We’re thrilled to share that Jackie Dujmovic, CEO of Hover UAV, will be among the 11 distinguished women joining the Women in Emerging Aviation Technologies Hall of Fame. This honour will be formally bestowed upon her during the 7th Annual Women in Emerging Aviation Technologies Awards, slated to be held at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., come October 25th. Those in attendance can anticipate mingling with these esteemed Hall of Fame entrants.
Women and Drones have continually celebrated women paving the way in the aviation sphere, their innovations and visions promising a future rich in technological and scientific leaps.
Recently, Women and Drones unveiled this year’s list of luminaries to be inducted into the Women in Emerging Aviation Technologies Hall of Fame. These inductees, an embodiment of experience and expertise, hail from diverse backgrounds within the Uncrewed Aerial Systems and Advanced Air Mobility sectors. Sabrewing Aircraft Company champions this cause by sponsoring the awards. As per Ed De Reyes, Sabrewing’s CEO, they’re keen on celebrating the women driving growth, innovation, and creativity in aviation.
Previous Hall of Fame inductees and this year’s ceremony hosts include Miriam McNabb, the editor of DRONELIFE.com, and Marilyn Pearson, CAE’s Global Regulatory Affairs Lead for AAM/eVTOL/UAS. Pearson highlights the game-changing technologies transforming aviation, akin to the jet engine’s introduction. McNabb eagerly awaits the induction of these trailblazers in Washington DC, lauding their mark on the drone industry.
From the impressive nominations received from around the world, a panel of judges has chosen these eleven outstanding women as 2023 Hall of Fame inductees:
Loretta Alkalay – Aviation attorney and Adjunct Professor at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology. Alkalay holds an FAA remote pilot certificate with a sUAS rating and also serves as a regulatory consultant, specializing in issues related to compliance with federal aviation regulations including drone rules.
Barbara Bollard – Professor Bollard of Australia is a leader in the field of drone remote sensing, renowned for her pioneering research in both Antarctica and extreme desert environments. Her groundbreaking achievements have significantly advanced the capabilities of drone technology, transforming data collection and analysis in these challenging terrains.
Jackie Dujmovic – Founder and CEO of Hover UAV in Australia. As a commercial UAS Pilot and accomplished Chief Remote Pilot, Dujmovic’s expertise is establishing robust communication and procedural frameworks with regulators across local, national, and international spheres. Her ultimate mission is the seamless integration of drone systems into everyday life, commitments to safety, compliance, and navigating intricate operational approvals.
Desiree Ekstein – Founder of On The Go Video and accomplished figure in the UAS industry. Ekstein is dedicated to promoting safety and education as a Lead FAASTeam Representative and AUVSI TOP Level 3 pilot. She is also involved in the “Girls Take Flight” initiative which encourages young women to explore careers in the science and technology fields.
Laurie Grindle – Deputy Center Director, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. Grindle assists in the management of the NASA field centre, focusing on strategy, business processes, and institutional management. She has also served in leadership roles overseeing Unmanned Air Vehicles and the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew vehicle abort test booster.
Sonet Kock – Director of Drone Policy & Regulatory Development. Sonet is the Founder and Managing Director of AviComply (Pty) Ltd, a leading South African consulting firm specializing in Aviation Compliance Solutions. She is known for her expertise and extensive experience in Aviation Regulatory Compliance and has dedicated her efforts to ensuring quality and safety assurance for both crewed and uncrewed flight operations.
Mercy Makau – President and Founder of the Young Aviator Club of Africa as well as Chairperson of Drone Club Kenya. Makau is considered a passionate change maker, deeply committed to empowering youth and promoting gender equity in Africa’s aviation and aerospace industry.
Jenn Player – Senior Director of Global Aviation Regulatory Affairs at Skydio. Jenn collaborates with customers, regulators, and standards development organizations to advance autonomy and unlock safe and effective docked drone operations. Jenn’s early work to integrate drones into the National Airspace System led to the first long-range BVLOS civil flight in the continental United States.
Dr Debbie Saunders – Founder, CEO and Chief Remote Pilot of Wildlife Drones. The Australian company is transforming biodiversity conservation by developing innovative technological solutions, including the world’s most advanced drone-based radio-telemetry sensor that empowers endangered and invasive species managers globally to simultaneously track the movements of many animals from a drone in real time.
Annalisa Russell-Smith – Chief Strategy Officer, Flyby Technology. The company flew the COVID virus between laboratories and chemotherapy to isolated communities and Russell-Smith was the first civilian female in the United Kingdom to become a Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) pilot.
Abigail Smith – Executive Director (A), of the FAA’s UAS Security Office, which serves as the focal point for all matters related to drone and air mobility (AAM) security in U.S. airspace. Within this role, Smith leads the FAA’s efforts to safely integrate detection and mitigation systems for drones and AAM operations into the National Airspace System.
About the Women in Emerging Aviation Technologies Awards: Initiated in 2017, Women and Drones has been shining a spotlight on those reshaping the UAS/AAM industry. Every year, a global hunt singles out women and entities bringing innovation, enhancing the UAS/AAM industry’s reputation, fostering inclusivity in STEM and aviation, and propelling the industry closer to equal gender representation.