Mr. John Minor is the Provost of Unmanned Vehicle University (UVU). Previously, he served on the UVU Board of Directors and as a UVU Regional Director for the Mountain West Region. As Provost, he is responsible for all aspects of the academic mission to include academic curricula and personnel, unmanned flight training/instruction, and unmanned systems research programs. Mr. Minor oversees the departmental efforts of the University’s three Deans: Dean of the School of Unmanned Systems Technology, Dean of the School of Flight Training, and Dean of Research Programs and Academic Affairs.
Prior to becoming Provost for Unmanned Vehicle University, Mr. Minor owned and operated American Eagle Aerospace LLC and was the Division Chief for the Air Force Sustainment Center’s Scientist and Engineer Strategic Workforce Management and Development Division, Ogden Air Logistics Center, Engineering Directorate, Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Prior to that, he served as the Chief of the Systems Engineering Division for Hill AFB.
Mr. Minor has over 36 years of professional experience and retired from the U.S. Department of the Air Force after serving over 27 years in both military and civilian capacities. He is an internationally recognized subject matter expert on airborne remote sensing, airborne sensors and systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and UAV systems, systems engineering, and flight test and evaluation. He is a highly decorated academic leader, instructor and lecturer. He is the former Technical Director of the USAF Test Pilot School. In this capacity he was responsible for executing a 50 semester hour graduate level program graduating 48 student test pilots and engineers a year with a Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering as well as overseeing a 4000 hour annual test flying training program. From 2006 to 2008, he led the efforts to get the USAF Test Pilot School academically recognized, accredited and approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for degree granting authority under USC Title 10, a first in the 63 year history of the military school.
During his career, Minor served on the technical staff of the Air Force Flight Test Center, the USAF Test Pilot School, the 46th Test Wing, Lockheed Martin, the Lockheed Skunk Works®, Loral, and Sverdrup Technology. He began his career with the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing as a sensor system specialist on the SR-71 and U-2 aircraft. Since, he has worked on a number of high-value military programs to include the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN), the F/A-18D (RC) Tactical Reconnaissance (TAC RECCE), the Advanced Tactical Air Reconnaissance System (ATARS), and the RQ-3A TIER III Minus (DarkStar) High Altitude, Low Observable, Endurance, Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV), as well as numerous other classified manned and unmanned system programs.
Mr. Minor accumulated over 1500 flying hours in over 30 different aircraft types, including 400+ hours in the RF-4C and 300+ hours in the F-16B/D. As a USAF Test Pilot School’s former Systems Master Instructor (1999-2003), he was responsible for developing a state of the art curricula and teaching sensors, weapons, systems, electronic warfare, directed energy, and unmanned systems theory, operations, and flight test to the next generation of USAF Test Pilots, Electronic Warfare Officers, and Flight Test Engineers. He has taught many short courses around the world for Society of Flight Test Engineers, the Association of Old Crows (AOC), Technology Training Corporation, and has lectured extensively throughout Europe to several Technical Universities and for the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS). Mr. Minor holds BSEE and MSEE degrees “with distinction” from the University of New Mexico under Air Force Institute of Technology sponsorship. He is an Air War College and USAF Test Pilot School graduate.
Mr. Minor has been honored with numerous awards and decorations to include: the Civilian Meritorious Service Medal, the 412th Test Wing’s Senior Leader of the Year Award, the Society of Flight Test Engineers Directors and Fellow Awards, the San Fernando Valley Engineers’ Council Distinguished Engineering Project Achievement Award, and the Engineers’ Council Distinguished Engineering Life Achievement Award for his educational contributions to the Edwards AFB engineering community. In 2010 he was honored to receive the “Kelly” Johnson Award for obtaining “Engineering Excellence” throughout his 35-year career by the Society of Flight Test Engineers. John received the Team Hill AFB “Spirit Award” in 2011 and in 2014 he was honored to be selected as the IEEE Senior Engineering Manager of the Year for Region 6, Utah and Idaho.
Mr Minor is a member of the following professional organizations: the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), Fellow of the Society of Flight Test Engineers, (SFTE), Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) , the International Test and Evaluation Association (ITEA) , Senior Member of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), the Air Force Association (AFA), and the Flight Test Historical Foundation. He was the President of the Society of Flight Test Engineers from 2004-2006. Mr. Minor also has been inducted to the following science and engineering honor societies: Eta Kappa Nu – The Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi – The Engineering Honor Society, and Kappa Mu Epsilon – the Mathematics Honor Society.
Lt Col (Ret) Fred Bivetto | Dean, School of Unmanned Technology
Lt .Col. (Ret) Frederick C. Bivetto joined Unmanned Vehicle University straight from the USAF Test Pilot School (TPS), where he served the Director of Curriculum Standards and Chief Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Test Pilot with responsibility for the development and maintenance of $37M, 1200 hour, Master of Science accredited flight test curricula with over 22 years of engineering, aviation and project management experience. In addition to managing the pilot, navigator/combat systems, officer and flight test engineer curricula, he was initial cadre for the development of the experimental Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)/Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) test pilot curriculum and the university’s first Chief UAV/RPA test pilot. Mr Bivetto holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s Degree in National Security, and is a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School, which is currently equivalent to a Master’s of Science degree in Flight Test Engineering.
