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15 Apr 2016

Alumni Profile: Mark Shephard, PolluTech Enviroquatics

Mark is one of our more recent alumni. He has been flying RC fixed wing planes since he was around eight years old, an activity he shared with his dad.

In 2015, Mark was hired by Pollutech Enviroquatics in Sarnia, Ontario to help integrate drones into their operations. Pollutech is an environmental company that offers a range of services, including soil and water quality, a toxicity testing laboratory, marine services and emergency response services to a wide range of incidents. The company had been interested in integrating UAVs inMark Shepherdto their operations for a while. However, they did not have anyone on staff with drone experience. So, Mark was a natural fit.

Pollutech realized early on that drones would be an excellent tool for gathering data in emergency responses to plan cleanup. They also recognized that drones could provide better quality results and were less expensive than traditional methods. With further research, boundless opportunities for using UAVs came to light, including pipeline, flare stack and roofline assessment using Pollutech’s new thermal imaging camera, as well as agricultural crop health and soil moisture assessment using multi-spectral equipment. Existing clients, as well as new clients, are excited about this service feature.

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Part of Mark’s job is to use drones to take pictures and videos to map out remediation plans and to do multispectral and thermal imaging. He noted that with drones, you are able to setup quicker and you get real-time pictures and videos.

In December 2015, Mark saw a news report on R/C TV that featured Aerobotika. After doing some research on our company, he decided to attend one of our UAV ground school sessions in Toronto to better prepare for his new role. He found the course “comprehensive” and “well-rounded” as it included everything from meteorology to navigation and was specific to UAVs.

Pollutech also needed to apply for a SFOC and hired Aerobotika to help them through the process. Mark noted that Transport Canada accepted the application in “just under two weeks” with no corrections or resubmissions necessary. He felt they could not have done it so successfully without Aerobotika’s help.

Mark, along with his co-workers at Pollutech, is very excited about this new venture and the possibilities it offers for serving clients better.

Read our 6 Keys to Building a Successful Drone Company blog to see how others have successfully integrated drones into their business.