Cognitive Science and Human Factors Research in the Aerospace Domain
My approach is to link fundamental research on human perception, cognition and attention to the design, implementation and evaluation of advanced human-machine systems. Current areas of research are listed below:
- FLIGHT SIMULATOR DESIGN AND PILOT TRAINING
Flight simulators are used extensively to train pilots. The long-term objective of this research line is to develop next-generation flight training systems using virtual reality (VR) technologies. Fundamental research includes examining the role of motion cueing in simulator-based training experiences as well as issues of embodied cognition associated with using virtual and augmented realty systems for training in complex task domains.
- BRAIN IMAGING AND HUMAN ATTENTION
The long-term objective of this research is to develop an on-line brain monitoring capability that can be used in aircraft to monitor pilot workload and pilot fatigue. This research is support through a partnership with the Canadian National Research Council (NRC) Flight Research Lab.
- AGING PILOTS: COGNITIVE HEALTH AND PILOT PERFORMANCE
The long-term objective of this line of research is to develop and validate a computerized assessment battery that can be used to detect cognitive health issues that may compromise performance and safety with older pilots. Fundamental research is focused on developing a cognition-oriented model of performance for aviation (COMP-A) that specifies the relative impact of pilot attribute factors (age, expertise), domain-independent variables (working memory, processing speed, inhibition, visual-spatial attention), and domain-dependent variables (situation awareness, prospective memory, task management, task-relevant performance) on performance outcomes.
- CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY
This multi-year project is aimed at developing a game-based cognitive assessment tool to assess the cognitive health and performance readiness of astronauts during long-endurance missions (e.g., International Space Station).
PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR RESEARCH FUNDING - PAST 7 YEARS
Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI): VSIM Centre $28.8M
Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI): HCI Centre $4.6M
Department of National Defense (DND) $4.5M
Canadian National Search and Rescue Secretariat $2.2M
SSHRC INE Collaborative Grant $2.6M
NSERC Funding (Discovery, Strategic, Equipment) (PI) $975K
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) $550K
Ontario Centers of Excellence (OCE) (PI) $745K
GOC Contract for International Assessment of HDTV (PI) $250K
VISUALIZATION AND SIMULATION (VSIM) CENTRE
I am the Scientific Director of the Carleton University VSIM Centre. As the Principal Investigator, I established the VSIM Centre in 2007 through the acquisition of $30M funding. This included $15M from the Canadian Government and $15M from Industry partners.
Unique Facility and Infrastructure. The VSIM Centre is an 80,000 square foot special built facility. The Centre consists of 10 core labs equipped with state-of-the-art visualization, simulation, virtual environment and modeling technologies. Infrastructure includes several flight simulators (helicopter, fixed wing, fast jet), as well as vehicle, naval (ship deck) and UAV simulators.
Annual Funding. The VSIM Centre attracts research funding of approximately $5M annually.
Multidisciplinary. The VSIM Centre directly support the research of over 20 faculty members from the Human Sciences (Cognitive Science, Psychology, HCI), Engineering (Systems, Computer, Aerospace), Computer Science, and the School of Architecture (3D immersive media).
Student Training. The VSIM Centre supports the training of 80+ graduate students annually. The students come from seven different academic programs and across three Faculties. The Centre hosts postdoctoral students and numerous visiting faculty and researchers from abroad. Students often gain practical experience from internships with the VSIM industry partners and with key government agencies.