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18 J ulian Hasinski equates his attitude to engineering with that as a teenager to pop music. “I was the kind of person who as soon as something became popular, I was moving on to the next thing,” he says. “As far as I’m concerned, UAVs have now become popular, so I’m looking for the next thing,” he says. “If Raytheon has recognised anything in me it is that I am not going to sit still. I am going to find the next thing that they are going to be interested in, because I understand the connection between now and then.” As the UK design authority on several UAV programmes engaged by the UK military, including the IAI Heron, the Scorpio 6 helicopter and one of the first quadcopters tested by the UK military, Hasinski was responsible for the certification work required to allow them to operate above the heads of British troops. Asked what fires his enthusiasm for engineering, he replies that it is more a question of not knowing what else he would do. “In a way, it has always sort of been there,” he admits. “And I see it in my own children as well, that if you are in that culture to begin with, you fix things, you find out how they work.” He credits his Polish emigré father with inculcating him into this culture. His father served in the British armed forces in World War II, and after being demobbed he won two Queen’s Awards for Industry while working in the textiles machinery business. “In those days, every UK company had its resident Pole as a technical expert,” he recalls. “There was always somebody with ‘-ski’ at the end of their name. Even when I was a sheet metal worker, at the age of 17, that factory had its resident Pole,” he says. However, his start in engineering was a rocky one. “I didn’t like school, I very nearly dropped out. I reluctantly went to university, the year after my father died, to study physics, and that did not go well either. But with the help of my then employer, the Central Electricity Generating Board, I went to Salford University to do physical electronics, and that was my saviour.” That enabled him to get a job at BAe as a systems engineer, which at the time meant working on the electronics in aircraft control systems. His philosophy of engineering begins, literally, with philosophy, as he draws on the formal logic and methods of structuring text developed by Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein at the Raytheon UK’s technical director explains his UAV engineering philosophy to Peter Donaldson Logical operator December/January 2018 | Unmanned Systems Technology Hasinski’s first job involving UAVs was to define the autopilot for Meggitt’s Voodoo high-speed target drone (Courtesy of MilborneOne via Wikipedia)