About Us

About Andrew Heaton:

Andrew obtained his BSc degree in Aerospace Technology and Management from the University of Hertfordshire in 2009. He also spent his second year on exchange at West Virginia University, the United States.

  • In his final year, he was part of the University of Hertfordshire’s UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems Team) Team.
  • In 2010, he received a MSc in Aerospace Engineering at Brunel University.
  • In 2014, he received a Ph.D. in Integrated Vehicle Health Management from Cranfield University.

He worked with BAE Systems as part of an EPSRC Industrial CASE Scholarship. He was awarded the Royal Aeronautical Society UAS Group Innovation Award in 2012 during his Ph.D. studies.

In 2014, he joined the University of Central Lancashire’s Civic Drone Centre to study the legal, moral, and policy implications of the growing use of civilian drones, as well as the push for laws and regulations to regulate their use.

He is a member of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s Drone Industry Action Group.

What can we do?

The Civic Drone Centre’s work spans three distinct strands. It examines drone engineering and software development for civilian drone applications, primarily in search-and-rescue scenarios, journalism, media, and humanitarian work.

Our mandate is to:

  • Encourage drones for civil and civic purposes.
  • Discuss ethical and moral concerns surrounding drone use.
  • Encourage interdisciplinarity in digital development and collaboration across academic institutions.
  • Encourage and support small businesses whose core activities are beneficial to the larger UAV and remote piloted vehicle community.

Why do we do it?

Fair and accurate to say that we do what is best for us because we love it. Drones can be used to support civilian purposes rather than military.

Drones offer practical and realistic solutions for business and third-sector operations, according to us. Additional sensors, including thermal, IR, and HD cameras, can be mounted directly to drones and offer exciting possibilities.

These include search and rescue, television production, wildlife conservation, and humanitarian aid under challenging circumstances.

These are becoming more affordable and can capture aerial photos at a fraction of the cost. Because they are smaller, you have more access to a wider range of locations. Our technology is focused on inclusive UX development, mass-market penetration, and other areas.

We are also eager to collaborate with the vibrant maker community, exploring UAV possibilities in an open and accessible manner.