who we are

Aurora was founded by Alan Tay and Fredrick Petrie.

Alan and Fred are Aviators first, spending their careers across the span of the aviation industry. Both are pilots, Alan professional and Fred private. They love airplanes of all types of flying. But both first received their Wings from the RCAF Air Navigation School. “As Navigators, our mind set is to figure things out and how to get there, whether geographically or figuratively.”

They are also entrepreneurs, as leads or in a team, to take the next flight. We know first-hand the challenges of business and have learned from failures as well as our successes.

Our Team

Peter Wallis

Advisor

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President and CEO of Peter Wallis Consulting Limited specializing in advice on transportation policy and economic development in the fields of transportation, supply chain and logistics. Peter is one of our leading advisors. Expert in transportation policy and economic development, Peter is recognized as a catalyst for his contribution to transportation, supply chain and logistics in Canada. Working with industry and the academe at the post-secondary level, Mr. Wallis built the Van Horne Institute from this concept. His career expands all over Canada, including his senior positions at Canadian Airlines and in Ottawa as Legal Counsel for the Canadian Transport Commission and Executive Assistant to two federal Ministers of Transport. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall and a Master of Laws from the University of London (England). Mr. Wallis is also a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and is the past President of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. Recently retired from the role of Vice-Chair of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, Mr. Wallis has been awarded an honorary life membership by the Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC).

Mark Aruja

Advisor

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Diverse experience in defence, government, industry and the not-for-profit sector spanning over 40 years, he is characterized by leading change. As Emeritus Chairman of Unmanned System Canada, he has championed and led transformative change over forty years in operational military flying and Command, defence procurement in the public and private sector, international policy development and not-for-profit organizations. He believes change is critical to the survival of nations, organizations and companies. Success, however, is reserved for those with inspired leadership willing to pave new roads. From his boyhood dreams of flying were fulfilled with an aviation career in the Canadian Armed Forces. In addition of being an engineering graduate of the Royal Military College and he has taken numerous courses over the years in aerospace systems, international security and in business management. He has created a number of defence space projects, including what would become Canada’s first operational defence space satellite, Sapphire. In his expertise background Mark finished his career by being selected to be the first Commandant of the Canadian Forces Experimentation Centre where he established the first experimentation program with UAVs, and the start of his engagement with Unmanned Systems Canada. Delivering on numerous programs crossing a range of technologies to the Canadian Forces and other government customers including the first fleet of UAVs procured by the CF.

Tom Lam

Advisor

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Storyteller, and success driven Tom is a high-tech serial entrepreneur who had the venture into Silicon Valley and came out with multiple success experiences. Tom has worked in conjunction with major networks and company’s such as Netflix, producing Scapemasters, as well as CityTV with his reality show Property Showdown. With a collection of successful advertising and marketing campaigns behind his belt, Tom is a positive force to be reckoned with. As an advisor for digital marketing strategies with more than a decade of experience managing relationships and logistics for multiple companies, Tom is our top choice for our advisory panel. Some of his success includes advising marketing campaign for EXP Realty who continued to be a 750Million company; Successfully exit his High-tech start-up with a 7-digit buyout within 2 year; launched 2 global products and brand and launched marketing campaigns for a start-up brewery to be one of top Canada breweries. With an endorsed skill set of entrepreneurship, marketing and real estate alongside his educational attendance at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Tom offers the Aurora Aerial and clients creative strategies to help build the production and contributions to overall company growth.

Alan Tay, MBA

Co-Founder | Executor | Strategizer

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Aviator, Entrepreneur, Achiever, three simple words to describe Alan. He is a bilingual Master postgraduate of Aviation Management Degree with over 20 years of aviation experience as ATPL Class 1 Instructor. His passion for aviation allowed him to develop the first online ground school in Canada in 2005 providing flexibility and convenience to fellow aviators to chase their dreams like he did. Ambitious and hard-working Alan’s industry responsibility ranges from commercialization of new product to developing an aviation business group. Aligned with his work, Alan is a supporter of Next Generation Aviation Professional and Women in STEM. Thriving on developing business relationships and readily identify opportunity for clients. When Alan has moments of down time he enjoys relaxing by a bonfire at home or outdoors.

