Students – Apply Before August 31st for the $2500 Mark Cuss Memorial Scholarship

USC-STC is honoured to support Canada’s rising stars contributing to the future of Unmanned Systems


In December 2006, a young, gifted unmanned vehicles engineer working with CDL Systems named Mark Cuss passed away after a courageous 22-month battle with cancer. 

At the time of his death, Mark was only 27 years old. However, during his short time, Mark made significant accomplishments both in his personal life and in his professional life.

We encourage you to read more about Mark’s life, his scholarship to the Devry Technical Institute in Calgary, and his work to innovate farming with his award-winning ‘fuzzy logic control system for an unmanned tractor.’

Please visit our Mark Cuss tribute page, HERE. 

In response to the untimely death of this talented young engineer, a scholarship fund has been established in Mark’s name, administered by Unmanned Systems Canada in his memory.

The Mark Cuss Memorial Scholarship 

The USC Mark Cuss Memorial Scholarship is intended to:

  • Honour Mark’s memory by encouraging the interest of those in the field of unmanned vehicles and furthering future innovations.
  • Reduce the financial burden of post-secondary education for students interested in unmanned vehicle technologies.
  • Encourage and facilitate students to develop and communicate concepts related to unmanned systems technology.

Application Requirements

The USC Mark Cuss Memorial Scholarship is open to undergraduate studies at any recognized Canadian University or DeVry Institute located within Canada. It is a cash scholarship of $2500 to student winners of an essay writing competition, upon proof of enrolment in a qualifying institution.

To qualify as an applicant, students must:

  • Be registered full-time in a post-secondary Canadian institution
  • Provide proof of academic accomplishment in the previous school year by maintaining a minimum of 75% average (or 85% if the previous year was from a high school/secondary school)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the unmanned vehicle industry by writing an essay describing their ‘vision for the UAS industry’ (details, below)

Apply before August 31, 2019

  • Submit the USC-STC Scholarship Application Form to Unmanned Systems Canada by the application deadline announced each year. The deadline for 2019 is August 31st, 11:59:59 EST
  • Submit transcripts of the previous school year from a recognized Canadian high school/secondary school, university or college, or at a DeVry Institute located within Canada;
  • Submit proof of enrollment in a recognized Canadian University, college, or any DeVry Institute within Canada;
  • Submit a letter of reference from their employer (if the employer is a corporate member of Unmanned Systems Canada);
  • Submit an essay on any unmanned systems-related topic outlining their ‘Vision for the unmanned systems industry’. Essays have no minimum length but must not exceed 3000 words.

Student Awards Selection Process 

All applications will be reviewed and considered by USC-STC’s Awards and Honours Committee appointed by the Board of Unmanned Systems Canada. The evaluation process shall treat academic marks and the essay with equal weight to determine the successful applicant.

To apply for the Mark Cuss Memorial Scholarship, please:
Fill in the application form and supply all supporting documents by emailing The Unmanned Systems Canada Awards and Honours Committee at [email protected]

The USC Mark Cuss Memorial Scholarship winner will be informed within three weeks of the deadline and will receive:

  • A $2500 cash award
  • A discounted rate to attend the annual Unmanned Systems Canada Conference and Trade Show to receive their Award
  • A profile in the USC National Industry Directory

Important Dates for 2019

  • Deadline for applications is August 31st, 2019
  • The 17th Annual Unmanned Canada 2019 Conference and Trade Show is in Ottawa, ON from October 30th to November 1st, 2019. All applicants to the Mark Cuss Scholarship will receive the discounted student rate but are responsible for their own travel expenses and arrangements.

The USC Board of Directors is grateful to the family and friends of Mark Cuss for sharing his story and his vision with our community.  We are honoured to recognize Mark’s contributions to our sector – and we hope that this Award inspires and supports other rising stars to strive for excellence as they pursue their dreams, too. 

Please note – If you’d like to help promote this year’s announcement across your networks, please share this post and the downloadable application form link through your emails and social media channels.

We appreciate your support!