Former Assistant Secretary of the US Air Force brings deep expertise in unlocking defense spending in R&D and emerging technologies to venture-backed companies
(PRUnderground) March 3rd, 2021
Volansi, the leader in autonomous, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) middle-mile drone delivery services, backed by Lightspeed and Icon Ventures, today announced the appointment of Dr. Will Roper, the former Assistant Secretary of the US Air Force, to its Board of Directors. Dr. Roper will focus on the company’s strategy, operations, and growth in defense markets.
In his prior role, Dr. Roper served as Assistant Secretary of the US Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. In this role, he led all research and development, test, production, modernization, and logistics efforts for the Air Force and Space Force. He was instrumental in accelerating acquisition processes as well as fostering a disruptive innovative culture inside of government.
“Dr. Will Roper joins Volansi’s board with a reputation as a transformative, forward-looking leader,” said Volansi CEO and co-Founder Hannan Parvizian. “His deep expertise in emerging technologies and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in logistics operations will be instrumental in aiding Volansi’s mission to change the future of supply chain. I’m thrilled to welcome Dr. Roper into the Volansi team and look forward to his leadership as we continue to push the boundaries of autonomous flight.”
Earlier in his career, Dr. Roper was the founding Director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), which leverages existing government and commercial systems to solve the military’s most pressing problems. His programs spanned concepts like hypervelocity artillery missile defense, multi-purpose missiles, smartphone navigating weapons, big-data-enabled sensing, 3D-printed systems, standoff arsenal planes, autonomous mini fighters, and swarming drones, demonstrating the world’s largest swarm in 2017.
“Commercial technology companies like Volansi are leading a wave of disruptive innovation for defense missions,” said Dr. Roper. “Bringing speed and agility historically absent in government procurement, many vendors have early revenue-generating opportunities in national security as a path to commercial success. Volansi is uniquely positioned in the commercial UAV market because of their focus on cargo and logistics, both huge components of modern militaries. I am excited to help them think through opportunities to bring on-demand, life-saving capabilities to men and women in uniform.”
Volansi’s relationships with the Air Force and Department of Defense are well-established. The company was awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) through the Department of the Air Force Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Center of Excellence innovation program. Volansi was also named an official vendor of the United States Air Force’s Skyborg Vanguard Program.
About Volansi, Inc.
Volansi provides fast, on-demand aerial delivery services for time-critical shipments over long ranges. We build and operate long-range, heavy-payload drones for commercial, defense, and humanitarian applications. Leveraging drone technology as a transportation method, we help our customers gain control of their supply chain by delivering critical equipment (and aid) where it otherwise faced unpredictable delays – helping to save time, money, and lives. To learn more, visit volansi.com or follow us at twitter.com/volans_i .Press Contact
Original Press Release.