Mohamed (Mo) Al-Borno ,MBA

Finance Lead

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Mo is a seasoned strategy and corporate finance advisor. As Aurora Aerial’s Finance Team Lead, he is an experienced principal with a proven history increasing the value of owner operated businesses. Looking only at Mo’s advanced degrees with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Strategy and Leadership from Queen’s University along with CFO, CPA, and CMA designations and an impressive financial industry experience. Mo has shown a great level of skill at strategic/business planning, financial modelling and implementation. Using a hands-on approach, he has successfully managed delivering high value results during critical transition points for close to a decade.

Marty Fisher B.A

Marketing Lead

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Inherently curious about all things “marketing”. Marty’s passion for life-long learning has led to the discovery, creation and adoption of many technological advances in marketing technology. Whether it was building his first client website in 1998, or his first TikTok ad in 2020, he is always on the leading edge of what’s the next big thing. He has a natural ability to quickly find winning channels, SaaS platforms and technology for his clients. A father of 5 children, dedicated husband, PC gamer and passionate skier (snow and water), Marty is a graduate of the University of Guelph, faculty of Economics & Finance. He is owner and manager of Sherpa Marketing since 1996. Where he has grown Sherpa from a one-person shop, to its current state, a provider of full stack of marketing services for clients across North America (including fortune 500 businesses) and a staff of almost thirty talented employees. Marty is inherently curious about all things “marketing”. He brings “Big Idea” thinking, marketing intelligence, and business acumen to every customer interaction. With his 30 years of experience, Marty loves to invest in, and mentor young founders. Providing solutions that deliver measurable – and meaningfully positive value is not an objective that can be met without a strong commitment from the leadership of a company

Joe Zhao B.Sc

Technical Lead

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As one of the founding members of Aurora Aerial, Joe jumped at the chance to join the founding team when he found out about Aurora. With over a decade in software engineering, he currently manages every project in the company to improve efficiency and control development direction of the drone. Outside of his passion for UAV technology, Joe is an avid video gamer stemming from his nostalgia of the 80’s as it was the time to experience explosive tech and feel the change process throughout time. It is also his love for UAV as one of the futures for new technology development that makes working at his job, his favourite.

Steven Zhao MBA

Client Success

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Steven is an avid sports enthusiast, with interests ranging from soccer, table tennis, and badminton. If you called him a multi-tasking powerhouse, you wouldn’t be wrong – looking only at Steven’s advanced degrees with an MBA and a background in electronic engineering, it is no wonder that he found interest in drone solutions. From humble beginnings in the telecommunications industry, Steven found his passion for making fantastic UAVs in an industry with great growth prospects. Alongside camping and his favourite movie, the Shawshank Redemption, his favourite thing is finding problems and creating solutions to make the product better. He is leading the charge for providing the unique customer experience, which is the major focus of the company and also lacking in drone industry.

Nick Playle, P.Eng

Aeronautical Lead

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From when He was a kid and got his first rocket for Christmas, Nick loved to work with anything related to aviation technology and that hobby transformed him into pursing his interest further when he decided to go to school. Collecting advanced degrees over the years including a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from McMaster University and a master’s degree in Aerospace Science and Engineering from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. No wonder Nick’s favourite thing about his job is seeing the UAV industry develop to have practical applications over the past decade. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but it’s challenging and highly multidisciplinary, which keeps it interesting.

Adam Brown, EIT

Product Owner

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As a believer in the advancement of technology in an economically and ecologically sustainable manner. Adam’s role in the team is System Integration – Serving his interest in embedded systems, embedded Linux, and software. With his education background in B.Sc Electrical Engineering from the University of Manitoba, he believes that machine learning technologies will innovate with the most impact in many industries in the years to come. Allowing working with technology that has the potential for a large impact on the future to be his favourite thing about his job. On the weekends Adam enjoys getting outdoors and cross-country skiing in addition to making his favourite food, ratatouille.

