Monday, October 26, 2015

2015-10-20: Autonomy Incubator Celebrates Anna Trujillo's 25 Years of Service

For 25 years, Anna Trujillo has been an integral part of the NASA Langley Research Center. As our resident human factors specialist at the Autonomy Incubator, Anna develops operator interfaces and leads our research on the interaction between machine and human.

For 25 years, Anna Trujillo has been an integral part of the NASA Langley Research Center.

Anna began her engineering career as an undergraduate at MIT, where her love of science led her to major in aerospace engineering. The Three Mile Island accident in 1979 inspired Anna to pursue a career to improve the interaction and efficiency between humans and technology, and so after she completed her undergraduate degree, Anna studied human factors at the University of Michigan. Human factors was a relatively new field, and it was initially classified under industrial engineering. Anna also took classes in psychology, and focused on aeronautics with a subspecialty in controls.

Directly out of college, Anna accepted a job offer from NASA Langley Research Center as a human factors engineer. Her first project was a high speed civil transport, the HSCT. A commercial version of supersonic transport (SST), the HSCT was NASA's vision of a supersonic passenger jet that would be able to travel distances in less than half the time of a modern subsonic airplane. 

For about 10 years, Anna worked with Aviation Safety, and completed important research for cockpit safety regarding warning systems and information displays. "I always liked airplanes and the piloting side of what they were doing", she says; "what are they doing, and can what they're doing be improved?" One of Anna's many research papers focuses on her work with displays and alerting systems. What information does the pilot really need? She looked into new ways of showing information, so that someone could quickly understand the issue that was being indicated by the display. The idea, she says, is to give the pilot more time in the event of failure. 

While working on Aviation Safety, Anna also helped with The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration in the National Airspace System project, which is based out of the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center. The project focuses on improving unmanned aircraft systems to safety integrate them into daily life, and during this time Anna became interested in the application of small UAVs as they "change the way you look at piloting a vehicle".

This led Anna to the Autonomy Incubator, where she currently lends her expertise in human factors, controls, and developing effective pilot and operator interfaces. Our team celebrates Anna's impressive 25 years of work, and her ongoing commitment to NASA and the American public.

You can check out Anna's research papers below.
     -A Centralized Display for Mission Monitoring
     -Experience and Grouping Effects when handling Non-Normal Situations
     -Predicting Information: Status or Alert Information? 
     -Using Simulation Speeds to Differentiate Controller Interface Concepts

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