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AUS offers 45-hour training course for drone operators
A ground school training course for drone operators will be offered at American University of Sharjah (AUS) in Fall 2017, in conjunction with Exponent Technology Services LLC (ETS). AUS and ETS recently signed a collaborative research agreement whereby the 45-hour course will be customized by ETS professional pilots and engineers allowing participants to become certified drone operators. The agreement was signed by Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of AUS, and Asam Niaz Khan, Chief Executive Officer, ETS.
As per the agreement, ETS will create and structure a joint Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technologies training program that will be conducted at AUS by ETS staff and provide qualified instructors to execute the training course. ETS will also provide training to AUS instructors who will conduct future courses using ETS's licensed training materials.
The agreement also seeks to enhance research activities related to drone applications where students will be working on projects under the supervision of AUS faculty and ETS engineers. ETS will provide equipment to support the research activities to be conducted at AUS facilities and allow students/faculty to work on practical/commercial projects. This will provide students with a practice-based educational environment along with internship opportunities at ETS.
"We are pleased to have signed this agreement with ETS," said Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of AUS. "This collaboration with ETS, wherein our faculty and students get to work on the various aspects of drone activities and research, is reflective of our university's commitment towards innovative technology, research and training. We believe this agreement will complement the strengths of AUS and ETS and will prove mutually beneficial to both entities," he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Khan said, "Exponent Technology Services has been working with universities throughout the UAE by consulting with faculty on research topics and providing opportunities for the students to intern with us. On this second area of collaboration, we have seen a definite qualitative edge from the AUS students, which has also led to us hiring several after their graduation. By further deepening our relationship by not only equipping an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Lab (UAV) at AUS but also signing a Research Collaborative Agreement, we hope to set a pattern regionally regarding the rewarding potential of partnership between private industry and academia."
According to Dr. Mohamed El-Tarhuni, Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs and Research at the College of Engineering, "This agreement provides a great opportunity to AUS students and faculty to engage in drone related projects in collaboration with ETS engineers. The collaboration will enhance the practical experience of our students and will provide them with hands-on skills highly needed by the industry."