The Unmanned Safety Institute announced today that Joshua Olds, Co-Founder & Vice President, was nominated as a finalist for the Association for Unmanned Vehicles International’s (AUVSI) inaugural XCELLENCE Awards. The AUVSI XCELLENCE Awards are given to innovative members of the unmanned community, in recognition of their demonstrated dedication to advancing unmanned technology, leading and promoting safe operations, and developing unmanned programs that are intended to improve the human condition. Mr. Olds was nominated under the Operations & Safety category, for individual Airmanship and Contribution to the UAS Industry.

“USI has always been committed to delivering world-class results and this is a reflection of the hard work, thought leadership, and devotion of our world-class team. Josh Olds is widely considered to be one of the most knowledgeable and influential thought leaders in our industry, and we are immensely proud of his achievements, not only at USI, but throughout the broader UAS industry,” remarked USI President Aaron Greenwald. “USI congratulations Josh on this remarkable achievement, and we look forward to continuing to offer our industry-leading expertise to clients around the world” continued Greenwald.

Mr. Olds started his career in the unmanned industry as an instructor operator with Textron Unmanned Systems and transitioned to UAS operations in the Indian Ocean, managing operational and maintenance readiness for antipiracy operations. He went on to serve as an assistant professor and the GAI UAS Program Coordinator at his alma mater, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and in 2014, co-founded the Unmanned Safety Institute. Throughout all of his roles in the unmanned field, culminating over a decade of manned and unmanned aviation experience, Mr. Olds led the development of both industry and collegiate level content and curriculum for education and training as well as the ARGUS Organizational Unmanned Industry Standards. Josh serves as a member on the UAS FAA Safety Team (FAAST) and as an advisory board member for the Energy Drone Coalition.

In a recent press release by AUVSI, president and CEO Brian Wynne stated “The unmanned systems industry is innovating at an incredible rate and creating tremendous benefits for our economy, lifestyle and society. The XCELLENCE Awards give us a chance to recognize the companies and individuals who are propelling the industry into the future.”

A complete list of nominees for the AUVSI XCELLENCE Awards can be found here. The winners will be announced at AUVSI XPONENTIAL, during award ceremonies on Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3.


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About Unmanned Safety Institute
The Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) is the industry’s most widely recognized leader in flight safety solutions for individuals, enterprises, and organizations focused on integrating and operating Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for civil or commercial purposes. The Unmanned Safety Institute, widely recognized as “best-in-class” provides UAS flight safety training and certification to operational standards based on the adoption and modification of time-honored aviation safety practices. With over 150 instructors and over 4,000 customers around the world, including several Fortune 500 enterprises, USI widely recognized as the global leader in UAS training and certification delivering the most highly-regarded training program of its kind. USI is the only training and certification organization that is accepted by the FAA, endorsed by major aviation insurance providers, and whose training programs have been evaluated and recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education. Discover more at

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) — the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics — represents corporations and professionals from more than 60 countries involved in industry, government and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets. For more information, visit