Opening of American skies to drones topic at Rice’s Baker Institute March 25

MEDIA ADVISORY

David Ruth
713-348-6327
david@rice.edu

Jeff Falk
713-348-6775
jfalk@rice.edu

Opening of American skies to drones topic at Rice’s Baker Institute March 25

HOUSTON – (March 18, 2014) – John Villasenor, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, will discuss the future use of domestic unmanned aircraft, so-called drones, in the United States at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy March 25. This Baker Institute Technology, Society and Public Policy lecture is open to the public and is co-sponsored by the institute’s Center for Energy Studies and Rice’s Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology and Fondren Library.

In 2012, President Barack Obama signed into law an aviation bill that will open American skies to drones over the next several years.

Who: John Villasenor, nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor of electrical engineering and public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Chris Bronk, fellow in information technology at the Baker Institute and director of the Center for Energy Studies’ Program on Energy and Security, will present introductory remarks.

What: “Drones in the United States” lecture.

When: Tuesday, March 25, 4-6 p.m.

Where: Rice University, Baker Hall, Kelly International Conference Facility, 6100 Main St.

In 2012, President Barack Obama signed into law an aviation bill that will open American skies to drones over the next several years. Domestic unmanned aircraft have many uses that benefit society, including search and rescue, surveying, scientific research and wildfire detection and monitoring. However, they also raise a host of complex policy issues, according to event organizers.

In an interactive presentation, Villasenor will give an overview of unmanned aircraft technology and the current regulatory environment. He will also discuss some of the fundamental questions raised by the domestic use of drones, such as: What legal framework will protect the privacy of citizens when unmanned aircraft capture images from overhead? At what altitude does a property owner’s control over the airspace end and the government’s control start? What regulatory and technology solutions can ensure that manned and unmanned aircraft safely share the airspace?

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.

A live webcast will be available at http://bakerinstitute.org/webcasts.

For a map of Rice University’s campus, go to www.rice.edu/maps/maps.html.

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Related materials:

Villasenor bio: www.brookings.edu/experts/villasenorj

Bronk bio: https://bakerinstitute.org/experts/christopher-bronk

Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.

Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top 15 university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog.

About Jeff Falk