who we are

Aurora Aerial is a Canadian custom drone manufacturing solution that develops hardware and software technology.  Our drone system reliably carries the heaviest time-sensitive payload the furthest distance in the industry, resulting in reduced costs and a better delivery experience.

Aurora was founded by Alan Tay and Fredrick Petrie in 2018 – entrepreneurs who have a combined 50+ years spending their careers in the aviation industry.

 

We believe in the power of collaborative innovation.  Because this technology is rapidly emerging, it is invaluable for businesses, researchers, regulators and innovators to come together.  Aurora Aerial’s network of trailblazers are sharing their insights so that together we can build an incredible future.

            Alan Tay, CEO

 

From the start, we’ve strived to work with brilliant minds across a variety of industries so that we could lead in the research and development of breakthrough drone system technology.  We continue to expand our network through partnerships and collaborations with academic research institutions and Advanced Air Mobility ecosystems, as well as with other companies that are working to create a stronger value chain in drone system operations.  Together, we develop sustainable niche competitive advantages to meet tomorrow’s challenges today.

Our Team

Advisors

Peter Wallis

Advisor

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President and CEO of Peter Wallis Consulting Limited specializing in advice on transportation policy and economic development in the fields of transportation, supply chain and logistics. Peter is one of our leading advisors. Expert in transportation policy and economic development, Peter is recognized as a catalyst for his contribution to transportation, supply chain and logistics in Canada. Working with industry and the academe at the post-secondary level, Mr. Wallis built the Van Horne Institute from this concept. His career expands all over Canada, including his senior positions at Canadian Airlines and in Ottawa as Legal Counsel for the Canadian Transport Commission and Executive Assistant to two federal Ministers of Transport. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall and a Master of Laws from the University of London (England). Mr. Wallis is also a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and is the past President of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Recently retired from the role of Vice-Chair of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, Mr. Wallis has been awarded an honorary life membership by the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC).

Mark Aruja

Advisor

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Diverse experience in defence, government, industry and the not-for-profit sector spanning over 40 years, he is characterized by leading change. As Emeritus Chairman of Unmanned System Canada, he has championed and led transformative change over forty years in operational military flying and Command, defence procurement in the public and private sector, international policy development and not-for-profit organizations. He believes change is critical to the survival of nations, organizations and companies. Success, however, is reserved for those with inspired leadership willing to pave new roads. From his boyhood dreams of flying were fulfilled with an aviation career in the Canadian Armed Forces. In addition of being an engineering graduate of the Royal Military College and he has taken numerous courses over the years in aerospace systems, international security and in business management. He has created a number of defence space projects, including what would become Canada’s first operational defence space satellite, Sapphire. In his expertise background Mark finished his career by being selected to be the first Commandant of the Canadian Forces Experimentation Centre where he established the first experimentation program with UAVs, and the start of his engagement with Unmanned Systems Canada. Delivering on numerous programs crossing a range of technologies to the Canadian Forces and other government customers including the first fleet of UAVs procured by the CF.

Executives

Mohamed (Mo) Al-Borno ,MBA

Finance Lead

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Mo is a seasoned strategy and corporate finance advisor. As Aurora Aerial’s Finance Team Lead, he is an experienced principal with a proven history increasing the value of owner operated businesses. Looking only at Mo’s advanced degrees with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Strategy and Leadership from Queen’s University along with CFO, CPA, and CMA designations and an impressive financial industry experience. Mo has shown a great level of skill at strategic/business planning, financial modelling and implementation. Using a hands-on approach, he has successfully managed delivering high value results during critical transition points for close to a decade.

Alan Tay, MBA

Co-Founder | Executor | Strategizer

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Aviator, Entrepreneur, Achiever, three simple words to describe Alan. He is a bilingual Master postgraduate of Aviation Management Degree with over 20 years of aviation experience as ATPL Class 1 Instructor. His passion for aviation allowed him to develop the first online ground school in Canada in 2005 providing flexibility and convenience to fellow aviators to chase their dreams like he did. Ambitious and hard-working Alan’s industry responsibility ranges from commercialization of new product to developing an aviation business group. Aligned with his work, Alan is a supporter of Next Generation Aviation Professional and Women in STEM. Thriving on developing business relationships and readily identify opportunity for clients. When Alan has moments of down time he enjoys relaxing by a bonfire at home or outdoors.

