Callie Mortimer knows a thing or two about the value of natural resources.
She was born and grew up in South Africa, where she experienced droughts and times when the lights would go off because the energy grid had reached capacity.
As an adult, she spent time working in the oil and gas company. And now, she’s transitioned to the drone industry, where she’s working to make drones more environmentally friendly by way of hydrogen fuel cells.
Mortimer works as Director of Business Development at FlightWave Aerospace Systems, which builds an enterprise-grade drone powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Prior to that, she worked as an account manager at Intelligent Energy, which provides the power pack that allows the FlightWave’s Jupiter drone to fly.
Drone Girl: Why hydrogen fuel cells? What are the benefits for drones?
Callie Mortimer: There’s a multitude of benefits. Hydrogen, we believe, is the fuel of the future. As a company, we’re keen on being an ambassador of this type of fuel.
It’s a green, clean energy. There’s that factor, which is great. A lot of the applications where we excel are off grid and are out in forestry, away from any grid to be able to charge batteries. It enables people to be away from power and still complete their missions.
DG: What made you want to join FlightWave?
CM: I’ve learned so much about fuel cells and the tech surrounding it, and I wanted to see it being put into practice. FlightWave really recognized the golden egg that fuel cell technology has. It was like, ‘can I jump on board please?’
DG: What is your favorite drone?
CM: I have to say my own drones — one of FlightWave’s! However, I can’t distinguish between the two because that’s like picking from your own children.
DG: What is the most surprising thing about drones since your time working in the industry?
CM: The most surprising thing about drones is it is just limitless. Despite the amount of calls I have with people daily, they always seem to have an application that I never thought would be applicable. But then you realize it makes so much sense. There’s always something new and better that we can do with it.
DG: If you could fly a drone anywhere in the world, where would it be?
CM: I would fly over someplace I couldn’t really ever go — can I say Everest? Is that possible? Or over a volcano — so few people have had that view.
DG: If a drone could deliver you anything right now, what would it be?
CM: A McDonald’s cheeseburger — with a pickle!