Published on 28-Mar-22 at 14:11 | Last updated on 2-May-22 at 13:09

The modern aviation field has seen a lot of change since its beginning approximately 120 years ago. Advancements such as transatlantic flight and the development of avionics technologies and composite materials have changed how we think about aviation and how we envision its limits. Advanced aviation technologies such as remotely piloted aircraft systems (i.e., “drones”) and urban air mobility may be the next big shift in the aviation industry. While those with experience in aviation and STEM generally have a positive outlook towards advanced aviation technologies, the views of the general public are less understood. The objective of Dr. Tepylo’s work is to investigate how the public views emerging technologies such as drones and urban air mobility and to evaluate how their perception may be influenced by external sources of information such as the perceived risk-benefit ratio of a particular application or even how technologies are portrayed by the media. Their research team has generated a survey aiming to collect information on the Canadian public’s perception of new aviation technologies, particularly, their awareness, concerns, anticipated uses, and level of support.

On Friday, April 22nd, 2022, Dr. Tepylo’s talk presented the idea that public perception of technology is a greater barrier to overcome than the development of the technology itself and apply this idea to remotely piloted aircraft systems and urban air mobility. The key topics addressed are the perception of commercial aviation and flight behaviours, feelings toward autonomous technologies in different applications, evaluation of risk through different environmental and security factors, and lastly, an exploration of the transportation needs of members of the public and how they would plan to incorporate urban air mobility into their lives. Finally, a framework for disseminating survey results was presented.

Bio: Dr. Nick Tepylo is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University. He earned his PhD in 2021 from Carleton University and Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse (INSA-Toulouse) in France. Nick also holds a B.Eng. and M.A.Sc. from Carleton University and his research efforts are focused in the areas of design and societal integration of advanced aviation technologies, ice protection system development, coating design and evaluation, additive manufacturing technologies, and human factors engineering. Nick became interested in aviation at a young age which led him to obtain a pilot’s license and become an aviation instructor. He aspires to become a professor of aerospace engineering whose research will improve safety in the aviation industry. When Nick is not working, he likes to spend time outdoors enjoying running, cycling, and hiking.