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University of Iowa News Release


May 16, 2007

UIAA, College of Engineering Host Synthetic Vision Presentation May 24

The University of Iowa Alumni Association (UIAA) and the UI College of Engineering will host a presentation titled "Synthetic Vision: Aiding Aviation" from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24 at the Operator Performance Laboratory (OPL), located at the Iowa City Municipal Airport, 1801 S. Riverside Drive in Iowa City.

In this presentation, UI engineering professor and OPL director Tom Schnell (left) will explain the concept of synthetic vision, which takes virtual reality into an aircraft cockpit, rendering images of the terrain and any obstacles that may lurk in the flight path. Participants will learn firsthand about research tools such as eye tracking and display systems, flight simulators and research aircraft, as well as the experimental models that measure pilot performance in a flight simulator and flight test sorties.

Schnell, an associate professor in mechanical and industrial engineering at the UI, as well as a commercial pilot and flight instructor, specializes in human factors/ergonomics. Part of the College of Engineering's Center for Computer-Aided Design, the OPL conducts research in various areas of surface and air transportation. Schell's research is done in conjunction with the U.S. Army and Rockwell Collins.

This talk is part of the UIAA's Lifelong Learning Series, which is an educational outreach program developed in partnership with UI colleges and departments. Each year, UI faculty and staff share their knowledge and experience with alumni and friends of the university at events held in cities across Iowa.

A reception begins at 6 p.m. before the program, which is free and open to the public. Participants should RSVP by Tuesday, May 22 to the UI Alumni Association online at or by calling 800-469-2586.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Program: UI Alumni Association, 800-469-2586. Media: George McCrory 319-384-0012,;