Business Development

Ivanka Watkin, MBA

Business Development Analyst

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Ivanka’s sense of adventure has taken her around the world, then back home to Winnipeg to work as a business developer at Aurora Aerial. From teaching yoga, working at airshows, translating documents, teaching scuba diving, and being a rockstar, Ivanka has tried to live life to the fullest. Her first degree was an advanced bachelor of arts – Central and Eastern European Studies with a minor in Ukrainian. That was followed by her second bachelor’s degree, double major German and Russian. Nobody enjoyed their studies more than Ivanka, who often travelled to Europe to learn more. A few years later, Ivanka pursued a Master’s of Business Administration with concentrations in International and Emerging Markets, and Leadership and Organizations. Each of her degrees landed her on the dean’s honour roll. Today, Ivanka continues her passion for learning with Aurora Aerial, and is excited to take on her next challenge.

Innovation

Joe Zhao B.Sc

Technical Lead

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As one of the founding members of Aurora Aerial, Joe jumped at the chance to join the founding team when he found out about Aurora. With over a decade in software engineering, he currently manages every project in the company to improve efficiency and control development direction of the drone. Outside of his passion for UAV technology, Joe is an avid video gamer stemming from his nostalgia of the 80’s as it was the time to experience explosive tech and feel the change process throughout time. It is also his love for UAV as one of the futures for new technology development that makes working at his job, his favourite.

Steven Zhao MBA

Client Success

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Steven is an avid sports enthusiast, with interests ranging from soccer, table tennis, and badminton. If you called him a multi-tasking powerhouse, you wouldn’t be wrong – looking only at Steven’s advanced degrees with an MBA and a background in electronic engineering, it is no wonder that he found interest in drone solutions. From humble beginnings in the telecommunications industry, Steven found his passion for making fantastic UAVs in an industry with great growth prospects. Alongside camping and his favourite movie, the Shawshank Redemption, his favourite thing is finding problems and creating solutions to make the product better. He is leading the charge for providing the unique customer experience, which is the major focus of the company and also lacking in drone industry.

Andy Jiang EIT, BSc

Integration Engineer

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Recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, Andy joined the Aurora Team through his personal interest in drone technology. Fluent in both Mandarin and English, Andy enjoys hitting the slopes on the weekend with his snowboard only when he is not flying his personal first-person view mini drone. While he’s back in the office, you can see Andy working on simplifying the mechanical structure, reducing the cost of the winch solution for clients. His favourite aspect of his job is the freedom of creation where he is able to implement his own idea, combining with clients’ requests. Test the idea and improved to make better drone solutions.

Nick Playle, P.Eng

Aeronautical Lead

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From when He was a kid and got his first rocket for Christmas, Nick loved to work with anything related to aviation technology and that hobby transformed him into pursing his interest further when he decided to go to school. Collecting advanced degrees over the years including a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from McMaster University and a master’s degree in Aerospace Science and Engineering from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. No wonder Nick’s favourite thing about his job is seeing the UAV industry develop to have practical applications over the past decade. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it’s challenging and highly multidisciplinary, which keeps it interesting.

Rozita Sadeghi, B.Sc

Software Team

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Rozita is a beacon of positivity wherever she goes but has really brought the magic to Aurora where everyone who meets her greatly appreciates her cheerful, enthusiastic outlook. As a software developer it is very important to her that her job is in line with her education. In addition, she believes that this job has special features, such as being up to date with the latest technologies in the world, as well as challenging the mind in its various fields. Improving her knowledge and always willingness to learn new things, so this is the best part of her job. Keen on organization, if you called her a multi-tasking powerhouse, you wouldn’t be wrong – she balances both work and her many outside activities including a variety of sports in addition to squeezing time in to watch her favourite shows or spend time with family. Rozita is also multilingual in Farsi, English, and French, with always liking to be challenged to improve and contribute to the future lifestyle of people.

Kaiyue Lu, EIT BSc

Integration Team

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After graduating with his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba, Kaiyue led his career to Aurora through his part-time interest of as the mechanical session lead in the UMUAS team. Adding a great personality to the team dynamic with his current work on the drone solution’s smart winch system, made essentially for touchless drone delivery. Just as he enjoys hands on approach in his free time with cooking and reading, Kaiyue’s favorite part of being at Aurora is his chance to work on projects in real life, versus the “virtual” project setting. His dream is travel to Japan and enjoy relaxing in the plane watching his favourite the Terminator series.

