WISA Talks: Drones in Science & Industry

Wednesday, March 22, 2023 9:00 am - 10:30 am EDT (GMT -04:00)

The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA) is proud to present: WISA Talks, a webinar series where we bring together panels of academic, industry, and government leaders to dive deep into challenges facing aeronautics. By facilitating direct partnerships with industry, government, and academia WISA mobilizes the research and innovation capacity of all six faculties at the University of Waterloo to drive meaningful and lasting impact.

WISA Talks: Drones in Science & Industry, will discuss the significant opportunities and challenges of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAs), better known as drones. We will hear about the multiple applications of drones, such as remote sensing, thermal imaging, mapping, crop spraying, real estate, and infrastructure inspection, and more! We will also hear from our panelists on the challenges they have faced in the drone space and how they were able to overcome it. 

Join us on Wednesday, March 22 from 9:00AM - 10:30AM ET to learn more! If you can't make it, make sure to catch the replay on our YouTube channel. 

Dan Chaudhry


Partner, Sky Sight Inc.

Dan graduated from the University of Waterloo earning his BES in Geography & Aviation and his Diploma of Excellence in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He is a commercially licensed pilot and a Transport Canada Advanced RPAS Operator and Flight Reviewer. After graduation Dan co-founded Sky Sight Inc. with a group of like-minded UWaterloo graduates, which delivers professional services, media, and training solutions leveraging the latest RPAS and 3D modelling technologies.

Nat DeLorenzis


Partner, Sky Sight Inc.

Nat holds a BES in Geography with a specialization in Geomatics, from the University of Waterloo. She has previously worked at the Canadian Ice Service (ECCC) and Pelmorex. During this time, she specialized in creating workflows to manage spatial datasets in the remote sensing and GIS field. Nat is also a Transport Canada Advanced RPAS Operator. After graduation she co-founded Sky Sight Inc. with a group of like-minded UWaterloo graduates, which delivers professional services, media, and training solutions leveraging the latest RPAS and 3D modelling technologies.

Omar Dzinic


Drone and Geomatics Specialist, GHD

Omar Dzinic is an alumni of the Faculty of Environment where he graduated with a BES in Geomatics followed by a MSc in Geography and Enironmental Management. After graduating, Omar joined the Drones and Geomatics team at GHD where he pilots a number of RPAS technologies including 3D LiDAR, multispectral, thermal, and optical as a registered Advanced RPAS operator. Omar is also in charge of developing software for processing and analysing RPAS imagery through the use of machine learning and geographic information systems (GIS) for a wide range of clients across North America.

Adrian Rivard

adrian rivard

President and Operations Manager, Drone Spray Canada Inc. 

Adrian Rivard spent 15 years as a professional pilot, from single engine floatplanes to an Embraer 175 Captain.  He left the flight deck to come back to the family farm in Blenheim.  The combined background specialises in both the aviation and agriculture that makes Drone Spray experts in the field.

Ryan Rizzo

ryan rizzo

Chief Executive Officer, Terresky

My true passion is to push the envelope of discovery between the inherent creative potential of digital media technology and its relationship to data collection. I'm currently consulting with several drone technology companies and am a certified Transport Canada UAV pilot/Flight reviewer. With a focus on drone surveying for Municipalities, Infrastructure projects and environmental architecture. This lead to becoming a Trimble Certified Surveyor to help bridge the two technologies for more accurate measurements. Research and development of 3d mapping softwares and utilizing new sensors is also a direction I'm am exploring primarily for our construction partners and government agencies. As long as I can fly and collect data of sorts I will.

Brian VanSteelandt

Brian VanSteelandt

Business Development Manager, Drone Spray Canada Inc.

Brian VanSteelandt joined Drone Spray in the spring of 2023 as the Business Development Manager.  He brings 13 years in ag research and 13 years in ag retail across Canada to strengthen our core in agriculture.  He grew up on the family farm in Blyth, On, graduated Ridgetown Agricultural College and is now based out of St Marys.”

Derek Robinson (Moderator)


Associate Director, WISA

Associate Professor, Geography and Environmental Management

Derek completed his PhD in Terrestrial Ecosystem Management in 2009 at the University of Michigan and went on to be a post doctorate researcher at both the University of Michigan and the University of Edinburgh. He then joined the Department of Geography and Environmental Management in 2012 at the University of Waterloo with interests that lie at the center of land use, land management, and the carbon cycle.

To advance science in these areas of interests, Derek is currently using remotely piloted aircraft to remotely sense agriculture and urban areas using thermal, multi-spectral, and LiDAR sensors. Collected data are used for a variety of purposes that include: quantifying natural processes (e.g., erosion, carbon storage) at the scale of individual property parcels or agricultural fields; calibrate and validate models of natural processes; and among other interests, generate 3D immersive environments for visualization and knowledge transfer.