WIML - NASA Workshop 2011 Header Graphic
  Psychophysiological Aspects of Flight Safety in Aerospace Operations


Invited Speaker Biographies

Dr. Simon P. Worden, Brig. Gen., USAF, ret.
Center Director NASA Ames Research Center

Dr. Simon P. Worden (Brig. Gen., USAF, ret.) is the center director at NASA Ames Research Center in California where he leads a staff of nearly 2,500 civil servants and contractors who provide the critical R&D support that makes NASA’s and the nation’s aeronautics and space missions possible.

Worden, who was appointed as Director in May 2006, has put Ames on the critical path for all major NASA space exploration missions through effective use of the center’s unique wind tunnels, arc jets, intelligent systems and supercomputer facilities and capabilities. Worden’s ‘GreenSpace’ initiative has brought Ames’ remote sensing capabilities to bear on air traffic safety, fighting forest fires, and the study of climate change. In recognition of these outstanding achievements, Worden was named the Federal Laboratory Consortium’s Laboratory Director of the Year for 2009.

Prior to becoming Ames’ director, Worden was a Research Professor of Astronomy, Optical Sciences and Planetary Sciences at the University of Arizona where his primary research direction was the development of large space optics for national security and scientific purposes and near-earth asteroids. Additionally, he worked on topics related to space exploration and solar-type activity in nearby stars. He is a recognized expert on space issues — both civil and military. He has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific technical papers in astrophysics, space sciences, and strategic studies.

Worden retired from the United States Air Force in 2004 after 29 years of active service. His final position was Director of Development and Transformation, Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA.

Patricia M. Jones, Ph.D.
Deputy Director Exploration Technology Directorate
NASA Ames Research Center

Dr. Patricia M. Jones is the Deputy Director of Exploration Technology at NASA Ames Research Center. This Directorate enables NASA’s mission-critical capabilities through research in areas including autonomous systems and robotics, collaborative and assistant systems, robust software, engineering, science discovery and health management, human information processing, human-automation integration, system safety, reacting flow environments, thermo-physics, thermal protection materials and systems, advanced sensors and materials, supercomputing applications and engineering, and physics simulation and modeling. Previously at NASA, she was the Chief of the Human Systems Integration Division. She has published more than sixty papers in the areas of human- machine interaction and computer-supported cooperative work.

Brent Beutter, Ph.D.
Assistant Division Chief Human Systems Integration Division
NASA Ames Research Center

Dr. Brent R. Beutter is Assistant Chief of the Human Systems Integration Division at NASA Ames Research Center. This Division advances human-centered design and operations of complex aerospace systems through analysis, experimentation, and modeling of human performance and human-automation interaction to make dramatic improvements in safety, efficiency, and mission success. Dr. Beutter is an author on over seventy articles and conference presentations on visual perception and human factors. He recently worked on evaluating the impacts of thrust oscillation on human performance. His areas of technical expertise include human performance modeling, visual perception, visual search, and eye movements. He received his Ph. D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Patricia Cowings, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist, Psychophysiological Research Lab
Human Systems Integration Division
NASA Ames Research Center

Dr. Cowings is a research psychologist with experience in aerospace psychophysiology and biofeedback applications. Her interests are in developing new training methods for improving the operational readiness of astronauts and aviation flight crew. She holds a patent on Autogenic Feedback Training Exercise, a computer-based training system that has been successfully tested in space with astronauts and cosmonauts.

Walter Johnson, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator, Flight Deck Display Research Lab
Human Systems IntegrationDivision
NASA Ames Research Center

Dr. Walter W. Johnson is the Principal Investigator of the Flight Deck Display Research Laboratory (FDDRL) at NASA Ames Research Center. The Flight Deck Display Research Laboratory supports the research and development of air and ground concepts and displays and interfaces for NextGen. During the past several years, Dr. Johnson has studied the use of optical information to visually guide the control of self-motion, and more recently has focused his efforts on the display of spatial information in cockpit displays for the integrated avoidance of weather, terrain, and air traffic. Dr. Johnson has a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the Ohio State University.

