Virginia Tech is looking for a UAS Safety Manager

Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university, committed to teaching and learning, research, and outreach to the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world. Building on its motto of Ut Prosim (that I may serve), Virginia Tech is dedicated to InclusiveVT—serving in the spirit of community, diversity, and excellence. We seek candidates who adopt and practice the Principles of Community, which are fundamental to our on-going efforts to increase access and inclusion, and to create a community that nurtures learning and growth for all of its members. Virginia Tech actively seeks a broad spectrum of candidates to join our community in preparing leaders for the world.

Position Summary

The primary role of the UAS Safety Manager is to support and enable the use of unmanned aircraft systems at Virginia Tech by faculty, staff, and students. The UAS Safety Manager is responsible for overseeing the safety of the UAS flight operations conducted by Virginia Tech and reports to the Director of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP). The UAS Safety Manager will objectively implement and administer the UAS Policy approved by the university, manage the operation and use of the netted drone facility, and participate in safety management activities with various UAS user groups across campus. The incumbent will develop, maintain, and improve procedures and training that ensure safety for the UAS flight operations conducted by Virginia Tech affiliated students, faculty and staff. The UAS Safety Manager will manage staff and students directly supporting the operation of the netted drone facility and training programs. The UAS Safety Manager may also support funded research opportunities as a subject matter expert on aviation safety.

The successful candidate will be a self-starter and have strong interpersonal, communications, and organizational skills. The UAS Safety Manager is also expected to be a team player that is willing to take on and solve challenging problems while working with a diverse team.

Additional responsibilities include the following:

  • Oversee the development and maintenance of an online flight authorization tool to support the UAS policy and to provide centralized UAS information to the university community.
  • Manage expenditures to support the operation of the netted drone facility.
    Support development and management of FAA Certifications of Authorizations (COAs) for faculty research efforts.
  • Manage group events conducted within the netted drone facility, such as drone races, flight demonstrations, academic class lab work, etc.
  • Externally promote Virginia Tech facilities for supporting UAS research and education.
    Occasionally serve as a UAS pilot or safety officer in support of research or educational efforts.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in an aviation, engineering, or safety management related field. An exception can be made for a Bachelors degree with significant training and experience.
  • Significant experience and knowledge of UAS operations in all environments.
  • Experience operating small UAS
  • FAA Remote Pilot-in-Command Certificate
  • Demonstrated thorough knowledge of aviation safety concepts and policy, Federal Aviation Regulations, and interpretation and application of those policies and regulations.

Preferred Qualifications

  • FAA Private Pilot Certificate or greater
  • FAA 2nd Class Medical Certificate
  • Experience in working with aviation safety management systems
  • Experience with academic, government or military aviation UAS operators
  • Proficient RC flying skills
  • Prior supervisory experience

For more info see the job listing on Virginia Tech’s website here.