Dan Hesselius has been the Director of Flight Operations since 2016. He is a native of Boulder and has been flying radio control aircraft (drones) since he was 8 years old, winning 5 US national championships. He is an Airline Transport Pilot, Certified Flight Instructor, and former Air Force pilot with experience in flight test and has served in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanastan. He has also worked with the NTSB on numerous accident investigations. Dan enjoys teaching new UAS pilots the many ways drones can open up new possibilities in their studies, research, and work here at CU Boulder.
Aidan Sesnic has worked for the Flight Operations department since July 2019. Prior to that, he worked for the IRISS (Integrated Remote and In-Situ Sensing) laboratory at CU which afforded an opportunity to participate in atmospheric research using UAS, such as flying an aircraft in a storm environment for severe weather research. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Aerospace Engineering from CU-Boulder in 2021, and is now working on a Master's Degree. Outside of work, he is an avid private pilot and also serves as the President of Boulder Aeromodelling Society. He is leaving the department in the summer of 2022 for an engineering position at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Emerson Beinhauer started working for the Flight Operations department back in January of 2020. He too is studying Aerospace Engineering at CU and expects to graduate May of 2022. Originally from Illinois, in high school Emerson found a passion for model aviation. Building close to 30 different types before attending CU he was excited to apply more engineering-based approaches to future UAS designs and explore clubs like Design Build Fly. As a manned aviation commercial pilot and flight instructor he is familiar with FAA regulations and operations in the national airspace system. Emerson really enjoys sharing and teaching aviation and is excited to be working for the department.
Emily Shindle was brought on to the team in Feburary 2022. She is studying Aerospace Engineering and expects to graduate May of 2024. Emily discovered a passion for rocketry in high school when she joined her school's model rocket club. Having built six different model rockets and competing in TARC nationals, she was ready to expand her knowledge to manned and unmanned aircraft. Emily hopes to get her manned pilots license in addition to her unmanned certification. Off the clock, Emily enjoys learning about the birth of our universe and the primordial histories of space.
Chase Rupprecht was brought on the team in the spring of 2022. He is a passionate sophomore Aerospace Engineer expected to graduate in May of 2024. Chase has always been a tinkerer, and pursues many personal projects. Recently he has had a passion for designing and testing experimental quadcopters. He hopes to continue to dive into engineering autonomous systems and maybe one day get his private pilot's license. Chase is also an avid teacher and is excited to get his Flight Instructor Certification and begin teaching ground school to spread his passion for aviation and get more pilots in the sky!