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UCF Academia Day initiates conversations, partnerships
TOPICS & CATEGORIES
Last month, Team Orlando member University of Central Florida hosted an inaugural UCF Academia Day. The event was an opportunity for UCF to feature some of their most innovative work and research in the areas of modeling, simulation and training to other members of Team Orlando, industry, and UCF colleagues.
Randy Shumaker, Ph.D., director of the UCF Institute for Simulation and Training, said, “We’re very pleased with the turnout for the inaugural Academia Day. Those who showcased their capabilities began conversations that we hope will continue and lead to beneficial connections for everyone involved. Given the success of the day, we plan to make this a regular event to promote continued partnerships between UCF and Team Orlando members.”
The day featured a variety of work in several areas, including cyber security, combat medical training, PTSD, augmented reality and robotics.
There was a steady flow of both local and out of town visitors throughout the day, including Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division commander Rear Admiral Shane Gahagan (above), who also attended the NAWCTSD Town Hall with Captain Erik Etz prior to the event.
Also in attendance were representatives from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia — a delegation that included FLETC leaders and subject matter experts with purview over training, training management, and training innovation.
“We had the opportunity to talk with University of Central Florida staff,” said Mike Robbs, FLETC law enforcement technology liaison. “During the visit, our group attended a number of briefings and demonstrations by UCF labs, departments and programs. This event provided a unique opportunity for the FLETC staff to converse with academic professionals and receive a perspective of training development that is based on current research and development, science, and training validation.”
Dr. Gregory Welch, who participated in Academia Day, is professor and Florida Hospital endowed chair in healthcare simulation, and co-director of the Synthetic Reality Lab (SREAL) at the UCF Institute for Simulation and Training.
The SREAL showed work comprising two complementary research thrusts related to technological human surrogates: interactive rear-projection physical-virtual patient simulators, and methods for increasing co-presence and social presence with a technological human surrogate such as a virtual human.
Welch said that the location was perfect and provided visitors with a close and known venue. “Although the event was relaxed, it was very productive — in large part because it was well planned and organized,” Welch said. “While it is sometimes hard to know what interactions later lead to collaborations, it seems that the visitors were engaged and inquisitive, which at the very least was a great opportunity to provide and increase awareness, which is good for everyone.”
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