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Fri, Jun 02, 2023

Utah Aeronautics Conference Selects 2023 Awardees

Inaugural Event to Showcase Utah’s Aviation Industry

Scheduled to be held 20 through 22 June 2023 at Layton, Utah’s Davis Conference Center and Provo, Utah’s Provo Municipal Airport (PVU), the Utah Aeronautics Conference will bring together upward of five-hundred aviation professionals, state and local officials, mechanics, engineers, planners, and industry leaders for purpose of improving safety networks, sharing best practices, and fostering collaboration throughout Utah’s aviation industry.

On 24 May 2024, members of the Utah Aeronautics Division made public the names of five awardees to be honored at a 22 June evening reception at the aforementioned Davis Conference Center.

Selected, one and all, in recognition of their contributions to Utah’s aviation industry, the awardees are:

Shalyn Drake, USU, Rookie of the Year: Shalyn Drake, who’s worked as a high school English teacher for over a decade, recently started a drone club at Utah’s Farmington High School. Despite having no previous experience in the aviation industry, Ms. Drake has introduced hundreds of students to the challenges and rewards of flight. Dubbed Rookie Fly Days, the drone club founded by Ms. Drake hosts hands-on flight events around the state of Utah. In addition to her academic endeavors, Ms. Drake is a Civil Air Patrol small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) Pilot and Instructor—a capacity in which she’s taught dozens of cadets and senior members to fly such contraptions. Ms. Drake has collaborated with over forty fellow educators, providing class presentations, teaching at an educator’s workshop, and chairing demonstrations devised to help teachers develop university-level aviation curricula.

Jeff Hansen, UBAA, Aviation Professional of the Year: Jeff Hansen possesses a comprehensive understanding of the private and corporate aviation sectors by which he endeavors to broaden Utah's aviation industry. Whether through the UBAA, mentorship, scholarships, or aviation education, Mr. Hansen gives back to Utah's communities, selflessly providing leadership or lending support to anyone compelled to reach out for such. Mr. Hansen has grown Aircraft Services Utah into one of the Beehive State’s premier Part 91 aircraft management companies.

Michael Duke, DBT Aero, Innovator of the Year: Michael Duke’s company, DBT Aero, is developing a six-seat autonomous aircraft capable of speeds up to six-times those of a conventional automobile while maintaining a fuel-burn similar to that of a Sports Utility Vehicle. The machine, which may be powered by electricity, hydrogen, or fossil aviation fuel, is intended to be the most efficient high-speed Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) platform yet developed.

Senator Wayne Harper, Utah Senate, Partner of the Year: Senator Wayne Harper has been at the forefront of Utah’s aeronautics-related legislation for the last twenty-years. The Senator has tirelessly advocated for the state’s aerospace sector, sponsoring and guiding numerous pro-aviation bills through the legislative process.

Andreas (Baron) Wesemann, Utah State University (USU), Gail Halvorsen Lifetime Achievement: Over a period of more than four-decades, Baron Wesemann has served in ten different Utah state Civil Air Patrol wings. Mr. Wesemann, whose aeronautical endeavors span a gamut ranging from Civil Air Patrol flying events to earning his Boy Scout Aviation Merit Badge, seeks in perpetuity to share the joys of aviation with Utah’s communities—the state’s youth in particular. Mr. Wesemann enlivens airport open-houses and school events by hosting hands-on STEM activities and aircraft presentations. The conspicuous usefulness of his work prompted the FAA to award Mr. Wesemann a $238,500 Federal Aviation Administration Workforce Development Grant to bring aviation to Utah’s rural communities. What’s more, Mr. Wesemann has alternately created and advised no fewer than eight USU aviation clubs supporting outreach events the likes of Oshkosh AirVenture trips and elementary school STEM events. To encourage young people to pursue aviation careers, Mr. Wesemann was awarded a STEM grant from the United States Air Force’s Hill Air Force Base.

Utah Aeronautics Conference attendees will be afforded opportunity to earn continuing education credits and certifications.

FMI: https://utahaero.com/agenda-2


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