Eduardo Salas to Explore Space Crew Health Issues with NASA/NSBRI Awards

Eduardo SalasDr. Eduardo Salas, Pegasus Professor and head of IST's Human Systems Integration Research team, will receive funding from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute and NASA to study astronaut health and performance issues during lengthy missions to deep space, according to a joint announcement by NSBRI and NASA.

Two proposals by Dr. Salas's team were among the 23 selected for funding. The 23 were narrowed down from an original field of 100 proposals submitted. NSBRI will manage one of Dr. Salas's projects; NASA will manage the other. Although Arizona State and Michigan State universities each also received two awards, Dr. Salas was the only principal investigator of the 23 to receive two. (See related story on the UCF Today website.)

NASA and NSBRI are partners in a quest to gain knowledge and technology that will help ensure the health and performance of future space travelers. NASA funds the NSBRI consortium of institutions that study potential health risks of long-duration spaceflight. Projects are underway at more than 60 institutions nationwide.

Stephen Fiore Appointed to National Academy of Science Panel on Team Science

Dr. Stephen Fiore, who directs IST's Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, has been selected as a committee member for a National Academy of Science consensus study on "The Science of Team Science." Team science is an interdisciplinary field that examines how research centers and similar groups conduct research. The goal is to understand and improve collaborative processes in pursuit of scientific breakthroughs.

The panel will, over the next year, explore such subjects as team dynamics and management and how instititutional policies and structures affect teams of researchers. Public workshops on the subject are scheduled for July and October of 2013. More details on those meetings are available from the National Academies' website.

Dr. Fiore, who holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, is on the faculty with UCF's Cognitive Sciences Program in the Department of Philosophy.

ACTIVE Lab Director, Stephanie Lackey, Ph.D., is a
2012-13 UCF Research Incentive Awardee

Dr. Stephanie Lackey joins a select group of UCF researchers honored with the incentive, which rewards faculty for outstanding research and a record of scholarly or creative work that advances their field's body of knowledge. UCF typically limits the awards to 20 or fewer faculty each year.

Dr. Lackey directs a lab that has developed software tools demonstrated to nearly double the effectiveness of simulation-based training in a military environment. The prototype is on track for distribution to U.S. Marine Corps units deployed worldwide.

Her lab also leading research on standards for human-robot communication and interaction. An ACTIVE lab testbed that simulates an unmanned system, and is used for human-robot interaction experiments, was named a "Top 5 Technology Demonstration" at a 2012 NATO conference.

In evaluating Dr. Lackey's accomplishments the awards committee also noted her emphasis on mentoring her team of more than 35 junior faculty, research staff and students. According to IST Director Randall Shumaker, her "exceptional efforts for their development in co-authoring papers, books, and of great value to IST and UCF."

More information about Dr. Lackey's and the ACTIVE Lab's research accomplishments is available at the lab's website.

E2i Creative Studio Director selected as Florida High Tech Corridor Pioneer

Eileen SmithEileen Smith, who directs research activities at IST's E2i Creative Studio, is among 20 "Faces of Technology" selected by the Florida High Tech Corridor Council for its 2013 corridor guide, "florida.HIGH.TECH." Ms. Smith joins a select group of men and women who use their experience and talent to advance technology's state-of-the-art in their field.

Bringing to IST her 30-years background in theatre and the science museum industry, she applies those talents in using M&S technology to create higher levels of engagement with products meant to entertain and educate.

Virtual Reality Research a Hit at FLAVR Showcase

FLAVRS displayChronoLeap, an interactive educational game that features the 1964-65 New York World's Fair as its playing field, was on display at the March 18 Florida Academic Virtual Reality Showcase at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel Pacific A Ballroom. UCF and the University of Florida teamed up to present
the event, and it turned out to be a fun evening of virtual reality demonstrations by UCF and other Florida universities.

The showcase was part of the IEEE Virtual Reality 2013 conference, which ran from March 16 through 23.

UCF sponsors of the event were IST, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, Office of Research & Commercialization and EECS Division of Computer Science. More than 20 demonstrations of VR-related research were on display. More information on the various demos is available at the demo page.

Center for Success of Women Faculty Honors IST's Andrews

The ink has barely dried on IST's Dr. Anya Andrews's 2012 recognition by the Orlando Business Journal (see below). Now the UCF Center for Success of Women Faculty has announced her selection as one of the "31 UCF amazing women who have helped and continue to help guide our university toward greatness." the women's center's recognition is part of its Celebration of Women's History Month. Dr Andrews is a senior research scientist and Instructions systems architect at IST. She earned her master's degree in Media Communication ('01) from the Nicholson School of Communication and Ph.D. in Instructional Technology ('06) from the College of Education.

Space Innovation Summit

There is more to space exploration than just launching a rocket. Attendees at IST's September 2012 Florida Space Innovation Summit explored just how much more during the day-long conference.

Organized by the IST, Florida Space Institute and the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International — Florida Peninsula Chapter, the summit provided an opportunity to build interdisciplinary relationships and to reflect on paths that have led to space innovation.

Co-founder and CEO of Moon Express Dr. Robert Richards, keynote speaker, shared his vision for an off-Earth economy, and explained how he and others are working toward attaining a multi-planet civilization. Successful leaders during the dot-com era, he said, have recognized potential in the space industry and begun to propel commercial space ventures. Read more about other summit presenters and their interests here.

IST Senior Researcher Drives Electric Tesla Vehicle to World Record

Ever wonder how far those fast (0-60 in 5.6 seconds) and fancy ($87K+) Tesla all-electric vehicles will actually go on a tank of batteries? Ever wonder what it would be like to leave Merritt Island in the middle of the night and drive all the way around Lake Okeechobee at 37 mph or less?

Dr. David Metcalf, a Senior Researcher and head of IST's Mixed Emerging Technology Integration Lab, found out. With his son, Adam, along for company, Metcalf answered the automaker's challenge and eased his Tesla Signature S sedan into an early Saturday morning in December and, after 17 hours of conservative driving, electric-motored to a record 423.5 miles. Read the NY Times story here.

Simulation Science's Debt to Arts & Humanities (UCF Forum)

Guest columnist Eileen Smith, director of IST's E2i Creative Studio, makes a case for equal treatment of art and humanities in a STEM-conscious (science, technology, engineering and math) environment. Read it here on the UCF Today Forum.

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