Blue Bear is an agile SME employing approximately 30 people with skills encompassing avionics, software, aerodynamics, CAD modelling, avionics, flight operations (civil and military), flight control, flight clearance and acceptance, programme management, complex systems design, product certification and qualification. Led by CEO Dr Yoge Patel, Blue Bear personnel have amongst the widest experience of designing, developing and operating unmanned systems in the UK.
Dr Yoge Patel - Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Yoge is an authoritative and respected figure in the Aerospace industry with a passion for providing cost-effective, discriminatory solutions to military and commercial sectors of the Unmanned Systems and Autonomy markets. Yoge has over 25+ years’ experience of bidding and delivery of high risk innovations, manned and unmanned in partnership with multi-disciplinary, multi-national teams across industry and academia.
Yoge is also a technical specialist in flight clearance, departure prediction, system modelling and simulation. Passionate about her subject, Yoge is regularly called upon to present at industry conferences and workshops and pertinent to this forum, she sits on The Autonomous Systems NTC, The Defence Growth Partnership and the EUROCAE Working Group 93 ‘Lightweight RPAS’. The latter is defining all aspects of light UAS from type classification, airworthiness to training.
At QinetiQ she led pan-site (Bedford, Boscombe, Farnborough and Malvern) Fast Jet and UAS programmes. Her latter roles in QinetiQ included Acceptance Authority for the Typhoon Flight Control System, liaison with the Technical Director at Boscombe Down on improved airworthiness and flight clearance processes for the Release-To-Service of stores carriage and release, Lead on ‘Flight Clearance of Autonomous UAVs’ and the QinetiQ Innovation Committee for the down-select of IRAD projects. In 2006, still a techie at heart, Yoge left as a QinetiQ Fellow in Flight Control and Technical Manager to lead Blue Bear, in Bedfordshire.
Dr Ian Cowling – Technical Director
Ian is the Programmes and Technical Director for Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd, responsible for our Technology Strategy across all domains and the delivery of our core programmes. Ian has an in-depth technical knowledge of the underpinning technologies resident within Blue Bear, having been in the R&D and D&D streams in his 6 years with the company, and having nurtured the technologies to their current maturity. He was primarily responsible for the US LEMV Programme delivery, a $517M US DoD project for a large lighter-than-air, optionally manned platform which first flew in 2012 and for which Ian led the engineering effort at Blue Bear to get this platform flying.
Ian's experience of R&D projects is extensive, particularly in flight control algorithms and flight clearance, having previously completed his PhD in flight control of autonomous and unmanned air vehicles at Cranfield University.
Gavin Goudie - Operations Director
Gavin is the Operations Director at Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd. responsible for project management, flight trial lead and regulatory body liaison including the CAA. He has a broad range of experience in technology research and engineering projects, within both civil and defence and has extensive experience of UAV flights trials being a regular hands-on practitioner of UAV flight trials for Blue Bear. With over 2000 hrs gained in 20 years of flying gliders and single engine aircraft, Gavin has in-depth knowledge of general aviation, particularly the practicalities of airworthiness, flight trial planning, contingencies and execution.
Gavin is also responsible for management and delivery of a number of civil and military UAS projects dealing with fast paced turnaround of research and delivery of flight trials and results. As Project Manager for the Accolade Carrier development, he has been immersed in the challenging TDP since its early conceptual design and de-risking stages. As a result he is keenly aware of the demanding requirements that an OBAD solution must provide to the end user and the trade space between the payload and its operational use. Prior to making the move to unmanned aviation Gavin was involved in the development of technology for use on remotely operated and automatic underwater vehicles.
Olwen Rees – HR & Office Manager
Olwen joined Blue Bear in July 2013 and manages the HR function including recruitment, employee relations and all HR systems and processes. She is also responsible for overseeing the smooth running of administrative functions across the business. Previously Olwen managed the HR processes and recruitment for Hybrid Air Vehicles, supporting the LEMV programme and growing the headcount by more than 500% in 8 months. Olwen is a part-qualified generalist with more than 10 years’ recent experience in Aerospace & Defence and has been an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development since 2012.