As Dedrone's Solutions Engineer, can you tell us a bit more about your day-to-day activities? Does your job involve travel or how many aspects of the company do you work with?
Certainly! There’s lots of travel and that can involve site surveys, installations, calibration, maintenance, demos, events, training, and security missions. When I’m in the office, it’s meeting with clients and colleagues, doing project management for dozens of opportunities in various stages, conducting remote demos and training, supporting existing clients, creating documentation, and much more. I largely work with our sales, solutions, and support teams but also work closely with engineering, marketing, fulfillment, finance, and others.
You have been with Dedrone for a little while now! Can you tell us what attracted you to Dedrone initially? How do you feel about Dedrone now?
Indeed, I’ve spent four years in the counter UAS industry and the rest before that in Bay Area tech. As a self-proclaimed “hardcore technologist,” I was attracted to Dedrone by the quality of the products, the number of “boxes ticked”, and the engineering prowess involved in integrating everything so comprehensively. I feel that Dedrone has continued to improve and adopt new technologies, has grown in both size and capabilities, and demonstrates a practical attitude to tackling issues.
What do you like best about working at Dedrone?
I enjoy meeting and working with a wide variety of clients and industries that Dedrone serves. These include major enterprise clients, small and large airports, prisons, stadiums, energy, petrochemical, law enforcement, municipalities, universities, and more. Each has variations in the way they work, the type of site to be protected, and the nature of the issue faced. Variety is the spice of life, and it’s never a dull day!
What do you think is the most important element of airspace security that the organizations you work with don't always understand?
Detecting and dealing with drones is a challenging issue to solve. For example, many drones and pilots can be easily located with Drone ID or Remote ID, where others require RF (radio frequency) direction finding (or in rare cases, radar) to geolocate. Where using ground-truth from Drone ID or Remote ID is usually very accurate and offers additional information such as pilot position, using RF direction finding is more honest because it cannot be spoofed or hacked (unless there are RF ventriloquists that I’m unaware of! Yikes!). More importantly, RF direction finding locates drones that aren’t broadcasting their position (either purposely, or because they’re not required to, or out of ignorance). Explaining these nuances and setting realistic expectations is difficult in short periods of time. I’m a big fan of what the marketing team has done with our slides. They include visuals to explain the numerous layers we can employ to solve the issue, a scale that goes from Dedrone RF to solve the vast majority of threats; all the way up to cameras, radars, jammers, and more.
Clients should do their research and feel empowered to ask the tough questions, as I’m confident they’ll find that Dedrone has both the answers and solutions for their needs.
Can you share a bit more about what you enjoy in your free time?
As any family person can understand, I spend most of my time with my wife and two kids. I’ve begun playing piano again at a time when my children are also starting to learn, which makes me very proud. I’m also interested in Formula 1 racing, playing hockey, go-karts, cats (we have three), PC gaming, boating, photography, and travel.
May 26, 2023
May 26, 2023
About the author
Mary-Lou Smulders is the Chief Marketing Officer at Dedrone, where she leads Dedrone's global marketing and communications team.