commercial aviation to the burgeoning world of "drones".
Prior to his role in aviation, Philip started and successfully built companies in IT, oil & gas and control and instrumentation taking him from one end of the world to the other, opening offices in London, Houston, Toronto and satellite offices in many locations ending in 'stan. Now primarily based at the R&D office on Salt Spring Island, BC he still gets to travel to far flung places when servicing the humanitarian aid clients that InDro Robotics works with, recently completing work in Haiti and Nepal.
George joins InDro Robotics with extensive start-up experience, in Canada and abroad, from inception to ongoing operations to project development. George is a professional engineer (retired) with experience in the refining and petrochemical sectors in Canada, the Far East, Europe and the former Soviet Union. He served as general manager for a large engineering company in the Middle East. George sits on the University of British Columbia Chemical/Biological Engineering Industry Advisory Council, the advisory board of SG Biofuels, a developer of renewable biofuels in Latin America and South America, and is a board member of SaltSpring Air, Allied BioScience and St. George’s School Foundation.
In his position, Nigel is focused on the development of partnerships within the Canadian and international humanitarian aid organizations. Nigel has more than three decades of experience in international development and crisis response in more than a dozen countries on four continents. Nigel has served with the United Nations, including several posts at the assistant secretary-general level, most recently as Regional UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis. He also served for five years as president and CEO of UNICEF Canada. Widely recognized as a Canadian humanitarian, Nigel has received numerous awards and honours, including the Order of Canada (Officer), the Meritorious Service Cross, the Order of Ontario, the Pearson Peace Medal, the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Honour, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from his alma mater, McMaster University.
Bob Kobierski, M.Eng.
Bob Kobierski joined InDro Robotics in the summer of 2014 and initially worked as a Senior Design Specialist completing Human Factors Engineering work items. With the expansion of the company to include an engineering staff, Bob Kobierski took on the role of Engineering Manager and instituted formal engineering processes to the design efforts..
Prior to Mr. Kobierski's work at InDro Robotics he served as a Senior Design Specialist within the Esterline CMC Human Factors Engineering (HFE) Group since its inception and has a highly successful track record in the following areas: project management, experimental flight testing and evaluation, experimental design / statistical analysis, and flying operations (Naval and T&E), in addition to having a military career as a helicopter test pilot.
Geoff Mullins, Ph.D.
Geoff Mullins received a B.A.Sc. degree in engineering physics in 2001 from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada and an M.A.Sc degree in engineering physics from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada in 2003. He received his Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada in 2010. From 2001 to 2003 Dr. Mullins worked on High Temperature Superconductivity at the University of British Columbia. While in the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University he switched fields to underwater acoustics where his doctoral thesis examined bottom estimation using multi-angle swath bathymetry sonar.
After leaving Simon Fraser University, he consulted for government, academia and industry organizations in a number of water based multidisciplinary projects including fisheries research, bathymetry data acquisition and GIS processing for the mining and forestry sectors. In joining InDro, Dr. Mullins hopes to create new automated technology solutions that will improve safety, and help clients expand their ability to remotely map in regions both above and below the water's surface.
Thomas Elliot, Ph.D., P.Geo, A.Ag.
The strong geoscience and engineering project experience that Thomas brings to InDro Robotics comes from 14 years of applied academic and consultant services. Originally consulting in hydrology and ecologic restoration, Thomas found that ground and airborne imagery was a valuable tool for both monitoring and evaluation. This opportunity had Thomas develop a capacity through advanced remote sensing, digital image analysis, neural networks and high-capacity computing for resolving multi-dimensional data structures. By applying his remote-sensing and image analysis toolkit, Thomas found use-cases in soil and geologic sciences, biomedical imaging and material engineering. The promising use of remote sensing data saw Thomas develop new approaches to assessing agricultural operations, urban microclimate (aka Heat Islands), thermal efficiency of building envelopes, and engineered material inspection services.
Recently, Thomas has been a practicing hydrogeologist (Professional Geoscientist) and agrologist (Articling Agrologist) whereby he has direct experience with data requirements of both operators and regulators across a diverse range of industry and commercial setors. With InDro Robotics, Thomas has been including UAV use-cases in a wide range of applications in order to establish industry standards and performance metrics that ensure a reliable, repeatable and auditable product is delivered from drone-based platforms.
