Position: Director, Field: Aerial robotics, Organisation: Aeronavics Ltd.
Background knowledge and experience
Linda Bulk, Director and General Manager/CEO of Aeronavics Limited, initially intended to pursue a career in creative expression and psychology, but missing her final school exam in Holland by 1 point meant Linda was unable to gain access to her desired course.
Instead, she started a temporary job at a large telecom company and ended up staying for 10 years.
The job focused on a range of different roles, which changed every 6 months or so. It was here Linda discovered she had an affinity for and enjoyed the corporate world and the world of business.
One role was as an account manager for large corporate clients, where Linda had to visit and understand operations at all levels and advise on the products that best suited their needs. This involved translating requirements into a technical solution and applying the technical solution to become the tool for the desired results. This experience, including working alongside engineers, was really helpful for her current work.
After the corporate job, Linda felt it was time for something new. She travelled the world for a year with no plan or schedule, allowing events to unfold. During this time, she travelled around Australia, never spending more than a month in one place and picking up jobs such as a jillaroo on a large Western Australia cattle station and a qualified dive instructor role on the Great Barrier Reef.
Returning to Holland, Linda started her own company in change management and personal/team development. While writing about her experiences in Australia, she received an invitation to return Down Under. Returning after 10 months in Holland, Linda fell back in love with Australia and decided to sell up and move there.
In the first couple of months after moving to Australia, Linda met her now business partner, trained pilot and model aircraft enthusiast Rob Brouwer.
Together, Linda and Rob developed a company specialising in 360° virtual environments and ‘walk-through’ photography. When they came across the multi-rotor/UAV technology in May 2008, adding an aerial perspective to their virtual environment work was their first objective.
At this stage, the UAV technology was in its infancy, but they immediately saw the potential. Innovating with different materials, the duo developed their first UAV for aerial photography, and within a short period of time, Droidworx (later Aeronavics) was born.
Linda and Rob moved across to New Zealand in 2011 and have continued to grow their innovative business from Raglan.
When not busy with Aeronavics, Linda tries to keep fit mentally and physically. She loves horses and enjoys scuba diving, skiing, painting, singing and dancing. She has a keen interest in behaviourism and quantum physics
Keep it fun, and make sure you enjoy what you’re doing, as there are no guarantees regarding outcomes.
Linda defines innovation as “creating something new that has a meaningful application”, adding that it is important because “it adds value and quality to humanity and existence in general. This continued progression pushes the boundaries of possibility.”
She sees the important personal attributes for innovation as having an ability to ‘think outside the box’, having a positive and open mindset and perseverance. Linda also adds, “Keep it fun, and make sure you enjoy what you’re doing, as there are no guarantees regarding outcomes.”
The Aeronavics website showcases a variety of UAV systems and video clips of the UAVs in action.
This article is based on information current in 2015.