Tiffin University launches Drone Academy


This is a press release from Tiffin University about a significant development for the institution, our community, region, state, and nation.


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March 18, 2022

Contact:  Deborah Roszman, Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications

Telephone:  419.448.3513       

Email: roszmandl@tiffin.edu

Tiffin University Launches Drone Academy

TIFFIN UNIVERSITY, Tiffin, OH — Tiffin University has announced the opening of its Drone Academy in response to the growing and expanding drone industry. The Academy has become a place of learning, research and achievement for the advancement of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones. Featuring academic classes, training seminars, community outreach programs, certification opportunities and recreational activities like Community Fly Days, the Drone Academy provides theoretical and applied learning for the technological and operational aspects of the industry.

According to Dr. Peter J. Holbrook, Tiffin University Provost and Chief Academic Officer, this development will be an advantage to students regardless of their chosen majors. “With almost every field of study offered at TU, drone technology is becoming central to the functions of various commercial industries, businesses, and governmental organizations. In short, drones are a transformative technology.”

The Academy has been designated to participate in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and allows the Academy and University to collaborate with the FAA, in order to provide aid to students pursuing a career in aviation. The designation also provides the opportunity to partner with industry professionals, local government officials, members of law enforcement and other organizations to provide enrolled students with the industry-skills needed to ensure success.

The University also has plans to establish a minor in UAS that will be available to all undergraduate seated students, regardless of their major. The minor will introduce UAS technology to students that can be utilized in many different professions. There will also be a new concentration in UAS for the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree that will offer students the ability to explore various UAS platforms and be able to master the concepts of programming for UAS Technologies.

Both the minor and concentration will introduce students to hands on drone flights in class as well as the knowledge to pass their Part 107 Remote Pilot License by the FAA. Students also will gain knowledge in python programming as well as advanced UAS flight platforms. Finally, students are taught the basics of videography and photography using drones.

Through the Drone Academy students can join the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) through the Tiffin University AMA University Model Aviation Student (UMASC) Chapter (in many cases at no charge to the student). This opportunity provides extensive resources, scholarships, grants and insurance for the students in Drone Academy.

The Academy is working with the Athletics Department to establish a Club Drone Racing Team, slated to be active in the fall 2022 semester.

“The Drone Academy will be a great addition to our programs at Tiffin University,” says Owen Fritz, Assistant Professor of Computer Science. “Current and potential students will gain a deeper knowledge of and appreciation for UAS technology. We are excited to have students enhance their credentials and pursue jobs in this line of work, as the industry will only expand in years to come. I am grateful to all of my colleagues who have helped make this a reality, but especially to Bruce Chambers and David Gierhart, two flight instructors who have proved instrumental in getting this project started. Additionally, I would like to thank Dr. Terry Sullivan, the academic dean at the helm of this project.”

The Drone Academy is to host the first Community Fly Day in May. The event will focus on teaching attendees the basics of drone operation before allowing them to experience piloting these aircrafts. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information email droneacademy@tiffin.edu.

Drone Industry Fast Facts:

  • 854,606 drones registered
  •  Businesses and the government have spent an estimated $13 billion on drones.
  • The drone industry is expected to grow at 15% CAGR (Continued Annual Growth Rate) over the next five years.
  • The number of jobs operating drones will reach 422,000 by the end of 2022.
  • Through the Ohio Department of Transportation's Research Program, a recent research project completed for the Ohio Department of Transportation's Ohio UAS Center by Crown Consulting Inc. concluded that Ohio could expect $13 billion economic impact over 25 years by investing in advanced autonomous aircraft sector.
  •  If Ohio acts to capture this emerging market, researchers concluded that Ohio could expect Advanced Air Mobility to contribute 15,000 new jobs, $2.5 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues and 1.6% GDP growth through 2045.
  • In the UAS industry there are several opportunities that exist. Employment opportunities for UAS that currently exist for students:
    • Public safety (fire/law/EMS)
      • Surveillance
      • Fire hot spots
      • Scene oversight
      • Search and rescue
    • Disaster relief
    • Order delivery and fulfillment
    • Commercial photography (real estate, weddings, etc.)
    • Commercial movie making
    • 3D Modeling (mapping, GIS, etc.)
    • Agriculture
    • Inspections (tower, bridges, power lines, windmills, cell phones, etc.)
    • Geological surveying
    • Wildlife monitoring



Founded in 1888, Tiffin University is a premier university located in north-central Ohio. The 145-acre campus in Tiffin, Ohio, is a blend of traditional historic and modern buildings, creating a vibrant and warm home for a culturally diverse educational community. Students of Tiffin University are challenged to enhance their global competencies for success in a diverse world. The University offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees all of which are designed to assist students in achieving their full potential after graduation. TU offers classes at several locations in Ohio, online and in the country of Romanian. Some of TU’s top programs, many of which are nationally recognized, include accounting, criminal justice, management, exercise science, homeland security and forensic psychology, to name a few. Throughout its history, TU has maintained its dedication to providing a professionally focused, learning-centered education to prepare students for successful careers and for productive and satisfying lives of excellence, leadership, and service. Tiffin University’s faculty offers a unique combination of practical application with scholarly knowledge. The TU approach to learning and skill set development insists on connecting students to the workplace as soon, and as often, as possible during their college experience through internships.

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