Unmanned Systems Engineer
Brian is a recent graduate of UBC’s Engineering Physics program: a five-year, multi-disciplinary engineering program with an added emphasis on physics and mathematics, notorious for being one of most difficult undergraduate programs at the school. Through technical coursework and co-op work placements at organizations including the BC Cancer Research Centre, MDA, Recon Instruments, and TRIUMF, Brian has developed a varied skill set in electrical design & analysis, mechanical modelling & prototyping, and software/firmware development. Brian has an entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for learning new skills and tackling new and exciting problems.
Now a pilot-in-training himself, Brian is drawn to the UAV industry for its fast pace, varied hands-on work, and ever-increasing opportunities for innovation.
Liam Johnston, B.A.Sc.
Unmanned Systems Engineer
Liam Johnston received his B.A.Sc. from Memorial University of Newfoundland, graduating from their Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering program. While at university, Liam was exposed to a spectrum of cutting edge autonomous marine vehicles ranging from deep diving submersibles to iceberg chasing surface craft. Motivated by their potential, Liam tailored his skill set to the development of autonomous surface craft, leading him to becoming team captain of Memorial's Autonomous Sailing team. A such, Liam oversaw the construction and deployment of the team's first vessel to operate autonomously.
As part of the Indro Robotics team, Liam works on systems integration of both aerial and marine drones, currently focusing on the development of a quick-deploy marine surface craft.
Unmanned Systems Technician
Brad has recently graduated from the Electronics Engineering Technologies program at Okanagan College in Kelowna, specializing in analog control theory and automation. He likes to apply his electronics education to previously worked industries by designing projects such as a Twitter enabled plant monitoring system and an automated meat smoker system. When Brad is not tinkering with his own projects he is often helping his younger brother take apart things around the house or out exploring the coastal scenery with camera in hand.
Terry Curell, semi-retired pilot after flying helicopters on the BC coast, Yukon, Spain and the Persian Gulf, isn’t quite ready to stop flying altogether. Terry has embraced UAVs as an exciting new challenge and eager to share his experience.
Richard Podolski, ATPL
Training and Certification Manager
Richard Podolski is an AirlineTransport Pilot and Class 1 Flight Instructor. During his aviation career he was the Chief Flight Instructor for one of Canada’s largest flight training schools and has held Chief Pilot and Operations Manager positions for several companies in Canada and abroad. Richard’s flying career also includes service with the United Nations, VIP private charter and aerial survey experience. Richard currently flies the Airbus A330 for a major Canadian airline. During his time in the aviation industry Richard started a UAV/UAS drone consulting and training company and was a founding member and director of a drone site assessment software tool developer. Richard is actively involved in the drone industry, speaking at Unmanned Systems Of Canada events and helping to develop Transport Canada’s revised UAS pilot Training requirements standard.
Richard brings his 25 years of aviation experience, management and training to the Indro team as the training and certification manager.
Jr Autonomous Systems Engineer
Eric is a born and raised islander, growing up on Salt Spring Island, BC. He is currently completing a Civil Engineering Degree at the University of Victoria with plans to specialize in Structural Engineering. At InDro Robotics his main focus is GIS and 3D mapping, with applications in land development, agriculture and surveying. When not in class, Eric enjoys spending his time either on the Basketball court or exploring Victoria’s many wonders on his bicycle.
Jr Autonomous Systems Engineer
Ciara is a second year mechanical engineering student at the University of Victoria. Her interest in small scale fabrication and autonomous software development was sparked by her involvement with the University of Victoria Hybrid Team. She is eager to expand her knowledge of the robotics industry and what it has to offer. Ciara enjoys various outdoor activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking and exploring some of the beautiful trails on Vancouver Island.
Law Enforcement Division
As BlueForce’s President and CEO, David is responsible for directing and overseeing the company’s UAV consulting services. Prior to founding BlueForce, David served as a police officer for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for over 27 years. Working with the RCMP, David saw the unique applications for UAVs in law enforcement and initiated the Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) Program. Since 2010, David has implemented and coordinated the world’s largest RPAS fleet, obtained regulatory approvals for a nationwide program, conducted extensive countermeasure trials, and become an accomplished RPAS public speaker.
Law Enforcement Division
Brian has recently retired from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after 34 years of service. He has spent the last 3 years building the sUAS and C-sUAS program for the RCMP in British Columbia. He is a technical expert on UAS electronic countermeasures and holds a Diploma in Telecommunications. Brian maintains a Part 107 Airman’s Certificate, is a ground school instructor, and has developed several sUAS courses. Brian has provided sUAS support to tactical teams, forensic investigators, as well as Search and Rescue teams. Brian was the first certified Extended Visual Line of Sight (EVLOS) check pilot in Canada and the first in Canada to deploy UAS countermeasures at a VIP venue.