Throughout January xyHt.com will feature the young geospatial professionals who are making a name for themselves in everything from surveying to geographic information systems. xyHt featured all of them in the January issue. Here we will spotlight one each day.
Name: Zach Shuman
Current Position: Aviation Program Director
Education: BS in Political Science, Florida State University, Magna Cum Laude
Biography: Zach started with Woolpert in 2018 as a survey technician, and within three years he had moved up two management positions and was recently promoted to Aviation Program Director. He now leads Woolpert’s federal and emerging technology research, specializing in unmanned aircraft systems and advanced air mobility. His passion for the intersection of aviation and geospatial technologies, his understanding of business development, and his ability to lead make him an immensely valued resource within Woolpert and its growing family of companies.
When Zach joined Woolpert, the firm was attempting to establish its UAS program. The technology the company had built up was remarkable, but its business development needed a lift. Zach understood the tremendous value UAS can bring to a wide range of clients, and he devised a strategy to bridge that gap.
On top of his regular work, he took on the task of writing proposals for UAS, winning several projects for Woolpert. Sales for UAS started at about $5,000 in 2018, doubled to $10,000 in 2019 and jumped to $4.5 million by 2020. Now Woolpert’s UAS division supports multimillion-dollar pursuits and has a dedicated team of over 25 people.
Zach, who works out of Woolpert’s Denver office, earned his remote pilot certificate from the FAA in 2018. He was the principal investigator on the recently published “Airport Response to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Threats” guidebook published by the National Safe Skies Alliance. He is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives, was a Woolpert Innovation Challenge finalist in 2020, was promoted to associate shareholder at Woolpert in 2021, and has completed more than 20 speaking engagements in the last year. These have included the AAAE Annual Conference, the FAA UAS Symposium, the FAA SMS Summit, the AAAE/Woolpert UAS Conference and the Vertical Flight Society Infrastructure Conference, among others.
Through his work with aviation organizations, Zach has placed Woolpert at the forefront in UAM, AAM and UAS technologies and applications and has built a stellar reputation as an industry leader in his own right.