University of Central Florida (UCF) is known for its focus on partnership and collaboration. The UCF School for Modeling, Simulation, and Training /Institute for Simulation and Training (IST) added new faculty/staff leader Rear Admiral, US Navy (Ret) Scott Dillon in October. During his Navy career, and especially during the major acquisition assignments in the latter portion of his career, Dillon engaged in transforming Navy development, test and procurement strategies through modeling and simulation. He worked closely with non-profit entities such as large research universities in those missions. His goal as the associate director for federal strategies at SMST/IST is to work closely with its members to develop effective strategies that grow the organization and promote the impactful research that addresses the challenges faced by stakeholders and research sponsors. Dillon is focused on expanding the constantly growing audience across the country and the world that solidifies UCF’s Institute for Simulation and Training, and the School of Modeling, Simulation and Training, as the first-place leaders turn to for innovative solutions for their most challenging problems.

Earlier in 2023, SMST added two recognized leaders to their digital twin faculty,  Dr. Soheil Sabri and Dr. Sean Mondesire. Dr. Mondesire was previously the leader of the Human-centered AI Lab at the School. His goal with the digital twin initiative is to establish the School as a prominent research institution for next-generation simulation and modeling. He plans to achieve this by elevating artificial intelligence capabilities in the SMST graduate program and by conducting large-scale, impactful AI-focused research with Digital Twins.

Dr. Sabri joined UCF from the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Spatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration and has started his Urban Digital Twin Lab at SMST. He plans to contribute his view of a composable and modular system architecture of Digital Twins to integrate 2D, 3D, and 4D (time) data for built and natural environments and socio-economic systems analytics, visualization, and predictive modeling and simulations. He is passionate about the application of emerging technologies, including IoT, AI, and Deep Learning in Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) and Urban Quality of Life (UQL).

With IST wrapping up their 40-year anniversary this year, these and other additions ensure the growth of UCF’s School of Modeling, Simulation and Training and the institute continues to gain altitude.

*Information was repurposed from the SMST website

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