Stephen Van de Keere, EIT

Scrum Master

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When He’s not spending time outdoors, biking or skating, Stephen is driving scrum and agile methodologies for drone solutions. Making sure the company is organized, while the teams are moving forward with completing work and ensuring tasks are protected. As a certified Scrum master ensuring safety of the UAVs in the air and getting teammates organized with flexible hours is his favourite thing about his job. As a people person, Stephen has brought loads of success to the team. He takes his personality wherever he goes, hopefully to Spain where he can hike the El Camino de Santiago and get his dual pilgrim stamp to match his Kumano Kodo stamp from Japan.

Rozita Sadeghi, B.Sc

Software Team

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Rozita is a beacon of positivity wherever she goes but has really brought the magic to Aurora where everyone who meets her greatly appreciates her cheerful, enthusiastic outlook. As a software developer it is very important to her that her job is in line with her education. In addition, she believes that this job has special features, such as being up to date with the latest technologies in the world, as well as challenging the mind in its various fields. Improving her knowledge and always willingness to learn new things, so this is the best part of her job. Keen on organization, if you called her a multi-tasking powerhouse, you wouldn’t be wrong – she balances both work and her many outside activities including a variety of sports in addition to squeezing time in to watch her favourite shows or spend time with family. Rozita is also multilingual in Farsi, English, and French, with always liking to be challenged to improve and contribute to the future lifestyle of people.

Kaiyue Lu, EIT

Integration Team

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After graduating with his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba, Kaiyue led his career to Aurora through his part-time interest of as the mechanical session lead in the UMUAS team. Adding a great personality to the team dynamic with his current work on the drone solution’s smart winch system, made essentially for touchless drone delivery. Just as he enjoys hands on approach in his free time with cooking and reading, Kaiyue’s favorite part of being at Aurora is his chance to work on projects in real life, versus the “virtual” project setting. His dream is travel to Japan and enjoy relaxing in the plane watching his favourite the Terminator series.

Fredrick Petrie

In-House Consultant

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Fredrick Petrie is one of the Co-Founders of Aurora Aerial Inc. He formally established and managed a cargo airline, growing from a single aircraft charter operation to four aircraft in scheduled services, while holding Accountable Executive’s designations, Person Responsible for Maintenance and Operations Manager. Acquired for marketing one of the first Light-Sport Aircraft, pioneering “sharing” in a club structure.  As an in-house consultant, he has managed a wide variety of transportation and aviation projects with national firms and independently.  Fred has served as a senior advisor for the Public Policy in transportation in both Transport Canada federally during the deregulation of air transport, as well as with the province of Manitoba during the restructuring of the Canadian Airline Industry and in northern transportation infrastructure. On the other side, revitalized the Manitoba Aviation Council for industry advocacy and promotion, working with national associations while organizing annual conferences and publishing a semi-annual magazine.  His love for aviation started with growing up on Air Force bases with a pilot father who received Wings and Commission as an Air Navigator Lieutenant serving in ASW. Fred’s career has focused on airlines and airports and a personal interest in flying as a pilot and aviation promoter.

Blane Cypurda, B.Sc

Integration Intern

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A former actor turned Systems Integration Intern; Blane is a man with many talents. He’s bilingual in French and English, a soccer enthusiast and a recent 90’s punk music fan. Outside of his passions, through his love for engineering, computers and solving hard problems, Blane is in charge of testing software on prototypes that have been recently assembled, by verifying the software on this prototype it will make it much closer to a production model of the device being tested. His experience in writing software has given him a wide set of tools for engineering embedded computing systems for drone solutions.

