ResponDrone recruits European "heavyweight" sector-specialists to its new project advisory board

February 9, 2020

The ResponDrone Project has recently established a Project Advisory Board (PAB) comprising recognized experts of international standing to provide ongoing specialist advice, guidance and feedback to facilitate successful accomplishment of the project’s objectives.

The four PAB members are Dr. Marcel van Berlo, Mr. Uwe Kippnich, Professor Don Harris and Dr. Frederic Carvajal. They represent Europe’s finest in their specific fields of expertise and share combined experience in professional fields with a direct bearing on the core endeavours of the project, such as crisis management, telecommunications, the use of drones in rescue work and human factors.

A brief glance at the record of these four new Advisory Board members is sufficient to gain a good understanding of the immense potential value of their contribution to the project’s success.

Dr. Marcel van Berlo

Dr. Marcel van Berlo is a senior project manager at TNO, a leading applied scientific research organization in the Netherlands. Dr. Berlo has over 25 years of experience in the field of human factors and security, and his main focus is on crisis management and disaster risk reduction.

Since 2017, Dr. Berlo has served as Technical Coordinator of the European research project DRIVER+. DRIVER+ is a leading EU effort to adapt innovative solutions to crisis management challenges posed by natural disasters and terrorist threats.

His professional background and experience are thus of evident relevance to ResponDrone’s mission statement of enabling “emergency response teams to respond more rapidly, effectively and efficiently to an emergency or disaster and therefore save more lives”.

Uwe Kippnich, the Coordinator of Security Research and Applied Telematics at the Bavarian Red Cross Headquarters.

Uwe Kippnich is the Coordinator of Security Research and Applied Telematics at the Bavarian Red Cross Headquarters. A professional paramedic, who combines “hands-on” expertise with his research experience, and a senior trained expert for the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, Mr. Kippnich heads the Bavarian Red Cross research activities and is actively involved in several research projects of the EU’s research and innovation funding programs, Horizon 2020 (H2020) and its predecessor FP7. 

His rich experience is evidently pertinent to the ResponDrone project, and above all his ongoing activity in setting up new communication systems in the field of rescue services, such as real-time medical data transfer (from the scene of the incident to the hospital). Mr. Kippnich has been involved as Team Leader in national and international missions and has more than 15 years of experience working with drones in the field; he also creates protocols to use drones in combination with command centres for onsite assessment.

Professor Donald Harris, Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Human Factors in the Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing at Coventry University. Professor Donald Harris is Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Human Factors in the Faculty of Engineering, Environment and Computing at Coventry University. He has over 30 years of experience in Human Factors in the Aerospace, Automotive and Defence Industries.

Professor Harris is currently engaged in research related to the design and certification of flight deck interfaces and is working on innovative aircraft concepts with a variety of leading consortia including GE; BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.

Don was a member of the FAA/EASA Human Factors Certification Working Group that developed the Human Factors certification rules for civil aircraft flight decks and was an accident investigator attached to the UK Army Air Corps.  In addition, Professor Harris currently serves as an advisor to the UK Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI).

Dr. Federico Carvajal, an expert in the field of telecommunications with a PhD from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.

Dr. Federico Carvajal is an expert in the field of telecommunications with a PhD from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Dr. Carvajal currently works as a senior researcher and project manager in the Distributed Real-Time Systems Lab, and he boasts rich experience in both the implementation and management of some 20 European projects throughout his career.

He currently serves as technical coordinator of the H2020 SAURON and ASSISTANCE projects. ASSISTANCE is an EU project designed to address the issue of technology for first responders by providing novel situational awareness platforms, and thus Dr. Carvajal’s related activity clearly touches on key aspects of importance for ResponDrone. In addition, he has broad experience in command and control systems, tactical communications and cyber-security activities.

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