Mark Blanks is the director of the Virginia Tech Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP). He has a long history of building successful programs, playing an integral part in the development of unmanned programs at both Kansas State University and Middle Tennessee State University. Blanks is an accomplished researcher and manager who has led numerous sponsored research projects at both the federal and commercial levels. He has held a variety of positions in the aviation industry, including aircraft maintenance, flight testing, and aircraft certification. Blanks is a FAA-licensed Airframe & Powerplant technician and holds a private pilot’s license with an instrument rating. He serves as the chairman for the ASTM F38-02 Subcommittee on UAS Flight Operations and also holds a nationally elected position on the Board of Directors for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).