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The EERC welcomes Mike Corcoran as its Business Development Manager for Defense and Remote Sensing Programs, where he provides senior-level program expertise to foster the growth of industry- and government-driven research for Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiatives such as advanced fuel research and water‒energy nexus efforts. Mike also functions as a subject matter expert and Chief Pilot for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) used in support of aerial survey operations for environmental assessments, wildlife surveys, and oilfield/wind turbine monitoring, often in collaboration with colleges and departments across the University of North Dakota (UND) campus. In this capacity, he serves as Chief Pilot and Operations Manager for the UND Biology Department (Arctic research program), working in collaboration with the Hudson Bay project and scientists at the American Museum of Natural History, Parks Canada (Wapusk National Park), and the UND College of Arts and Sciences.

Since 1990, Mike has served as a U.S. Army Officer, dual-branched as an Aviation and Intelligence Officer. Mike is currently assigned as a Senior Army Planner (Army Reserve) to the Joint Intelligence Operations Center, Pacific Command, Hawaii. Mike is a senior Army aviator and has flown both fixed and rotary wing aircraft systems in assignments that have deployed him to the Republic of Kosovo, Southwest Asia, and Central and South America.

Prior to his position at the EERC, Mike served as Assistant Director for UND’s UAS Center of Excellence, where he led programs and fostered growth for UAS projects within UND’s Aerospace Sciences. Prior to that, Mike served as Director of Air Operations and as UAS Government Flight Representative for the UAS Operations Center – North Dakota, DHS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, where he established the first operational UAS site along the northern border of the United States.

“The EERC offers me the opportunity to work with a large number of professional researchers who are driven to achieve success while working in direct support of our industry counterparts, which is a critical component for producing relevant solutions to real-world challenges, Bridging the gap between research, government, and industry is what I enjoy most,” Mike says.

Mike holds an M.A. degree in Business and Organizational Security from Webster University and a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from ESI International. He earned a B.A. degree in Criminal Justice Studies and is a Distinguished Military Graduate from St. Cloud State University. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Service Staff School at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, and the U.S. Army Intelligence Center Officer Advanced Course. Mike is a Commandant’s List Graduate from the U.S. Army Aviation Center Officer Basic Course and the U.S. Army Combined General Staff College.

“Although I understand research and scientific processes extremely well, my historical successes in running programs have come from using business-centered processes: requirements = tasks = deliverables. Bringing such processes into research areas under DoD and DHS is what I intend to foster within the walls of the EERC,” Mike adds.

Originally from a small town near the Twin Cities, Mike entered federal service with the Army after college. After moving all over the world serving his country, Mike and his family have called Grand Forks home since 2007. “And we never want to move again!” he says.

Mike enjoys spending time working outdoors and relaxing with his wife and three children at their cabin east of Bemidji. “Doing anything outside generally brings me peace (meeting rooms and suits are not allowed),” he says. “My family is my real job…one I enjoy more each day.”