Reaching New Heights: Profile on TurnTech Solutions’ Mia Gabrielson
Life is a journey, and sometimes it takes time to reach the place we were meant to be.
Mia Gabrielson was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She still lives in the lower mainland of the province. Although her studies focused on fine arts, Gabrielson branched out into other exciting areas after she left school.
Gabrielson eventually went to work in the communications sector, primarily with pagers.
“Yes, those,” she jokes.
She then moved on to working with early cell phones, which as she says, “can now be used as doorstops.”
Both jobs gave Gabrielson tech experience, computer literacy, and (DOS) skills. Next, she worked at a private, post-secondary institution. The business and visual arts focus would eventually lead her to web development and graphics work.
The 2010 Winter Olympics saw Gabrielson working in event management for VANOC.
Then, in 2016, after reading about drones being sparsely introduced into certain industries, Gabrielson’s interest peaked. There were challenges, however. She says before 2019, drone regulations were extremely rigid, which may have been the cause for the slow acceptance of drones into industry workflows.
“I had looked at a few courses, but life got in the way, so I didn’t pursue them at the time. I revisited the idea in 2019 after recovering from an accident and achieving my Advanced Level Certification,” remembers Mia.
She simply did not have an avenue to pursue her ideas in 2016. Drones were still new. When she had an accident in 2018, Gabrielson had to rethink her future. By then, drones popularity was increasing, as well as the impressive quality of photos and videos from small consumer drones.
Gabrielson took a course, mostly online, and used a small drone for practice. Her experience with photography helped with getting good photos. The challenge for her was the learning curve, both from getting good photos and actually flying the drone. When she felt proficient enough, Gabrielson went for her flight review and got her Advanced Certification.
She was doing videography and photography on her own when Gabrielson saw TurnTechs was looking for an interested party to start up their business.
TurnTech Solutions is a DJI Enterprise Drone provider, and a division of Aeromni Aerospace, a company that provides services, parts, and repairs for helicopters. Gabrielson says it was a “natural step” to expand into drones.
She says, “This has been a great challenge to take the company from the ground up.”
The owners, Wei Lin and Rikkert Vos decided to expand the company to better serve customers in the aviation industry.
“Geomatics is one part of our client base, and it’s great to see more companies adapting them into their workflows and toolkit. I think the possibilities of drone use are endless. You can achieve a lot by gleaning really detailed data and imagery that can help with BIM, surveying, and more.”
TurnTech Solutions has a variety of clients, from a variety of industries, doing a variety of projects. The list of clients includes Public Safety (police, search and rescue, fire), Gas, Oil, and Mining, Natural Resource management, Wind and Solar, Construction, and Geomatics. Some clients have drones for Agriculture (both to spray and monitor crops). Gabrielson says they also have a client doing whale monitoring and yet another client that flew a drone to gather environmental data near a volcano in Iceland.
Gabrielson’s advice to anyone eager to follow a similar path is, “Do your research. There are so many avenues for drone use. Then get certified to fly and practice, practice.”
As for the future goals for TurnTech Solutions, Gabrielson is certain.
“Our goal is to educate, inform and help our clients and future customers select the best products for their respective industries. The drone industry is rapidly developing and changing, so it’s important to keep up with the latest and greatest. We also look at what our clients are doing so we can find new and innovative technology that will serve them better.”