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Remove Before Flight: The Transition to Pilotless Aircraft

October 27, 2014

Category: Alumni, Events, Mathematics


kylesnyder14.jpgAt the intersection of modern aviation, robotics, computer science, data analytics, privacy policy, ethics, and economics today lies the enigmatic "drone."   At the November Catawba College Community Forum, Catawba alumnus Kyle Snyder will present an overview of the technologies, policies, and applications that are developing an industry for unmanned aircraft systems in North Carolina.  Mr. Snyder, who is Director of the "NextGen Air Transportation Program" at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, will also explain how Catawba helped prepare him for his leadership position in the development of unmanned aircraft.

Kyle Snyder earned a BA in Mathematics and Computer Science from Catawba College where he also played three years of varsity basketball.  He later received an MS in Mathematics from the University of Tennessee Space Institute and an MBA in Aerospace from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  He has held a series of positions in academics and various branches of the aero-space industry in Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia.  In 2012, he returned home to North Carolina to lead the development of an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Ecosystem, part of the transition to a modern air transportation system in the state.

Through his experiences in industry, academia, government, and the non-profit sector, Kyle has developed a unique perspective and skill set for transitioning new aviation technologies from research laboratories and prototype phases into operational products. In his role as the NextGen Air Transportation Program Director, Kyle is reaching across North Carolina to connect researchers and educators with industry and government offices that are preparing for future aviation capabilities.

From having seen the initial Space Shuttle launches from his backyard as a child, to standing on the flight line for some of the last SR-71 flights at NASA Dryden, to being a driving force in the domestic integration of UAS for civil and commercial operations, Kyle continues to be inspired by the science of flight and seeks to share those moments with those around him (especially his wife and young son!).

Join us at the next Catawba College Community Forum on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in Tom Smith Auditorium of Ralph W. Ketner Hall for a look into the future of pilotless aircraft in North Carolina. Admission, as always, is free.