Organization: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International
- Oriol Lopez, MSF
- Pedro Matabuena, System Engineer & Professor of UAV Systems
- Caroline Gevaert, University of Twente / Faculty ITC
- Leveni Aho, Director, National Emergency Management Office, Tonga
- Michael Scheibenreif, UNICEF
Friday, May 18, 9:00 – 10:45
Read the story behind the session:
Off-the-shelf Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are becoming increasingly reliable, affordable, and automated. They can provide invaluable support throughout the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) cycle of risk assessment: analyzing the ex-ante situation through disaster risk mapping, streaming images in near real-time to guide disaster response teams, delivering precious cargo to support relief efforts and informing post-damage assessment to prepare for the future. However, we must also consider issues with the regulatory challenges, operational workflows, data processing, results analysis, and capacity building. This session will bring experts and end users of this emerging practice area from Africa, East Asia and Pacific, Latin America and globally to share successful, innovative use cases. A series of experts will present inspiring case studies demonstrating how UAVs have supported DRM, which challenges they faced and how they overcame them. A final practical session will summarize the do’s and don’ts of assessing risks, managing data, and getting involved in the future of UAVs for DRM.
Oriol Lopez (Médecins Sans Frontières) – Session Lead
Oriol Lopez is a engineer specialized in humanitarian context and robotics, he spent the last 3 years based in Japan as an R&D specialist for Doctors Without Borders(MSF). Still in collaboration, he is in charge of implementing a drone network to transporting medical items in outreach areas.
Oriol started with MSF as field logistician in 2009, he has completed technical and logistics work in more than 20 countries. Between missions, he honed his skills designing, programming, and building robots and drones. He’s also worked designing 3D printed prosthetics, and implemented renewable energy and shelter solutions for displaced populations. Looking for operational and affordable cargo UAV solutions with WeRobotics, he designed and built different UAVs, including an electric fixed wing optimized for cargo that was tested in the Peruvian Amazonas achieving a range of more than 120km. Looking for the best operational and sustainable solutions of UAVs in humanitarian contexts, collaborates with WeRobotics to deliver medical materials and carry back samples from outreach locations.
Michael Scheibenreif (UNICEF)
Michael Scheibenreif manages the world’s first humanitarian drone testing corridor as UNICEF’s Drone Corridor Lead in Malawi. While previously working on ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Traffic Management Systems’ and drone regulation with Austro Control, the EU and Eurocontrol, he figured that having your new pair of sneakers delivered by a drone in 20 minutes should by no means be their only valid use case – and thus joined UNICEF. Michael has previously worked with NGOs, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the OSCE and the UN; he holds three Master Degrees and a PhD in ‘organizational development of international public sector organizations’.
Leveni Aho (Director, National Emergency Management Office, Tonga)
Leveni Aho has been the Director of the National Emergency Management Office for Tonga since 2012, and has served as an architect, then also Deputy Director for the Tongan Ministry of Works since 1994. He holds degrees in Architecture and Architectural management from The University of Nottingham, England, the Auckland Technical Institute, and the University of New South Wales in Australia. Mr. Aho has been an active member of The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) since 1996, UNDAC is part of the international emergency response system for sudden-onset emergencies. He has deployed to emergencies in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and the Cook islands in this capacity.
Caroline Gevaert (University of Twente / Faculty ITC)
Caroline Gevaert is an academic researcher who has spent the last four years investigating the use of drones for mapping deprived areas. After two Master degrees, she took her expertise to the field (with a drone in hand) in 2015 to collect images to support of urban upgrading projects in Kigali, Rwanda. Her interests lie in connecting state-of-the-art artificial intelligence for image interpretation with local knowledge. Current activities include collaboration with the Ramani Huria participatory mapping project to address flood vulnerability in Dar es Salaam, adapting cutting-edge machine learning algorithms to map slums, and addressing the practical bottlenecks of large-scale drone projects.
Pedro Matabuena, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México
Pedro Matabuena is a System Engineer and Professor of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and an external researcher at the Stanford School of Medicine. He is also a consultant of UAS/Drones and Founder of Aidronix. He is passionate about developing and using drones to help society and nature. For example, he is developing long range drones to deliver health care to marginalized regions and locate endangered species.