Tom Schnell, PhD

Associate Director, Iowa Technology Institute
Director, Operator Performance Laboratory
Captain Jim "Max" Gross Chair in Engineering

Tom "Mach" Schnell is a professor of industrial engineering with a specialization in human factors/ergonomics. He has secondary appointments in the Departments of Occupational and Environmental Health, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Neurology, and is the Captain Jim "Max" Gross Chair in Engineering. He is the founder and director of the Operator Performance Laboratory and associate director of the Iowa Technology Institute.

Professor Schnell received a BS in electrical engineering from the Bern University of Applied Sciences, and an MS and PhD in industrial engineering with a specialization in human factors from Ohio University. He is a commercial pilot, research test pilot, and flight instructor with helicopter, jet, and glider ratings, and he performs in airshows with his jet formation team act.

Professor Schnell's research focuses on flight testing, pilot spatial orientation assessment, NextGen integrated intelligent flight deck, simulator fidelity measurement and modeling, characterization of operator performance in flight, live virtual constructive training systems, and human performance in air warfare systems. He also conducts research in multi-sensory display effectiveness and measurement and modeling of human visual performance in warfare and transportation systems, including lighting systems and visual enhancement systems using sensor fusion and synthetic vision systems. Professor Schnell is a member of several technical societies and committees, including the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the Transportation Research Board, the International Illumination Committee, the Experimental Aircraft Association and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has been the principal investigator on 305 projects totaling over $24 million. He has authored or co-authored over 140 technical papers.

Mission Areas: Aerospace TechnologySystems and Sensors

Center: Operator Performance Laboratory

Publications: Google Scholar Citations