Ashley Hanson is the Unmanned Aviation Systems Manager for John Deere. In this role, she manages all the unmanned aircraft operations worldwide for the company. She is responsible for the development and implementation of training, procedures, and policies, acquisition of new UAV technology and use cases, main remote pilot for high-risk missions, and supervisor of assets and personnel using UAVs in their job function.
Prior to joining John Deere Global Aviation, Ashley worked as a product engineer in multiple roles, including product verification and validation, field research using UAVs, and User Experience Research at John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group. Before joining John Deere, Ashley was part of the flight test team for Amazon Prime Air. Ashley also has experience working in production agriculture with both livestock and crops.
Ashley received her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies with focuses in Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Business Administration, and Finance from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU)- Daytona Beach and a M.S. in Unmanned Systems with a concentration in Aviation / Aerospace Research and Design from ERAU- Worldwide. She is also an FAA-licensed Private Pilot with Instrument Rating and FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot. Ashley holds AUVSI Trusted Operator Program (TOP) levels 1, 2, and 3 certification and became the youngest and first female from Embry-Riddle to complete all three levels of certification. She also has a co-published research paper on the use of unmanned aircraft to create 3-D NDVI point clouds of HLB infected citrus trees.
Ashley is passionate about unmanned systems and hopes to one day help the growing epidemic of food and clothing shortages by implementing such technologies. She also enjoys promoting women in STEM fields, especially aviation and agriculture.
Outside of work, Ashley enjoys reading, lounging in a hammock, paddleboarding, woodworking, taking care of house plants, and cuddling her cats.