Thomas Sroga, EIT, B.Sc

Integration Intern

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Thomas has a positive, straightforward disposition. His passion for tinkering anything with electrical stuff and his education background in electric engineering from the University of Manitoba led him to the Aurora Aerial team. For Thomas, it is the company’s amazing flexibility and a great opportunity for an experience that allows him to work creatively with his interests. He has made a notable contribution to the company’s drone solutions, including the universal tracking gimbal. Outside work he enjoys relaxing at home, watching his favourite show on repeat and eating honey siracha wings- only when he is not powerlifting or planning his future trip to Europe.

Andy Jiang, EIT, B.Sc

Integration Intern

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A 5th-year civil engineering student, Andy joined the Aurora Team through his personal interest in drone technology. Fluent in both Mandarin and English, Andy enjoys hitting the slopes on the weekend with his snowboard only when he is not flying his personal first-person view mini drone. While he’s back in the office, you can see Andy working on simplifying the mechanical structure, reducing the cost of the winch solution for clients. His favourite aspect of his job is the freedom of creation where he is able to implement his own idea, combining with clients’ requests. Test the idea and improved to make better drone solutions.

Join Our Team

Junior Brand Marketing Team Member

Aurora Aerial is the Next Generation custom aerial solution provider with the vision to “Innovate solutions by integrating emerging technologies into aeronautics to empower clients in meeting tomorrow’s challenges”. Aurora was formed in 2018 by entrepreneurs with fifty plus years managing commercial aviation operations from flight schools and airports to a cargo airline. Our focus is on “Last Mile delivery”, a $30 Billion market. Operating Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) safely and reliably within complex urban environments with RF and EM interference presents communications and navigation challenges beyond the capability of today’s UAVs (drones). 

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This team member responsible for brand marketing to deliver campaigns and strategies.

Specific tasks will include:

  • Analysis of specific products standing in the global
  • Protect and grow the brand by aligning the brand guidelines, unique selling proposition and key messages across all sales and marketing materials, internally and externally
  • Develop a thorough understanding of Aurora Aerial current offerings and roadmap
  • Research and analyze new market/partnership opportunities and business strategies
  • Execute a brand marketing strategy that compliments the overarching goals and strategy of the business
  • Understand the competitive landscape and formulate execution plans that allow Aurora to flourish
  • Work collaboratively with the Engineering and Operations team to execute agreements/transactions/reporting and ensure all partnerships are compliant and meet outlined deliverables and metrics
  • Deliver marketing strategies, campaigns and documentation to generate partnership leads, including outbound calling to potential partners
  • Working with Editor in Chief for public relations strategy and engagement, including writing drafts and posting press releases
  • Build and oversee the company’s social media profiles and presence on all relevant social media platforms
  • Assist with all aspects of executing marketing events, trade shows, customer events, content and partner sessions

Required Qualifications/Experience:

  • Post-secondary education in Business or Marketing or Engineering would be an asset
  • 1-2 years’ experience working on a Marketing team for a High Technology or software company, preferably B2B based is considered an asset
  • Interest and understanding of drone industry or passion on aviation industry
  • Ability to champion new ideas and develop creative approaches
  • Must have the hustle and drive to take initiative and make things happen!
  • Legal to work in Canada
  • Microsoft Office proficiency

Desired Qualifications/Experience: 2 | P a g e

  • BS degree in engineering discipline
  • Experience with development utilizing ALL major Operating Systems (Windows, Linux, iOS)
  • Unmanned Systems/Autonomy (UAS/Drones, ground vehicles, underwater vehicles)
  • Experience in integration projects considered an asset
  • Familiarity with Global Aviation Regulations is considered as Asset
  • Familiarity with General Aviation Operation is considered as Asset
  • TC RPAS Pilot Certificate is considered as Asset

