Tyler Backman attended Northland Community and Technical College and was one of the first students to be enrolled in the Unmanned Aerial Systems Maintenance Certificate program, graduating in 2012. When asked about his experience at Northland in the UAS program, Tyler said, “The UAS program provided me with the knowledge and training needed to understand the concepts and trade of the unmanned systems industry. The staff were very knowledgeable and experienced in unmanned systems even though the industry was fairly young at the time.”
At the time that Beckman attended Northland for the UAS program, the technology and use cases surrounding unmanned aircraft systems was predominantly in military applications. Fast forward to 2021 and the systems are rapidly being adopted and applied across other industries to enhance current work or change the way current tasks are performed. “The program had a heavy emphasis on avionics and networking, and these were the most beneficial subjects for understanding how the various systems and elements of unmanned systems operate. Now more than ever, unmanned aircraft and manned aircraft are becoming more networked and understanding the systems has been a much-needed skill to effectively troubleshooting and maintaining unmanned systems,” shared Beckman.
Immediately after graduation from the UAS program, Beckman joined the Northland team and accepted a position as an Academic Advisor for Aerospace Programs as well as Adjunct Faculty, teaching the Composites Fabrication and Repair course. “These roles provided me with the opportunity to share my knowledge of the UAS program with future program students and help build a competitive and quality training program,” shared Beckman, who held the role for over three years.
Beckman has since moved on, joining the Northrop Grumman team at the nation’s first commercial unmanned aerial system testing and training center, Grand Sky located in North Dakota. In his 5+ years with Northrop, Beckman has been in multiple roles, including Electronics Technician, Electronics Maintenance, and most recently Test Conductor.
Tyler Beckman’s journey from attending Northland, to being employed by Northland, to then joining the highly skilled technical workforce, supporting some of the world’s most advanced products is what drives Northland and the NCAT team to carry out their mission of preparing students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be successful in their future career endeavors.