Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



North Dakota College of Science in Wahpeton on 'cutting edge' of unmanned aircraft


WAHPETON, N.D. - New classes coming to the North Dakota State College of Science will put the college on the forefront of unmanned aerial vehicle training and education.

The college is partnering with industry experts to develop a workforce for the new and fast-growing industry.

NDSCS signed an agreement with Unmanned Applications Institute International (UAI) of Grand Forks, an industry-driven nonprofit devoted to research, testing and consulting.

The organization will work with NDSCS to develop curriculum and offer courses to train technicians who work in the UAV field.

NDSCS President John Richman said the partnership with UAI International puts the college on the cutting edge.


"This is an industry that we see just starting to be developed in North Dakota," Richman said.

Shane Goettle, the former state Department of Commerce director who is now state director for Sen. John Hoeven, said North Dakota is well positioned for the UAV industry.

A market study by the Teal Group says that public and private spending in the unmanned aerial vehicle industry will be $94 billion over the next decade.

"Even if we get a small slice of that, it could be very significant for North Dakota," Goettle said. "And we have everything in place."

NDSCS would be the only campus in the region to offer this type of UAV education.

"We have a lot of the components on campus right now that would help educate people in these fields," said Barbara Bang, dean of technologies and services division at NDSCS.

The courses are still being developed but could be offered as soon as this year at the Wahpeton campus.

In the future, the courses could be expanded to become a complete academic program, Bang said.


UAVs have many potential applications for agriculture, forestry, fire and rescue, and more, making it an innovative career field for many NDSCS students, said UAI founder Tom Kenville.

"I think it's very good vision on their part to get into this area," he said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590

What To Read Next
Get Local