Job Types: Part-time, Full Time; Salary: DOE

Canadian & Canada PR is preferred. Language: Must be fluent in English

Benefits: Flexible schedule, Comprehensive Extended Health and Dental Benefits

Working days: Monday to Friday. 25-40 hr per week

Interested applicants, apply to HR@auroraaerial.aero  

Integration Software Engineer

Aurora Aerial is seeking a software engineer/programmer to 

  • Develop and integrate a real-time system of systems for Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) fault recovery & isolation and health monitoring 
  • Develop and integrate on-edge sensing and computing devices into UAS

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Responsibilities

  • Work with every aspect of unmanned aircraft system; the hardware, the firmware, the software, the peripherals and sensors
  • Develop and integrate on-edge sensing and computing devices into UAS
  • Develop and integrate automation safety program into UAS
  • Reverse-engineer medium to complex electronic boards, modules and systems with the goal of developing improved test capability
  • Configuration of complex wireless communication systems
  • Solve problems by crafting software solutions using maintainable, testable and modular code
  • Collaborate within a team by participating in code reviews and architecture discussions
  • Write robust, testable code, along with unit, functional, acceptance and/or user tests to validate every change

Required Skills and Knowledge

  • Proficiency in C/C++ and Python
  • Experience with UAV autopilot is an asset
  • Working knowledge of electronics is an asset
  • Experience working with edge-computing frameworks like, Greengrass preferred
  • A strong foundation in programming fundamentals, design patterns, object-oriented design principles, unit testing and modern version control flows
  • Functional understanding of networking protocols such as TCP/IP and HTTP.
  • Functional understanding of serial protocols such as I2C, PWM and RS232.
  • Understanding of and capable of working in a continuous integration and continuous delivery environment
  • Have completed at least two courses related to design patterns, networking, operating system and object-oriented programming.

Required Professional Designation/Certification

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering or a related field preferred but not required.

Required Experience

  • 1-3 year Industry experience performing similar technical role preferred but not required.

Company Benefits

  • Job Types: Part-time, Full Time; Salary: DOE
  • Canadian & Canada PR is preferred. Language: Must be fluent in English
  • Benefits: Flexible schedule, Comprehensive Extended Health and Dental Benefits
  • Working days: Monday to Friday. 25-40 hr per week

Interested? Please email to HR@auroraaerial.aero

Remotely Piloted Aircraft System Integration Engineer

Systems development/integration engineer responsible for integration of commercial products relative to Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (Avionics) solutions. 

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Specific tasks will include: 

  • Analysis of specific products 
  • Integration planning 
  • Component integration (H/W and S/W) 
  • System testing 
  • Documentation (I/F, Use Case, Requirements, Tests, Analysis Reports) 

Required Qualifications/Experience: 

  • 1-5 years of experience in software/systems design, development, integration 
  • Familiarity with development utilizing ALL major Operating Systems (Windows, Linux, iOS) 
  • Experience in multiple programing languages/environments (C++, Matlab, etc.) 
  • Experience with integration of hardware components (physical/logical) 
  • Knowledge of standard I/F (USB, Ethernet, serial (UART), RC (PWM, etc.) 
  • Knowledge of various messaging format and experience with conversions 
  • API integration/development 
  • Knowledge of data / navigation solutions (GPS/GNSS, RTK, IMU, etc.) 
  • Legal to work in Canada 
  • Secret clearance or ability to obtain clearance 
  • Microsoft Office proficiency 

Desired Qualifications/Experience: 

  • BS degree in engineering discipline 
  • Experience with development utilizing ALL major Operating Systems (Windows, Linux, iOS) 
  • Unmanned Systems/Autonomy (UAS/Drones, ground vehicles, underwater vehicles) 
  • Software Defined Radios (SDR) 
  • Secure wireless communications 
  • Familiarity with Transport Canada Part 9 is considered as Asset 
  • Familiarity with Agile development 

Job Types: Part-time, Full Time; Salary: DOE 

Canadian & Canada PR is preferred. Language: Must be fluent in English 

Benefits: Flexible schedule, Comprehensive Extended Health and Dental Benefits 

Working days: Monday to Friday. 25-40 hr per week 

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