Skip to main content

Director appointed at SDU's new drone centre

American drone expert, Brad Beach, will be Director of SDU's new drone centre.

Drones are more than just toys or military equipment; they comprise a large new education, research and not least business area which SDU is making a concerted effort to develop. Recently SDU revealed a new study programme in drone technology, the first of its kind in Europe. Now the Faculty of Engineering will also open its doors to a new drone centre which will pool their research efforts in the sector as well as liaising with industry.

The new centre will be called SDU UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) Centre and the soon to be former Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps, Brad Beach, has just been appointed as Director of the centre. He brings great international experience with drones through his latest position as Director of Marine Operations at the U.S. Military's UAS School.

"The drone centre will bring together some of the world's leading forces with expertise in unmanned aircraft, in terms of research, education and real experience in developing and operating drones, which makes Brad Beach an obvious choice for the position," says Faculty Dean Henrik Bindslev about the appointment. The Director’s role will be to create maximum synergy between SDU's study programmes, research and business interests.

Director of Centre with considerable experience

Brad Beach has 30 years of experience with aviation in the USA. He is a qualified pilot and has served as UAS Division Chief for the U. S. Marine Corps with responsibility for initiatives and investments of 1.5 billion dollars.

Now he is looking forward to starting as Director of the centre at SDU:
"First and foremost at the SDU UAS Centre we will get to work on developing technology for drones which will make them more stable and intelligent. We'll do this so that in the long term we can build drones that fly autonomously without affecting civilian airspace. In order to do this we'll make use of all of SDU's renowned strength from the robotic sector in collaboration with other technological disciplines and businesses," says Brad Beach.

He is expected to move to Odense soon with his wife, Melissa Beach, and their two children.

Drone centre to benefit industry

The primary aim of SDU UAS is to promote the drone sector through collaboration with industry and with the help of national drone testing facilities which are situated at HCA Airport just 15 km from the main SDU campus.

A thriving drone research centre will support industry and create jobs and growth. Our new drone study programme is highly synergetic with our drone research and industrial collaborations and will deliver innovative engineers specialising in drones," says Henrik Bindslev.

Calculations from the EU estimate that in ten years' time drones will comprise 10% of the total aviation market, amounting to 15 billion euros per year.

For more information, please contact:
Dean Henrik Bindslev

Editing was completed: 23.04.2015