New University Program Addresses the Increasing Demand for Unmanned Drones for Civilian Applications

In an article in the January 14, 2013 issue of Fortune Magazine, “Unmanned Drones are Bound for Civilian Skies” analysts predict global spending on drones will double over the next decade, to $11.4 billion; with the focus on potentially unlimited civilian markets from law enforcement, to agriculture and wildlife management to oil and gas discovery.

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In a recent research study conducted by the San Diego North County Chamber of Commerce and the National University System Institute for Policy Research, the center of the unmanned business for aerial vehicles is right here in San Diego and has emerged as the global leader in UAV production adding over 600 jobs since 2010. Northrop Grumman just announced in a Union Tribune article on March 7th that they plan to consolidate their unmanned systems business, or drone work, in Rancho Bernardo shifting a large number of jobs to this area.

Academia is in the early stages of creating educational programs in unmanned vehicles but only a handful exist at this point, offering primarily small UAV pilot training curriculums. But, only one school “Unmanned Vehicle University” has taken their UAV programs to the next level offering Certifications to Masters and Doctorate degrees in “Unmanned Vehicle Systems Engineering”, preparing graduates for positions as Engineers, Project Managers and Research Specialists which can demand salaries of $100,000 per year or more.

Doctor (Col Ret) Jerry LeMieux, the founder and Executive Director of Unmanned Vehicle University, which offers both classroom and online programs, will be conducting his first 3-day certification course in “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Fundamentals, Design, Airspace Integration, Futures”, at the Kona Kai Resort and Spa in San Diego from April 19th through the 21st. In May, the course will be taught in the Los Angeles area.

The 3-day classroom instructional program is designed to meet the needs of engineers, researchers and operators. Participants will gain a working knowledge of UAS systems classification, payloads, sensors, communications and data links. For more information and an outline of the course curriculum, please email Suzanne Rey at

Doctor LeMieux is a pilot and engineering PhD with over 40 years and 10,000 hours of aviation experience. He has over 20 years of experience in program management, systems engineering and test evaluation for AEW, fighter and tactical data link acquisition programs. He is also known as a subject matter expert on sense and avoid systems for UAS and is currently working with the FAA and RTCA to integrate UAS into US National Airspace.

If you’d like more information about this topic and the upcoming 3-day certification course, or to schedule an interview with Dr. LeMieux, please call Suzanne Rey at 619-303-2239 or email Suzanne at



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