Tom Piotrowski

CEO (Founder and Chief Executive Officer)

Tom is a Chief Executive Officer and founder of Southern Cross Drones.  Tom Piotrowski is a notable business leader and strategic technology adviser, with an extensive experience spanning engineering and information technology fields.  Tom is also recognised consultant in UAV / UAS technologies with particular interest in use of drones with search and rescue and humanitarian aid applications.   Prior to funding Southern Cross Drones, Tom established and managed Unixpac, a successful cyber security company, where over the 25 years of business he assisted dozens of  security vendors to launch their technology in Australia and New Zealand.  Tom earlier worked in engineering and managerial positions at Sun Microsystems, ComputerVision and BHP Billiton.   Tom specialised in use of computer technology in GIS and LIS systems as well as precision data processing.   Tom holds the Master of Mechanical and Mining Engineering degree, earned at the Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland.

Ben Rodanski, Ph.D.

CSTO (Chief Science and Technology Officer)

Ben is a Chief Science and Technology Officer at Southern Cross Drones.  Ben received the M.Sc. degree and the Ph.D. degree, both in Electronics Engineering, from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland, where he worked on development of computer-aided circuit design systems. After arriving in Sydney in the early 1980s, he joined General Electric (Australia) to work on industrial automation projects. He then moved to General Instruments where he developed a database for the Australian Jockey Club (AJC). In 1984 Dr Rodanski became a member of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), where he worked until 2016. Throughout that period, apart of conducting research, developing and teaching courses in Analogue and Digital Electronics, Embedded Systems, etc., he also worked as a consultant in data base design for the AJC and in numerical methods of modern finance for several major banks, including Citibank. His research interests include CAD of electronic circuits, symbolic circuit analysis, optimisation methods, signal processing, neural networks and fuzzy logic, numerical techniques of modern finance and nonlinear dynamics. Ben's other interests include sailing. He has sailed at least 40,000 miles as a skipper of his own yachts and the first officer on other boats. As his major sailing achievements Ben lists: short-handed circumnavigation of Australia, numerous trips from Sydney to Tasmania and Lord Howe Island, crossing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Ross Samuelson 

Enterprise Projects Specialist

Ross comes from a very diverse professional background that started in the Newspaper Industry, which continued as an enterprise project manager for 15 years in the largest Worldwide Media organisation. This included managing business start-ups in the media, music, sports & aviation industries. Ross is involved with the technical aspects of many diverse disciplines of motorsport.  Ross also has 15 years’ experience as a multi-unit owner of a major food franchise organisation. At Southern Cross Drones, Ross is  focussed on delivering comprehensive drone solutions with an emphasis on drone integration and training, for enterprise projects.

John Coulombe 

Training and Development Officer

John comes from a very diverse professional background that started as an EMT/Firefighter in California. John also served as a volunteer rural firefighter in NSW and has a passion for improving the safety and reducing the risk to emergency response personnel in any way he can. He then went on to working in the computer industries with a focus on training and development during the early years of the Apple Macintosh. John tried his hand in the construction industry as a shop-fitter and carpenter for a couple of years. Finally, John completed his Bachelor of environmental science and decided to settle in Queensland as a lecturer in Agriculture at Central Queensland University where he is also completing his PhD. At Southern Cross Drones John has focussed on developing comprehensive drone solutions with an emphasis on drone integration and training.

Bruno Falcone Mills 

UAV BDS (Business Development Manager)

Bruno is the Business Development Specialist at Southern Cross Drones. Bruno received his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) from University of Technology of Sydney, where he worked on his thesis on UAV and was the finalist for Mechanical Engineering.

Bruno has been piloting remote controlled helicopters since 2011 and later got into UAV in 2013. In 2014 he started designing his own UAV platforms as a personal hobby.

Other passions that Bruno has is photography and videography. He also helps the community by volunteering his time with State Emergency Services (SES) and Rural Fire Services (RFS).

James O’Connor 

Digital Marketing  and Social Media Manager

You cannot have a better perspective about the world of drones then from altitude well above 400ft ceiling.  James is master of science research student in astrophysics, complimenting at present his previous accomplishments in science geophysics bachelor courses at Macquarie University and the University of Technology Sydney.  Attending in his early days of professional career the military service for the Royal Australian Air Force at Australian Defence Forces Academy, James is currently an active Surf Life Saver in Queensland.   As a great advocate for promoting drone, aviation and space technologies in social media, James is now coordinating our digital marketing and social media presence.

Marek Schmidt

BDS (Business Development Specialist) - Central Europe

Marek is our Business and Partnership Development Specialist in Central Europe.  Marek works  with our UAV solution partners in Austria, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland,  and other central European countries.   Marek is a seasoned professional with M Sc degrees in electronics engineering and industrial automation.  Marek has completed his degree at Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland, before moving to Switzerland, where he developed track of consulting engagements with StorageTek, Sun Microsystems, Oracle  and Arrow ECS.   Marek is based in Zurich, Switzerland. 

Imanol Ribera Gutierrez

BDS (Business Development Specialist) - Western Europe

Imanol is our Business Development Specialist in Western Europe .  Imanol is involved in developing business partnerships with UAV solution companies in Europe.   Imanol is a talented photographer with special interest in aerial photography.  Imanol has completed an Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation degree at Mondragon University in Spain before continuing studies in Marketing in Sydney, Australia.  Imanol is based in San Sebastian, Spain.