The Rod Walker Fund

The Rod Walker Memorial Endowment Fund was established in 2011 to recognise and support those individuals and organisations who undertake to advance the civil unmanned aircraft systems industry. Details on the fund, and the Rod Walker Award, can be found on the Australian Association for Unmanned Systems (AAUS) website.

Who Was Rod Walker?

Professor Rodney Walker

Professor Rodney Walker

The fund is named after Professor Rod Walker, a pioneer in civil unmanned aircraft systems. Professor Rod Walker was the founding director of the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA), co-founder of the UAV Challenge (Outback Rescue), founding Board Member of AUVS-Australia (the predecessor to AAUS), respected researcher and educator at Queensland University of Technology, and a passionate advocate for the civil unmanned aircraft systems industry. It was Rod's vision to see unmanned aircraft routinely benefit all Australians in applications such as search and rescue, bushfire fighting, emergency response, environmental and infrastructure management, and the provision of aerial services to rural communities. For more than a decade Rod led industry, government, and academia in addressing the many technical and regulatory challenges facing the realisation of his vision. Sadly Rod passed away before he could see his vision realised. However, he left behind the foundations for a viable and sustainable commercial unmanned aircraft systems industry.