Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

Ryan Hittie, '12 ME

ryan
Ryan Hittie, '12 mechanical engineering, is the director of operations for Corridor Field Services and oversees the company's drone business.

Ryan Hittie likes to fly high. As the director of operations for Corridor Field Services, Hittie works to increase the visibility of drones to businesses across the country. His mechanical engineering coursework is what initially sparked his interest in unmanned aerial vehicles, and led him to pursue a career in a field that is rapidly changing to this day. Read more about Hittie and learn how and why he’s become a drone advocate.

Job title: Corridor Field Services, Director of Operations

Give us an overview of what you do and why you enjoy it:

I oversee the daily operations of our company’s unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, and interface with customers looking to utilize UAVs in their businesses. I make time to fly and research drones almost every day so that we continue to provide our customers with the highest quality data, and to ensure that we keep up with the ever-changing Federal Aviation Administration regulations​​. I am also a voting member on the American Society for Testing and Materials committee on unmanned aircraft systems and a member of an FAA advisory board guiding unmanned aircraft systems maintenance standards, so I am contributing to the policy that governs future industry practices. 

How has your Auburn Engineering degree prepared you for your career?

My senior design project was to build an autonomous lunar excavator from scratch for a NASA competition. That project was a culmination of all the material covered in the mechanical engineering curriculum. The project gave me an understanding of how all the components of an autonomous vehicle worked together, and taught me how they could be utilized to accomplish tasks. Most importantly, my degree prepared me to think logically and solve critical problems with composure. Both skills are necessary when you lose communication with your aircraft above a high-voltage power substation.

What are your future plans?

My goal is to help grow the unmanned systems industry until every engineering firm in the country has them integrated into their design, construction and inspection processes. Whether its aircraft, submersibles, or land-based vehicles, unmanned systems greatly increase the safety and efficiency of almost any engineering project, and I want to help show the world the possibilities.


Tell us some fun facts about you:

 I met my fiancé, a College of Veterinary Medicine graduate, while at Auburn. We have four dogs (most would call it a pack) and regularly host tailgates for our friends and family during football season. I also volunteer helping Auburn's Southeastern Center of Robotics Education program, run by fellow College of Engineering young alumnus Tj Nguyen, with drone related camps, career days, marketing, etc.

Last Updated: 7/14/17 8:11 AM