Aki Nikolaidis, PhD, is our Chief Science Officer and also serves as a tenure track research scientist in the Center for the Developing Brain at the Child Mind Institute. His research focuses on using advanced techniques from artificial intelligence to understand learning in the brain. Dr. Nikolaidis brings this knowledge to his work at VTR to ensure all our work follows the highest standards of scientific integrity. Dr. Nikolaidis completed his undergraduate studies in psychology at Yale University and his PhD in neuroscience at the University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana. His work has been published in over 25 peer reviewed research studies. Most recently he received the highly prestigious Director’s Award from the National Institute of Mental Health and his work has been cited multiple times by the US Surgeon General. He has received highly prestigious awards and funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, Morgan Stanley Foundation, and Google.
At VTR, Dr. Nikolaidis leads the effort for data analysis and development of machine learning pipelines for analysis of data on pilot performance and learning. Last year, he led the effort for our proof-of-concept study with JetBlue, where we demonstrated that VTR’s product leads to reductions in pilot errors and need for support, while simultaneously increasing the speed of their performance.
Stephanie G. Fussell, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor and Aeronautics Program Coordinator with Kent State University’s College of Aeronautics and Engineering. Her research investigates extended reality (XR) technologies for aviation and aerospace training. A proponent of using XR efficiently and effectively, Dr. Fussell’s research concentrates on usability, user experience, and transfer of training. Dr. Fussell earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She has given demonstrations and spoken on numerous panels about the benefits of using XR in aviation training and has twice been awarded an Air Force Research Lab Summer Faculty Fellowship at AFRL-Airman Systems, Warfighter Interactions and Readiness Division 711 HPW/RHW (SF.15.12.B0913).
Dr. Fussell works with Dr. Nikolaidis. She brings her aviation training knowledge and experience in XR usability testing to VTR to help ensure that the VR training environments are meeting user expectations as well as desired training outcomes.