Our Team

Dr. Afzal Suleman

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Afzal Suleman is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He has extensive experience in the aerospace field and is currently an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has been advising and mentoring the UVic Aero Team since its inception at the University of Victoria in 2002.

James Sease


James is a 4th year Mechanical Engineering student. He joined AERO in his first year, and has worked on a number of projects since then, most notably designing a new airframe. He is interested in the aerospace field, and intends to pursue aircraft development in the future.

Michael Giles

Chief Engineer

Michael is a third year Mechanical Engineering Student. Since joining AERO in 2013, he has been involved in the development and piloting of many of AERO’s competing aircraft. His interdisciplinary experience and diverse knowledge of AERO’s systems gives him the ability to integrate new solutions into the final product. Michael is passionate about remote sensing and automation and is working towards a career in aerospace.

Michael Dobinson

Electrical Lead

Michael is a fourth year electrical engineering student. He has worked on hardware design, integration, firmware development, and flight testing since joining AERO in 2013. Michael enjoys all aspects of electrical design and hopes to pursue a career that aligns with his talents.

Thiyaneshwaran Sivanandan

Embedded Systems Lead

Thiyan has been a member of Uvic Aero since he started his degree in engineering in 2014, He is in his 3rd year in Electrical Engineering. He is very interested in power distribution systems and is passionate about going into electrical energy systems as a career path. With his experience and drive he is determined to climb all obstacles.

Chris Hampu

Software Lead

Chris is an upper year computer science student. Since joining AERO in 2012, Chris has worked in backend and frontend development. As a student and business owner for consulting services, Chris assigns projects and provides guidance to fellow team members, along with support for hands on experience in a variety of areas.

Jacques Van Donkersgoed

Director of Flight Operations

Jacques is an RC enthusiast in his spare time and has years of experience building and piloting his own planes. He has experience working in the Aerospace industry, is a private pilot, and serves as one of the Aero team’s test pilots. He has been a member of the Aero team for the past 4 years.

Hunter Arcese

Mechanical Co-Lead

Hunter is a fourth year mechanical engineering student and has been with the AERO club since 2014. He has helped build the aircraft and various camera mounts for the club. In his spare time, Hunter races with the UVic Sailing Team.

Patrick Heaney

Aeronautical Lead

Patrick Heaney has been a member of AERO for two years and has a passion for the aerospace industry. He is a motivated 3rd year Mechanical Engineering Student with a minor in physics. Projects that Patrick has been involved in include leading the design and manufacturing of the Plane’s wing joint system, as well as constructing the Quadcopter’s 3D printed mounting brackets.