Human Systems Integration Lab Presents Research Projects to NPS President
By MC2 Tom Tonthat
Faculty and students of the Human Systems Integration (HSI) Lab at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) presented research findings and current projects to the school’s President retired Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau as she toured the lab inside Glasgow Hall, Feb. 21.
The HSI program studies the science surrounding how humans interact with machines, a discipline NPS has been teaching for more than 10 years. Most recently, the HSI Program developed shipboard watchbills that match a human’s natural circadian rhythm leading to an optimized watchbill program implemented fleetwide to help improve crew performance.
“I wanted President Rondeau to meet the students and see their work, and its importance firsthand,” said NPS Professor Dr. Nita Shattuck, as she guided Rondeau through the tour. “Having senior leadership interested in our work is a terrific encouragement both for our faculty and the students.”
Students presented projects ranging from further sleep studies, effects of interior lighting, shipboard habitability and operational stress. Rondeau gave feedback on each presentation and talked to the students about how HSI can bring about changes to Navy procedures.
“You are now knowledgeable about HSI and this knowledge now obligates you to do something with it,” said Rondeau. “Take this knowledge with you and be brave and smart about it. You now have information in your hands that you can take to the fleet and become extraordinary difference makers.”
In addition to acknowledging the potential benefits of the students’ work, Rondeau advised the students on how to bring their work to fruition once they return to the fleet.
“There is a tremendous amount of obligation that you have to the fleet,” said Rondeau. “You need to become the missionaries for HSI because this should be part of our leadership thinking every day. Not everybody is going to be an expert on it, but you can make them better by being leaders and training them on it.”
NPS student Lt. Megan Mittleider, who presented research on improving habitability aboard U.S. Navy ships, expressed how important it is for leaders like Rondeau to be aware of these studies in order to help make a difference out in the fleet.
“The more awareness of what we’re doing at the HSI Lab, the more findings that will be promulgated out,” said Mittleider. “It helps when someone like NPS President Rondeau is being made aware of our work, for she can help get our message to the Navy and to people who can make a difference at the deck plate level. We want to see that improvement in the fleet on a day-to-day basis and our Sailors’ ability to perform at the very best that they can.”
After learning about all the research being conducted, Rondeau gave the HSI faculty and students some final encouragement.
“I’m honored and privileged that you would give me this time to learn,” said Rondeau. “I’m smarter and better and inspired. You are absolutely exemplifying what this school stands for.”
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