AIAA and Drone World Expo Announce Winners of their Innovative Drone Exploration and Application Contest

by | Sep 30, 2016

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Drone World Expo (DWE) are pleased to announce the three winners of their Innovative Drone Exploration and Application (IDEA) Competition. The winners will present their designs at DWE, November 15-16, at the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, California.

The winners are:

  • William Fredericks,founder and CEO, Advanced Aircraft Company
  • Andy Rogan,science manager, Ocean Alliance Inc.
  • Scott Sheahan,research assistant,Research and Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles, University of Colorado Boulder

“The IDEA Competition attracted some of the best and brightest in both the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technical and end-user communities,” said Sandy Magnus, AIAA executive director. “I congratulate our three winners; the IDEA Competition clearly shows that when innovation and design meet, amazing things happen.”


Designed to inform end users of emerging technologies and concepts that will most likely impact their future business operations, the IDEA Competition was a two-round event with a panel of expert judges from the AIAA Unmanned Systems Program Committee (AIAA USPC) and DWE Advisory Board evaluating the contestants’ submissions. In the first round, entrants were required to submit an abstract describing their research and its interest or use to UAS. From those submissions, the panel chose ten semifinalists who were required to submit the presentations they would make if chosen as a competition winner. After evaluating the semifinalists, the three winners were selected.


“As chair of the AIAA USPC, it was exciting to review such excellent submissions connecting the challenges of research and development with the needs of the end-user community” said Richard Stansbury. “It was definitely a challenge to narrow the finalists down to our three winners.”


“We were thrilled to partner with AIAA on the IDEA Competition and are so excited to hear from the winners on Tuesday, November 15, during Drone World Expo in San Jose,” said Joelle Coretti, event director, DWE.   “Our audience will get an exclusive look at the top three drone exploration and application innovations that were selected from the many entries. The session will be moderated by Treggon Owens of 5D Robotics and the winners’ innovative ideas will certainly create a lot of buzz during the event.”


For more information on the IDEA Competition, please contact Chris Brown at [email protected] or 703.264.7504703.264.7504 FREE.


About AIAA

AIAA is the world’s largest aerospace professional society, serving a diverse range of more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members. AIAA members help make the world safer, more connected, more accessible, and more prosperous. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter @AIAA.


About Drone World Expo

Drone World Expo, the defining event for the commercial applications of UAS technology, will take place November 15-16, 2016, at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, CA. For more information, visit The event is produced by JD Events, dedicated to the creation of targeted and innovative industry-leading events that deliver results. Visit for more information.


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