Aeronautics Student Earns Best Conference Paper Honor

MELBOURNE, FLA— Maria Speder, who recently earned a master’s degree in aviation human factors from Florida Institute of Technology, took the Best Conference Paper Award at the 2007 Florida Student Conference on Human Factors & Applied Psychology. The conference was held at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Speder’s paper was her degree research thesis. The title was “The Impact of Pilot Experience on Aeronautical Decision Making Aided by Use of Advanced In-Flight Weather Products.” Co-authors were Donna Wilt, associate professor of aeronautics, and faculty adviser John Deaton, professor and chair, College of Aeronautics Human Factors Program; and School of Psychology faculty members Richard Griffith and Erin Richard.

Speder explored whether the available pilot weather tools were equally effective for differing levels of pilot experience. Her research looked at the impact the level of pilot experience has on the effective use of in-flight weather displays.

All three of the graduate Florida Tech papers submitted for presentation were accepted. The other two were “The Relationship between Multiple Vibro-tactile Cues and Mental Workload in a Virtual Environment,” by Patrick Lenihan and adviser Deaton; and “Phase I Conceptual Graphical User Interface Development for a Man-in-the-Loop Integration to Enhance an Algorithm-based Remote Airborne Sensing Imagery Analysis Protocol,” by David Shrader, Paris Michaels and adviser Deaton.

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