Aviation Psychology Symposium

This week at Wright State

The need to improve cockpit displays for threats such as wind shear, concerns raised by flying unmanned aircraft in national airspace, and other human-performance issues related to aviation safety are expected to be the focus of the International Symposium on Aviation Psychology hosted by Wright State University and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Human Effectiveness Directorate.

The 16th annual, four-day symposium, May 2-5, is expected to draw more than 200 researchers from more than 15 countries. The meetings will be held on the Wright State campus in the Student Union.

The symposium will showcase the latest research on human-performance problems and opportunities within aviation systems, offer design solutions that best utilize human capabilities for creating safe and efficient aviation systems, and bring together scientists, research sponsors and operators to bridge the gap between research and application.

The main session is designed to create a dialogue between researchers and aviation operators about ways to make flying safer.

One symposium panel, established by NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration, will explore the implications of NextGen on human-factor research. NextGen is the FAA’s current effort to upgrade the nation’s air traffic control system in order to improve safety and efficiency.

Symposium workshops will include examining the need to improve cockpit displays, analyzing the use of flight-recorded data to improve the performance of the crew, and addressing issues created by the need to fly unmanned aircraft in U.S. airspace for defense, emergency management and science missions.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Key Dismukes, who will speak about the state of aviation psychology. Recently retired as chief scientist for aerospace human factors at the NASA Ames Research Center, Dr. Dismukes’ research addresses cognitive issues in the performance of pilots, their ability to manage challenging situations and their vulnerability to error.

The event will also include a banquet at the National Museum of the United States Air Force that features a speech by Dr. Mark Maybury, the Chief Scientist of the Air Force who serves as chief scientific adviser to the Secretary of the Air Force.

The opening reception at the symposium will include an exhibit of aviation photos by acclaimed photographer Dan Patterson. The reception will also honor the memory of Dr. Charles Billings, a flight surgeon who made major contributions to the field of aviation psychology.

In addition, the symposium will feature a lunch in which four people will be inducted as Honorary Fellows for their contributions to aviation psychology: Dr. Richard Jensen, founder of the International Symposium on Aviation Psychology; Dr. Richard Pew, who has 50 years’ experience in human performance related to systems design; Dr. Malcolm Ritchie, emeritus professor of engineering at Wright State with a long career in aviation psychology; and Dr. Thomas Sheridan, a champion in experimentation, modeling and design in human-machine systems.

For more information, visit http://www.wright.edu/isap.

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