Chad L. Stephens, M.S.
AST Human/Machine Systems Researcher
Crew Systems & Aviation Operations Branch
NASA Langley Research Center

Chad Stephens is a Research Scientist at NASA Langley Research Center and a PhD Candidate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He received his Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from Virginia Tech based on research into the physiological bases of emotions. His Ph.D. research, which is ongoing at NASA LaRC, includes the psychophysiology of task engagement and workload with particular interest in EEG and HRV-based adaptive automation.

William Toscano, Ph.D.
Research Scientist, Psychophysiological Research Lab
Human Systems Integration Division
NASA Ames Research Center

Dr. Toscano is a research psychologist with experience in applied psychophysiology and human performance in extreme environments. His interests are in developing new methods for the detection and correction of impaired operator states. He was a co-investigator with Dr. Cowings on several space flight projects flown on Shuttle and MIR.

COL Mark B. Coakwell, MD, MPH, US Air Force
Chief of Aerospace Medicine, Command Surgeon’s Office,
Headquarters United States Air Forces in Europe

Dr. Mark R. Coakwell (Colonel, US Air Force) is currently serving as the Chief of Aerospace Medicine for the US Air Forces in Europe.  In this capacity, he directs strategic planning, policy formulation, and all organize, train and equip functions for Operational Medicine, Preventive Medicine, and Occupational Medicine programs at 10 medical treatment facilities and 114 geographically separated units, encompassing 101,000 US and NATO personnel in 92 countries. Dr. Coakwell holds a Master of Public Health degree, and is board certified in both Aerospace and Occupational Medicine.  He has published papers on the subjects of high-risk head and neck movements under high G forces and interventions to reduce associated neck injury, as well as cervical herniated nucleus pulposus in F-16 pilots.

CDR Michael A. Lowe, Ph.D.
Acting Officer in Charge, U.S. Navy Detachment,
NASA Ames Research Center

CDR Michael A. Lowe is the acting Officer in Charge of the Navy Detachment at NASA Ames Research Center. He possesses a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi and holds a commission in the United States Navy, serving previously as a Research Psychologist, and currently as an Aerospace Experimental Psychologist and an Acquisition Professional. His research background includes Neuropsychological Assessment in Undersea Medicine/Environments, Aerospace Human Factors and Human Performance in Extreme Environments. He has just completed his first year at NASA Ames and has a total of five years comprehensive service with NASA Ames Research Center.

CDR Michael T. Acromite, MD, MSPH, FACOG, US Navy
Director of Public Health
OB/GYN Staff and Instructor
Naval Hospital Pensacola, Florida

Dr. Acromite is a US Naval Flight Surgeon and Obstetrician Gynecologist, with specialized training in Aerospace/Operational Medicine, Environmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment. His research includes airsickness and its countermeasures, hypoxia in aviation, cockpit displays, and hypertension in pregnancy. He coordinated a NASA-US Navy collaboration using the remote application of AFTE as a motion sickness countermeasure in naval aviation training.

COL Olaf Truszczyński, Ph.D.
Director of Military Institute of Aviation Medicine (WIML)
and Head of Flight Safety Division at WIML and
Assistant Professor at Kardynał Wyszyński University in Warsaw

Col. Olaf Truszczyński, PhD. is the Director of Military Institute of Aviation Medicine (WIML) and is the Head of its Flight Safety Division. In 1999, he was invited to do a to scientific tour of duty at the Naval Institute of Aviation Medicine in the US. In 2000, he was promoted to chief of the Aviation Safety Department in the Military Institute of Aviation Medicine (WIML) and in 2004 he became the military director of WIML. Soon after, he finished a specialization in clinical psychology. In 2007, he was nominated as the Polish principal member of the Human Factors and Medicine Panel, Research and Technology Organization (RTO) for NATO and was also nominated as the Polish coordinator of CAPTECH 4 (human factors) of the European Defense Agency. In 2007, he became a country coordinator of clinical psychology for the Polish Army.

He has actively participated in more than 40 international conferences focusing on areas of aviation psychology, aviation medicine, military psychology, and socio-cultural aspects of military cooperation including multinational deployments and conferences such as the International Aviation Military Psychology Symposium, International Military Testing Association Symposium, European Association of Aviation Psychology Conference, Human Factors and Medicine Conferences of the NATO Research and Technology Group (RTO). He was the Polish coordinator of the European Association of Aviation Psychology Conference "Safety, Systems and People in Aviation" in 2002, and has coordinated several NATO conferences and scientific courses in Poland. He has authored and/or co-authored more than 30 scientific articles.

