Researcher Briefs Congressional Delegation on Drone Progress

Richard Ham
University Relations

Richard Ham

University of Arkansas researchers met with the state's congressional delegation in April to highlight innovation efforts related to the use of unmanned aircraft systems, commonly known as drones.

Richard Ham, associate director of the Master of Science in Operations Management and Master of Science in Engineering Management programs, visited the delegation to provide an update on the university's work to enhance the use of drones as tools in business, public safety, research and more.

To date, the program has trained 80 students as FAA certificated remote pilots. Many have gone on to use those new skills to enhance their current job or obtain new positions, while others have applied the knowledge to graduate research.

Ham briefed the delegation on research efforts, the success of the recent third annual Arkansas UAS Summit, and interdisciplinary projects with other institutions in Arkansas and nationally.

More than 100 people attended the UAS Summit, which was simulcast between the Don Tyson Center for Agriculture Sciences in Fayetteville and the Walton Executive Education Center at Second and Main in Little Rock. A diverse group of industry, public safety and researchers attended and gained new insight into innovative uses for drones.

"The support of leadership at the University has been key to UAS growth in research and service to the citizens of Arkansas over the last three years," Ham said. "We have not only established new interdisciplinary projects through grant funding, but we have provided key resources to Arkansas for public safety and conservation of resources. Many people are also not aware that we have provided training for K-12 students and teachers through various joint programs including the EAST program."

Students and faculty interested in adding UAS to their research or becoming FAA-certified remote pilots should contact to find out about upcoming training opportunities.


Blake Chapman, marketing and recruitment coordinator
Operations Management, Industrial Engineering

Nick DeMoss, director of communications
College of Engineering


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