Meet NHADEC's Newest Board Member

November 1, 2017

Meet NHADEC’s Newest Board Member – Dr. Walter Rawle

Editor’s Note: NHADEC is pleased to announce that Dr. Walter Rawle has joined the NHADEC Board of Directors.  Dr. Rawle will be the Chair of the newly created Unmanned Systems Committee (USC).  Dr. Rawle answers a few questions below about his goal for the USC.  Also below is a brief biography.  Please join us in welcoming Dr. Rawle to the Board.  Dr. Rawle can be reached at


W.D. Rawle, PhD, is currently employed as the Director of Advanced Projects and Research for Ultra Electronics’ Flightline Systems out of Victor, NY. Dr. Rawle studied at Technical University of Nova Scotia and received his PhD at the University of Manitoba (1990). Previously, Dr. Rawle was employed as the Technology Leader at United Technologies Aerospace Systems (formerly Goodrich Corporation), Senior Avionics Research Engineer at GE Global Research, Technical Lead at GE Aviation Systems (formerly Smiths Aerospace), and Consulting Systems/Senior Staff Engineer at Ericsson. His work experience areas include avionics, conventional and trunked radio systems, flight and mission management systems for both manned and unmanned platforms, wireless networks, missile guidance, homeland security technologies, and satellite launch safety. Dr. Rawle holds three patents and has published numerous papers in trade journals and at technical conferences. Dr. Rawle currently serves as the Executive Committee Secretary for the IEEE Maine Section and as Deputy Technical Chairman for the Avionics and Systems technical committee, American Helicopter Society.

Q) What is the new NHADEC committee?

The Unmanned Systems Committee (USC) is the first industry specific committee organized in NHADEC. The vision and goals for the committee are threefold: 1) To serve as a government liaison for the NHADEC Unmanned Systems Committee members, promulgating the capabilities of the group to various US Government civilian and military organization; 2) To serve as a technical exchange forum where members can collaborate in and learn about new unmanned systems technologies, possibly pursuing joint business opportunities; and 3) To serve as a promotional organization for NHADEC USC members, organizing group booths at trade shows such as AAAA, AHS, AUSA, AUVSI, and Heli Expo.

Q) What is all the buzz about the unmanned system industry?

A fundamental global disruption is underway, created by the introduction of unmanned systems, both remotely piloted and autonomous. In global military operations, in all sectors – land, sea, and air- unmanned systems are deployed to execute “dull, dirty, and dangerous” missions. From AACUS, to Firescout, to Predator, to Shadow, unmanned systems are conducting reconnaissance, direct action, and logistics support. In the civilian space, Google cars, Amazon UAV local delivery service, and citizen science underwater remotely piloted vehicles dominate the news cycles. This disruption is fueling a revolutionary global economy and NHADEC USC is jumping in with both feet.

Q) How does this technology and industry tie in well with NHADEC?

The unmanned systems industry presents a phenomenal growth opportunity for NHADEC members. Contract manufacturers will have the opportunity to bid on programs involving the production of system payload, navigation, and control PCB’s and sub assemblies. Other NHADEC members will have opportunities to provide wiring harnesses and custom integration assemblies, especially for mid sized and larger vehicles. NHADEC members involved in the radio frequency system and component specialties will have opportunity to provide communications systems and integrated antennas for unmanned systems. And business service oriented NHADEC members will have opportunity to assist with new program management as opportunities are converted into programs.