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California State University, Long Beach

The Age of Drones and New Societal Concerns

While drones have been widely used since the 1960s during the Vietnam War, they really revolutionized warfare during the recent Middle East conflicts. We saw drones take on roles in both surveillance and strike. In addition, we saw everything from back packable small RC like models, the predator family of strike systems, and ship based vertical systems such as Fire Scout, to the large high flying long endurance Global Hawk. Not only has our military found practical and cost effective use of these autonomous aircrafts, but commercial entities such as Google and Amazon are looking at how they can help their businesses as well. Add to that a whole host of civil applications such as police forces, security systems (including pipeline surveillance), Homeland Security and Border Patrol. Last but not least, is the neighbor next door who just bought a quad copter and is flying it over your backyard swimming pool.

Many segments have found ways to employ these technology marvels, thus creating unforeseen challenges for the nation in terms of privacy, security, safety, regulation, and the conflict with civil liberty. The FAA recently issued guidance essentially limiting flight of small drones by commercial entities (including universities), which has limited development and experimentation by a multitude of large and small companies as well the academic arena. This Panel of experts will help us all understand where this technology is headed and what impacts it could have on our daily lives.

Panel of Experts:

  • Chris M. Hernandez
    Vice President, Advanced Systems Business and Advanced Systems Development
    Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems
  • Michael E. Drobac
    Executive Director, Small UAV Coalition
    Senior Policy Advisor, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP
  • Kevin Hull
    Manager LA Aircraft Certification Office
    Federal Aviation Administration
  • Matt Petrime '93 - Moderator
    Vice President and General Manager
    Applied Medical

Committe Members:

  • Matt Petrime '93 - Chair
  • Christopher Hernandez '81
  • Michael Niggli '71
  • Kent Peterson, P.E. '86


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Date: Thursday, April 23, 2015
Time: 5:00 5:15 p.m. Registration
5:15 7:00 p.m. Panal of Experts/Audience Q & A
Location: The Pointe, Walter Pyramid at CSULB

Please RSVP to or Submit your reservation below: