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Melanie Coen
Dole Institute of Politics
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Dole Institute’s new series highlights development, future of drones

Fri, 02/28/2014

LAWRENCE —The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas will launch the new Innovations Series this spring with the inaugural program being a two-part event on unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones. The Innovations Series will be an ongoing series at the Dole Institute that investigates the crossroads among science, technology and public policy.

The first program in the 2014 Innovations Series: Drones is titled “Unmanned Drones: Soldiers without Uniforms” and takes place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6. The second program is titled “Branching Out: Exploring New Uses for Drones” and will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 11. Both programs will take place at the Dole Institute of Politics.

“In the midst of controversy on the issue of unmanned aerial vehicles, I believe that we’ve brought together a truly remarkable group of individuals from multiple sides that will provide depth of information on issues ranging from ethics to entrepreneurship,” said Dole Institute director Bill Lacy. “We are excited to see where the Innovations Series will go from this already incredible launching point.”

Despite their more popular association with military procedures, drones have also proven effective in a wide range of extra-military affairs. The series’ programs will create a context for drones from their military beginnings and then move into a discussion on the applications of drones in everything from global security to disaster relief, search and rescue, environmental sciences, sports, film and agriculture. Additionally, issues of ethics, economics, public opinion and public policy will figure prominently in each program.

The series opener will feature Retired Naval Admiral Timothy Beard and Scott Winship, both currently of global security company Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, a provider of manned and unmanned aircraft systems. Beard and Winship will discuss the technological development, military history, future capabilities and ethics of drones. Winship is vice president of advanced air warfare development at Northrop Grumman. He has also worked for Lockheed Martin. Beard began at Northrop Grumman after a 34-year naval aviator career. Beard is responsible for advanced concept programs, among other projects. Both Winship and Beard have extensive experience designing, developing and implementing aviation solutions for clients, including the U.S. Armed Forces.

The second program in this spring’s series will feature Professor Kurt Barnhart, director for the Applied Aviation Research Center of Kansas State University; Shawn Keshmiri, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, and Bill Donovan of Pulse Aerospace. Barnhart is head of the aviation department at K-State and has experience with drones assisting homeland security responses to natural and man-made disasters. He has also worked with drone applications in agriculture. Keshmiri has led the guidance, navigation control tasks for unmanned aerial system platforms for environmental remote sensing of ice sheets in Antarctica. Keshmiri and his students have conducted more than 110 successful autonomous flights in Antarctica, Greenland and the United States. Donovan is the president and CEO of Pulse Aerospace, a Kansas-based company focused on the development of advanced unmanned helicopter systems. He has a master’s degree in aerospace engineering and has spent the past 10 years developing, fielding and distributing unmanned aircraft systems.

The 2014 Innovations Series is co-sponsored by the KU’s School of Engineering, Engineers without Borders and Engineering Student Council.



Matt Menzenski, a graduate student in Slavic languages & literatures, took this photo during President Obama’s speech at KU Thursday. Menzenski says he was struck by how relaxed the president was in his delivery. He missed a chance to hear former President Bill Clinton speak in his hometown in 2004, but finally got to see a sitting president this week at KU. “The opportunity to hear the president speak is just one of many great opportunities I've had at KU. So many interesting talks and events happen here all the time. I try to attend at least one a week-- it's never hard to find something interesting to go to.” Tags: University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences KU School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures KU Dept of Slavic Languages - Friends & Alumni Barack Obama The White House #exploreKU #POTUSatKU

#KUstudents , today is the last day to receive a 90% refund on a dropped class. #AcademicDeadline
Explore KU: The Bells of Mount Oread KU’s Campanile, a 120-foot-tall timepiece that tolls automatically on the hour and quarter-hour, not only sounded in the 2015 New Year at midnight with 12 mighty gongs, but also regularly rings up memories for many Jayhawks – the 277 faculty and students who gave their lives during World War II, the graduates who walk through its doors at commencement, and aspiring students who have strolled through the Lawrence campus. (See http://bit.ly/1xjjwJj). For nearly 60 years, KU’s 53-bell carillon has been tolling the sounds of peace and serenity across Mount Oread since it was installed in June 1955 inside the landmark World War II Memorial Campanile, which was dedicated in 1951. (See http://bit.ly/1BoL9jv) The carillon is also a four-octave musical instrument, which is played with a giant keyboard and foot pedals. University Carillonneur Elizabeth Egber-Berghout (http://bit.ly/14fiBPl), associate professor of carillon and organ, climbs 77 steps up a spiral staircase in the bell tower to perform recitals several times a month.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
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Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
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