Mr. Bivetto earned his commission in the United States Air Force 1992 through the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp. He began his Air Force career as an airborne Mission Commander and aeronautical engineer on the EC-135E / EC-18B Advanced Range Instrumentation Aircraft (ARIA). He led numerous missions to worldwide remote locations for Navy Trident ballistic missile re-entry tests, cruise missile chases and space launches (from DIRECTV to the SPACE SHUTTLE). Mr. Bivetto then went off to specialized and joint undergraduate navigator training, earning an academic excellence award and the wings of a weapon systems officer (WSO) and electronic warfare officer (EWO) flying the mighty B-1 “Bone”.
During his operational career he was the squadron Chief of Standardization/Evaluation, Flight Commander and Top Graduate of the B-1 Centralized Flight Instructor Course. Mr. Bivetto is a multiple combat veteran of Iraq’s OPERATION DESERT FOX and Afghanistan’s OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM with 240 combat flight hours and a tour with International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) as a trainer/mentor. While deployed for OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM he was selected for the prestigious USAF TPS special flying program and graduated with the Ellison Onizuka “Propwash” Award.
During his flight test career he was an Instructor Experimental Flight Test B-1 WSO/EWO, Airborne Laser (YAL-1A) Flight Commander, Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS/X-45) & Global Hawk (RQ-4A/B) Assistant Director of Operations, Operations Officer of a Presidentially-directed unit, Predator (MQ-1) & Reaper (MQ-9) Detachment Commander, Nellis Test and Training Range Squadron Commander and Operations Group Deputy Commander (Experimental Flight Test F-16 WSO & other classified systems).
Mr. Bivetto has accumulated an impressive and diverse series of firsts for the Air Force: first B-1 combat mission (OPERATION DESERT FOX), first B-1 combat mission for night one of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, first B-1 launch of the Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), Laser Weapon Officer for first integrated Airborne Laser systems test, first dual-qualified UAV/RPA test pilot (Global Hawk and Predator), flew first Navy Global Hawk cross-country and the first Predator Viper Strike munition test sortie. Lt. Colonel (Ret) Bivetto is a master aviator, UAV/RPA test pilot, FAA commercial, single/multi-engine (ASEL/AMEL), instrument rated pilot and CFI-A with over 2,500 flight hours in 30 different aircraft. Fred Bivetto d is currently the Dean, School of Unmanned Technology for UVU and teaches UAV301/601 “UAV Fundamentals” and UAV702 “UAV Flight Test”.
Paul Dragos, Dean of the School of Flight Training at Unmanned Vehicle University attended the University of California, San Diego and graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Telecommunications.
In 1984, was accepted in to the United States Navy’s “Aviation Officer Candidate” Program and commissioned as an Ensign later that year.
In 1986 he earned in Navy Pilot Wings and completed three Western Pacific Tours (WESTPACS) aboard the Aircraft Carriers USS Saratoga (CV-60) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). These included operations over Iraq during OPERATION DESERT STORM (1991).
In 1997, Paul served on a final WESTPAC cruise as Assistant Air-Boss of the USS Peleliu (LHA-5). After this, he served two years in the United States Naval Reserve and participated in the Predator Drone Testing at Naval Air Station San Clemente Island.
Throughout his distinguished career, Paul has amassed over 2,500 flight hours in a variety of military aircraft, including Jets and helicopters. In the process of doing so, he has earned several decorations, including the Navy Achievement Medal, the Armed-Forces Expeditionary Medal, the National Defense Medal, and several Service Ribbons.
After leaving the Military, Paul continued his civilian career in the telecommunications and aviation industries. He has a Private Pilot’s License with a commercial rating and is active in the Unmanned Aerial Drone industry.
Gene Payson is the Chief Pilot at Unmanned Vehicle University and is responsible for the coordination of all UAV ground and flight training. The UAV pilot training at Unmanned Vehicle University is the only government approved UAV pilot training program in the nation.
Gene holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has over 40 years of design, development, test and instructor experience with small UAVs. He is also the president of a company that is involved in the manufacturing, operation, design, development, systems engineering, power plant engineering, electrical and electronic system development, market analysis, piloting, and more regarding large remote controlled and small unmanned aircraft. He is a UAV pilot for the United States Air Force Research Laboratory and is a certified pilot on the Penguin B gasoline powered fixed wing small UAV.
Gene’s many years of training experience includes leading seminars on Total Quality Management (TQM) and training sales personnel while serving as the International Marketing Manager for a fortune 100 company. He has guest lectured on the subject of small UAVs at several universities and other venues for several years. His forte is small UAV operation. As the University’s Chief Pilot, Paul teaches the three-day Small UAV Fundamentals Course and also teaches the flight training portion of the UAV Pilot Training Course.