Aerospace Cognitive Engineering Lab

Problem: Pilots may need to deal with unexpected and stressful situations.  This past summer I worked with an aerospace engineer and a computer scientist to research how pilots under varying levels of stress interact with an interface in an aircraft during a flight in order to build a new interface that facilitates decision-making.  

Process: The first step is to conduct interviews and focus groups with pilots to learn more about the tools they currently use and how different stressful situations have affected their cognitive state and actions.  I helped write the scripts and questions for the focus groups and an initial questionnaire.  Unfortunately, the summer ended and I left the job to return to school before we conducted the focus groups. The next step will be to experiment using a flight simulator and various simulations that put pilots in stressful situations so we can view how they handle these events and what type of cognitive state they were in.