Zijing Wan, BE

Integration Team

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Zijing Wan, a recently graduated mechanical engineering student, completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Manitoba.  Her passion for the aerospace industry and electromechanical technology led her to Aurora Aerial, where she participated in a coop term.  To continue pursuing her interests within the aviation industry, Wan stayed with the company as an integration engineer.  Currently, she is developing a Fault Hazard Assessment of the AAT-1200 ThunderBolt, as well as a configuration management system that will help the company create and maintain software, hardware, and document configuration.

Consultant

Fredrick Petrie

In-House Consultant

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Fredrick Petrie is one of the Co-Founders of Aurora Aerial Inc. He formally established and managed a cargo airline, growing from a single aircraft charter operation to four aircraft in scheduled services, while holding Accountable Executive’s designations, Person Responsible for Maintenance and Operations Manager. Acquired for marketing one of the first Light-Sport Aircraft, pioneering “sharing” in a club structure.  As an in-house consultant, he has managed a wide variety of transportation and aviation projects with national firms and independently.  Fred has served as a senior advisor for the Public Policy in transportation in both Transport Canada federally during the deregulation of air transport, as well as with the province of Manitoba during the restructuring of the Canadian Airline Industry and in northern transportation infrastructure. On the other side, revitalized the Manitoba Aviation Council for industry advocacy and promotion, working with national associations while organizing annual conferences and publishing a semi-annual magazine.  His love for aviation started with growing up on Air Force bases with a pilot father who received Wings and Commission as an Air Navigator Lieutenant serving in ASW. Fred’s career has focused on airlines and airports and a personal interest in flying as a pilot and aviation promoter.

Join Our Team

Junior Brand Marketing Team Member

Aurora Aerial is the Next Generation custom aerial solution provider with the vision to “Innovate solutions by integrating emerging technologies into aeronautics to empower clients in meeting tomorrow’s challenges”. Aurora was formed in 2018 by entrepreneurs with fifty plus years managing commercial aviation operations from flight schools and airports to a cargo airline. Our focus is on “Last Mile delivery”, a $30 Billion market. Operating Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) safely and reliably within complex urban environments with RF and EM interference presents communications and navigation challenges beyond the capability of today’s UAVs (drones). 

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This team member responsible for brand marketing to deliver campaigns and strategies.

Specific tasks will include:

  • Analysis of specific products standing in the global
  • Protect and grow the brand by aligning the brand guidelines, unique selling proposition and key messages across all sales and marketing materials, internally and externally
  • Develop a thorough understanding of Aurora Aerial current offerings and roadmap
  • Research and analyze new market/partnership opportunities and business strategies
  • Execute a brand marketing strategy that compliments the overarching goals and strategy of the business
  • Understand the competitive landscape and formulate execution plans that allow Aurora to flourish
  • Work collaboratively with the Engineering and Operations team to execute agreements/transactions/reporting and ensure all partnerships are compliant and meet outlined deliverables and metrics
  • Deliver marketing strategies, campaigns and documentation to generate partnership leads, including outbound calling to potential partners
  • Working with Editor in Chief for public relations strategy and engagement, including writing drafts and posting press releases
  • Build and oversee the company’s social media profiles and presence on all relevant social media platforms
  • Assist with all aspects of executing marketing events, trade shows, customer events, content and partner sessions

Required Qualifications/Experience:

  • Post-secondary education in Business or Marketing or Engineering would be an asset
  • 1-2 years’ experience working on a Marketing team for a High Technology or software company, preferably B2B based is considered an asset
  • Interest and understanding of drone industry or passion on aviation industry
  • Ability to champion new ideas and develop creative approaches
  • Must have the hustle and drive to take initiative and make things happen!
  • Legal to work in Canada
  • Microsoft Office proficiency

Desired Qualifications/Experience: 2 | P a g e

  • BS degree in engineering discipline
  • Experience with development utilizing ALL major Operating Systems (Windows, Linux, iOS)
  • Unmanned Systems/Autonomy (UAS/Drones, ground vehicles, underwater vehicles)
  • Experience in integration projects considered an asset
  • Familiarity with Global Aviation Regulations is considered as Asset
  • Familiarity with General Aviation Operation is considered as Asset
  • TC RPAS Pilot Certificate is considered as Asset

