Aerolab Supporting Students and Young Professionals Transition Into the GIS and Remote Sensing Industries

Aerolab's Commitment to Supporting Students and Young Professionals
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From our founding, me and others at Aerolab strongly believe in supporting students and young professionals where we can and in the last few months we have continued in providing support and opportunities to those looking to enter or want more experience in the industry. Aerolab is funded on the backbone of some pretty niche spatial data analytics and remote sensing which allows us to apply our technology and drones as effectively as possible. Thus, being able to help bridge the gap between education and the industry, especially in GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and Remote Sensing is key in order to nurture our next generation of young industry professionals. 

Wrapping up from last year, Aerolab provided two internships to Auckland University of Technology students as part of their postgraduate program where participating in an internship was offered as an alternative to taking your traditional papers. Even with the Covid-19 setbacks, our interns were able to make the most of their time. One of our students helped with spatial data verification and made spatial comparisons between our machine and humans in our Tatau project. The other built a useful GIS tool to help a client provide accurate quotes for roof spraying without the need for boots on the ground measurements every time. Both our students agreed that actual industry experience is extremely valuable to them as soon to the graduates. The two students then were able to take back and share their newfound knowledge and skills with their fellow peers at the post internship mini conference.


Internships isn't the only way we can help our up and coming. Last month, Aerolab was a sponsor for the Emerging Spatial Professionals' annual conference held in Auckland. Emerging Spatial Professionals targets students and young professionals looking to join or have just entered the GIS and Remote Sensing realm and their annual conference gives networking opportunity and a space to learn from those more experienced and willing to pass down their wisdom. This year, the conference had some awesome speakers giving valuable industry knowledge as well as tips on how to start your career in GIS. Opportunities were also given to students and those starting out; sharing some of the cool projects they have worked on and also their own experiences and struggles going from the classroom and into the workspace. Aerolab was proud to have been given this opportunity to sponsor such an awesome event and making it possible. We definitely hope we can do it again next time.

This year, we also had an awesome summer intern Aman who is a final year engineering honors student at the University of Auckland. Aman got in touch wanting some experience and hours in software development so we asked him to brush up on his R analytics and coding skills and got him onboard with our Tatau project for carbon and forestry management. Aman did some amazing work and together with the team was able to deliver an awesome automated program that does some really funky forest analysis using LiDAR imagery. We have just recently heard from Aman that he is finishing his degree and will soon be starting his professional career in Engineering with Honeywell.

So that has been some of the things Aerolab has been up too in this space in the last few months. Despite being a small company, I am glad that we have been a part of providing these opportunities to others. Being only grabbed out of the university system myself and chucked into the deep end a couple years ago, I understand some of the challenges students face in such a competitive environment today not only in GIS and Remote Sensing. Aerolab will be committed to continue to provide support in the future and hope to especially grow this part of our identity as we continue to grow ourselves.