"As vehicle technology advances, I feel it is easy to get caught up in the novel and exciting features of it. What I enjoy most about my work is being able to put the focus back on the needs of the people who will experience the strongest effects of our progression."
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Year: First-year PhD student
Program: Industrial and Systems Engineering
Mission Area: Vehicle Safety and Automated Driving
Lab: National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) and Applied Cognitive Engineering Lab
Advisor: Daniel McGehee, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering, occupational and environmental health, and emergency medicine
What do you do at the University outside ITI and NADS?
Outside of ITI, NADS, and the College of Engineering, I also work partly at the Injury Prevention Research Center studying rural road safety. Outside of that, I am a rock-climbing clinic leader and route setter at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
What do you work on and what do you enjoy most about your work?
I study the human cognitive experience with advancing vehicle technologies especially as it pertains to autonomous vehicle testing. As vehicle technology advances, I feel it is easy to get caught up in the novel and exciting features of it. What I enjoy most about my work is being able to put the focus back on the needs of the people who will experience the strongest effects of our progression.
What are your goals for the future? What do you hope to be doing professionally in 10 years?
My goals are centered around doing good for those around me. If I accomplish anything, I hope that it will benefit the public and make people feel as though their needs are understood. As a human factors engineer, I truly have the opportunity to do that.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I participate as a board member for the Iowa Climbers Coalition, a local climbing nonprofit. I also volunteer at the local homeless shelter (Shelter House) and at the Iowa Raptor Project. I go rock climbing with any leftover free time.