Raghavendra Sriram is earning his PhD at UT-Arlington, doing research on how unmanned aerial systems (more commonly known as drones) can be used to help during search and rescue missions. He says he’s always been interested in the machines, but finding ways to learn about them hasn’t always been easy.
“I had to go through a large variety of courses before I had an in-depth understanding,” said Sriram.
A recent study by the Teal Group suggests that $89 billion will be spent on unmanned vehicle systems during the next ten years.
UTA officials say with the industry booming and in need of skilled workers, they realized they needed to expand their program. That’s why they’re launching a new unmanned systems certification program for undergraduates next fall.
Students will be required to take five specially designed courses in order to receive the certification.
“We anticipate a very intense interest in it,” said Khosrow Behbehani, Dean of UTA’s College of Engineering.
The university says this program is likely just the beginning.
“One of our departments has gone ahead and is in the process of developing a Master’s degree in this area,” said Behbehani.
Sriram says he would have loved something like this when he was an undergrad.
“It’s really good because it gives you a very firm foundation which is very important while interacting with these systems,” said Sriram. “I actually wouldn’t mind taking the program to brush up on my basics as well.”
UTA’s program will be particularly unique because the it is one of just a handful of universities across the country that has been given permission by the Federal Government to test drones outdoors.