Jerzy Achimowicz, Ph.D.,Dr.Sc., Ltn.Col. Ret.,Polish Air Force
Research Professor at WIML Flight Safety Division
Research Professor at IMGW Numerical Weather Forecast Center in Warsaw

Dr Jerzy Z. Achimowicz is an expert on application of digital signal processing (DSP) of spontaneous (EEG) and evoked (ERP) brain electric activity for basic and applied brain research. He holds a European patent for quantitative EEG analysis (Brain Mapping). Dr Achimowicz is a team member on a joint European Space Agency (ESA) experiment which started on ISS in 2009 and is currently continued. The experiment titled “The effect of gravitational context on EEG dynamics. A study of spatial cognition, novelty processing and sensorimotor integration (NEUROSPAT) may provide better insight to the mechanisms of altered working capacity particularly at early stages of space adaptation.  His current interests are in developing new DSP algorithms for objective measures of mental workload using multiple physiologic measures.

He received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Warsaw Technical University and Dr Sc. in neurophysiology from the Polish Academy of Sciences, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw. Achimowicz retired from the Polish Air Force in 1996 after 19 years of active service in WIML.

Joanna Łaszczyńska, Ph.D. Dr.Sc.
Research Professor and Head of Aviation Physiology Division at WIML

Adam Tarnowski, Ph.D. Dr.Sc.
Research Professor and Head of Aviation Psychology Division
Research Professor at Transport Psychology Department at Warsaw University

Dr. Adam Tarnowski is a psychologist, a graduate of the University of Stefan Wyszynski. He received his doctorate at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow and habilitation at Warsaw University. His scientific career is associated with the Military Institute of Aviation Medicine and Warsaw University. At MIAM he worked as an assistant, assistant professor, and recently professor- head of Aviation Psychology Department. His research interests focus on aviation psychology, traffic psychology, ergonomics, and visual science. Recent works has been focused on dependence between time course of saccadic eye movements and higher mental functions- working memory and executive control. Adam Tarnowski is also an academic at the Warsaw University.

Krzysztof Kowalczuk, MD, Col. Polish Air Force (retired)
Head of Aeromedical Training Division at WIML

Dr Kowalczuk is a graduate from Polish Military Medical Academy. After postgraduate training in WIML he spent four years as a senior flight surgeon in Polish Air Force Academy in Deblin. During this time he became an certified aviation medicine specialist. In 2000 he graduated, as a first in Poland, on Diploma in Aviation Medicine Course in UK with honors. He received his PhD for research on physiological descriptors during spatial disorientation. In 2005 he was appointed Head of Aeromedical Training Division in WIML. In 2009 with his team was awarded with a certificate of recognition for aeromedical training from USAF Surgeon General. Dr Kowalczuk is appointed expert on aviation accidents investigations, he is also an academician of Warsaw University of Technology . He has authored or co-authored more than 50 scientific papers and conference presentations in aviation medicine, flight safety, physiology and didactics. His main research interest is focused on spatial disorientation in high-G environment and improving G-tolerance. His didactic efforts are concentrated on developing aeromedical training tailored to single pilot needs and physiological capabilities. He is also Authorized Medical Examiner for all classes of aviation personnel both military and civilian. From 2005 he is a full member of Space Medicine and Biology Committee of Polish Academy of Sciences. Kowalczuk retired as Colonel from the Polish Air Force in 2010 after 22 years of active military service and is continuing his aeromedical duties as an civilian expert.

Prof. Orlov O.I.

Prof. Gushchin V.I.

Prof. Bubeev Yu.A.

Prof. László Balázs
Senior Research Fellow and Head of Space Research Group
Institute for Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Dr Balazs is a research psychologist and electronic engineer. His current research interest is the utilization of brain electrical potentials for the study of attention and behavioral control in extreme working conditions such as microgravity, hypoxia, sleep loss and fatigue. Another field of research is related to use of language technologies for neurobehavioral and psychological assessment in extreme conditions. Dr. Balazs is the PI of the on-going ESA experiment NeuroSpat investigating spatial orientation and prefrontal functions in spaceflight and co-PI of the ESA sponsored Cognipole experiment exploring the physiological effects of Antarctic overwintering.