Inside Unmanned Systems’ Renee Knight Named 2018 Stephen Barr Award Winner

From left: Dee Ann Divis, Knight’s editor, Roy Harris, ASBPE Foundation immediate past president, Renee Knight, 2018 Stephen Barr award winner.

Inside Unmanned Systems magazine senior editor Renee Knight reported on the devastation of Hurricane Harvey last year from her home state of Texas and delivered a memorable cover story for the October/November 2017 issue that showcased just how vital unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are in times of emergencies and natural disasters.

This great writing and reporting made Knight the winner of ASBPE’s 15th annual Stephen Barr Award. The news analysis package titled “After the Storm” showcased work that offered a dramatic first-hand account of the life-saving contributions of drone aircraft during Hurricane Harvey, and shined the spotlight on the promise of unmanned systems in future disasters.

“Renee’s work has achieved ‘must read’ status in the unmanned industry.  She has made it her mission at Inside Unmanned Systems to bring clarity to complex technical solutions that capture the many layers and benefits in deploying unmanned systems,” Inside Unmanned Systems Publisher Richard Fischer said.

Knight’s article described the many uses of UAS in aiding first responders and emergency management personnel, repairing damaged cellular communications and power grids, helping protect damaged industrial and residential property, and speeding insurance decisions.

“Being selected as the 2018 Stephen Barr Award recipient is such an honor—and was a complete surprise,” Knight said. “Hurricane Harvey marked the first time drones were used on a large scale during a disaster response and is a great example of what this technology is capable of. The way the drone industry came together to help was remarkable, and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to showcase the critical role UAS played in so many different areas.”

Knight is the newest honoree to receive the prestigious Stephen Barr Award.

“Again, accept my congratulations, Renee, on winning ASBPE’s highest honor—2018’s Stephen Barr Award—for “After the Storm.” It’s a remarkable piece of journalism, and we’re proud to have you be the latest of our 15 winners!” past ABSPE president Roy Harris said in an email.

The ABSPE Stephen Barr Award “best in class” prize, which comes with a $500 award, goes to the individual writer whose work most reflects inventiveness of approach (and especially use of narrative style), insightfulness, balance in the presentation of a complex subject, depth of investigation, and impact among the community of readers, according to the ASBPE website.

Those qualities are among the ones exemplified by Stephen Barr, a perennial ASBPE excellence-award winner in his role as senior contributing editor of CFO magazine. Stephen died in 2002 at age 43. The award is endowed by his family and awarded through the ASBPE Foundation.