Thursday, December 8, 2022

University of Iowa's Operator Performance Lab (OPL) hosted the Air Force ROTC Detachment 255 (Det 255) award ceremony and the installment of a new cadet group commander. OPL and Det 255 have a collaborative relationship. 

Isaac Eigner-Bybee, a research assistant at OPL, was installed as the new cadet group commander. Eigner-Bybee is a graduate student of Tom "Mach" Schnell, the Captain Jim "Max" Gross Chair in Engineering and OPL director.

The cadet group commander is a student role in command of the 49 student cadets in Det 255, which is based at the University of Iowa. As the new group commander, Eigner-Bybee urged the cadets to fulfill their potential as students, leaders, and athletes. 

The detachment's professional officers presented numerous awards recognizing cadets' achievements in academics, fitness, and leadership. 

Eigner-Bybee is pursuing a master's degree in industrial and systems engineering under the mentorship of Schnell, a professor of industrial and systems engineering and also OPL's chief test pilot. The Mediapolis native's research focus is studying the role peripheral vision – or the lack thereof – plays in spatial orientation for a pilot in a limited visibility situation. He is involved in testing the benefits of helmet mounted display with augmented reality filling in the periphery vision. 

During the ceremony, Detachment 255 was presented with a plaque recognizing it as the best small detachment in the northwest region. Detachment 255 has also been named the national best small detachment for 2022. OPL has a working relationship with the U.S. Air Force, periodically hosting sessions of the Air Force Test Pilot School. OPL also regularly employs graduates from the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base in California, who come to UI to complete PhD's under Schnell's mentorship.