Pilot Spotlight: Interview with Didem Gürdür
Tell us your story. How did you get started in the drone industry and when did that happen?
I am an engineer who loves new technologies and gadgets. My interest to drones started few years ago when I built my own drone and I have also bought several drones during these years. Since I always loved photography and was already taking photos on land and underwater. I though taking aerial photos would be fun and it did not disappoint me, I just love it!
Tell us about your company/work/organization and your position.
I have a PhD in mechatronics where I do research on cyber-physical systems such as intelligent, collaborative robots, autonomous systems and engineering environments of these products. My research is mainly about the data integration and data analytics approaches to make them smarter, more efficient and performative.
What kind of drone(s) do you fly and what's your favorite thing about it?
I have several quadcopters. My favourite is DJI Mavic Air. It is easy to bring everywhere, intiutive, very performative and it does whatever I want it to do. Never disappointed me. As a person who knows how these systems are designed, I am very impressed with the Air. Even though I am very excited to try the new DJI Mavic Pro 2, I am very happy with what I have.
Have you learned any valuable lessons being in the drone industry you can share with our female drone community?
I found the Women Who Drone as a wonderful and valuable initiative. I wanted to engage with the group from the first day I found out about WHD. I think one very important thing in any industry is to find your people and support each other, especially when you are a woman. There are a lot to learn from each other.
Whether it's from a creative, commercial or humanitarian perspective, tell us about your most memorable drone flight you have piloted thus far.
Oh I had very memorable flights. I generally remember the ones which did not end very good. When I lost the connection in a windy day, when my first drone ended up on top of a tree where I had to climb to get it back and so on. Overall, I guess the most memorable one is where I get out of my confort zone and went higher, went further. That moment when you trust the drone and your ability to control the drone is priceless.
What would you say to women and girls about the drone industry to spark their interest in getting involved?
I say it in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSukYDIrKME. Do not listen what they say, you can fly drones, you can do drones! There is nothing that a women or girl cannot do. If there is a way to do it, then you have all the capability to do it. Do not let other people to define who you are.
What excites you most about more women joining the drone industry?
I want women to join any industry, including the drone industry. I am very proactive on equality, therefore I want women to be visible in the drone industry, in any engineering field and more. Women will change the world to a better place and I am very happy to start it with a drone industry, but I will surely fight until we will be represented in any industry.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you?
I do not hesitate to call myself as a feminist and a vegan. I dream of another world where people, animals and the nature are treated equally. I am a certified dive master and I love diving as much as I love flying drones.
Didem cares about the future of the world and nature. She is a computer scientist with a Ph.D. in mechatronics, which can give you an idea about how much she loves to talk about future and emerging technologies. She is a data person, always finds a way to talk about how important it is to know your data, use it to make decisions and at some point expect her to talk about art, visualizations and visual analytics. Didem is a person who does not hesitate to talk about inequalities and point out her ethical concerns. She dreams a better world and actively works on improving inequalities regardless of their nature. She is an analytical thinker with a passion for design thinking, a researcher with a future perspective, an engineer who likes problems more than solutions and a teacher who likes to play during lectures. She is a dive master, photographer and drone pilot. If you would like to get in touch with Fallon, you are able to contact her via email (email@example.com) or private message to her instagram account @didem.gurdur