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Dr. Owen McAree

Senior Research Fellow in Safety of Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the University of Sheffield

Owen McAree received a MEng in Aeronautical Engineering and a PhD in Autonomous Terminal Area Operations for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) from Loughborough University. His PhD study was sponsored by BAE Systems and received regular input from the long running ASTRAEA Programme focused on the safe integration of large UAS in to civilian airspace.

During his PhD and subsequent Research Associate position, he specialised in the design, development and testing of novel fixed and rotary wing UAS ranging from remotely piloted vehicles through to completely autonomous systems. His research aimed at enabling autonomous UAS to build high levels of Situation Awareness in order to inform safe and robust decision making. In 2012, he was awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society Unmanned Aerial Systems Innovation Award for this unique approach to autonomous decision making.

Since 2014, Owen has worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield as part of the interdisciplinary Sheffield Robotics group. He is involved in an EPSRC project entitled ‘Verifiable Autonomy’ which aims to provide techniques for proving the safety, reliability and robustness of a wide range autonomous vehicles, from driverless cars to UAS. His particular research interests focuses on safely increasing the autonomy of small UAS to increase the capabilities of the system to situations such as beyond visual line of sight and single pilot/multiple vehicle operations.

Owen is a qualified private pilot and enjoys the diverse challenges associated with aerobatics and instrument flying. This hobby has given him a unique insight in to both the regulatory and operational constraints which exist for UAS, allowing him to focus his research on the most critical aspects.

Find out more about Sheffield Robotics by visiting www.sheffieldrobotics.ac.uk

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