Job Types: Part-time, Full Time; Salary: DOE

Canadian & Canada PR is preferred. Language: Must be fluent in English

Benefits: Flexible schedule, Comprehensive Extended Health and Dental Benefits

Working days: Monday to Friday. 25-40 hr per week

Interested applicants, apply to HR@auroraaerial.aero  

Integration Software Specialist

Aurora Aerial is seeking a software engineer/programmer to 

  • Develop and integrate a real-time system of systems for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) fault recovery & isolation and health monitoring 
  • Develop and integrate on-edge sensing and computing devices into UAS

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Responsibilities

  • Work with every aspect of unmanned aircraft system; the hardware, the firmware, the software, the peripherals and sensors
  • Develop and integrate on-edge sensing and computing devices into UAS
  • Develop and integrate automation safety program into UAS
  • Reverse-engineer medium to complex electronic boards, modules and systems with the goal of developing improved test capability
  • Configuration of complex wireless communication systems
  • Solve problems by crafting software solutions using maintainable, testable and modular code
  • Collaborate within a team by participating in code reviews and architecture discussions
  • Write robust, testable code, along with unit, functional, acceptance and/or user tests to validate every change

Required Skills and Knowledge

  • Proficiency in C/C++ and Python
  • Experience with UAV autopilot is an asset
  • Working knowledge of electronics is an asset
  • Experience working with edge-computing frameworks like, Greengrass preferred
  • A strong foundation in programming fundamentals, design patterns, object-oriented design principles, unit testing and modern version control flows
  • Functional understanding of networking protocols such as TCP/IP and HTTP.
  • Functional understanding of serial protocols such as I2C, PWM and RS232.
  • Understanding of and capable of working in a continuous integration and continuous delivery environment
  • Have completed at least two courses related to design patterns, networking, operating system and object-oriented programming.

Required Professional Designation/Certification

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering or a related field preferred but not required.

Required Experience

  • 1-3 year Industry experience performing similar technical role preferred but not required.

Company Benefits

  • Job Types: Part-time, Full Time; Salary: DOE
  • Canadian & Canada PR is preferred. Language: Must be fluent in English
  • Benefits: Flexible schedule, Comprehensive Extended Health and Dental Benefits
  • Working days: Monday to Friday. 25-40 hr per week

Interested? Please email to HR@auroraaerial.aero

Remotely Piloted Aircraft System Integration Specialist

Systems development/integration engineer responsible for integration of commercial products relative to Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (Avionics) solutions. 

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Specific tasks will include: 

  • Analysis of specific products 
  • Integration planning 
  • Component integration (H/W and S/W) 
  • System testing 
  • Documentation (I/F, Use Case, Requirements, Tests, Analysis Reports) 

Required Qualifications/Experience: 

  • 1-5 years of experience in software/systems design, development, integration 
  • Familiarity with development utilizing ALL major Operating Systems (Windows, Linux, iOS) 
  • Experience in multiple programing languages/environments (C++, Matlab, etc.) 
  • Experience with integration of hardware components (physical/logical) 
  • Knowledge of standard I/F (USB, Ethernet, serial (UART), RC (PWM, etc.) 
  • Knowledge of various messaging format and experience with conversions 
  • API integration/development 
  • Knowledge of data / navigation solutions (GPS/GNSS, RTK, IMU, etc.) 
  • Legal to work in Canada 
  • Secret clearance or ability to obtain clearance 
  • Microsoft Office proficiency 

Desired Qualifications/Experience: 

  • BS degree in engineering discipline 
  • Experience with development utilizing ALL major Operating Systems (Windows, Linux, iOS) 
  • Unmanned Systems/Autonomy (UAS/Drones, ground vehicles, underwater vehicles) 
  • Software Defined Radios (SDR) 
  • Secure wireless communications 
  • Familiarity with Transport Canada Part 9 is considered as Asset 
  • Familiarity with Agile development 

Job Types: Part-time, Full Time; Salary: DOE 

Canadian & Canada PR is preferred. Language: Must be fluent in English 

Benefits: Flexible schedule, Comprehensive Extended Health and Dental Benefits 

Working days: Monday to Friday. 25-40 hr per week 

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Executives

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