Students in Dan McGehee's Autonomous Vehicles class experience collision avoidance technology in one of the UI's research vehicles.
Students in Dan McGehee's Autonomous Vehicles class experience collision avoidance technology in one of the UI's automated research vehicles.

University of Iowa students

We work with University of Iowa students in all phases of their college careers. From graphics design to program development to mechanics to working with research participants, our students are invaluable to our work, and they receive an educational experience that leads to a lifetime of success in a variety of fields. 

If you are a University of Iowa student interested in working with us, contact Daniel McGehee, PhD, professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and director of the National Advanced Driving Simulator, at daniel-mcgehee@uiowa.edu.

High school students

We also offer internships to high school students. To learn more, visit the Workplace Learning Connection website.

Graduate students

We work with undergraduates, graduates, and post-docs, but a few of our recent graduate students are highlighted here.

Zach Noonan

Zach Noonan

Q: What is your research focused on? 

A: One facet of my research is developing empirically derived models of human decision-making and risk-perception as it relates to the driving task. Another facet of my research involves using insights gained from human factors analyses blended with systems engineering and social sciences techniques to engineering automated driving systems that don’t just act but interact with other road users. 

Q: What are the goals of your research? 

A: Ultimately, I hope this research will lead to a safer and more efficient mixed automated driving and traffic environment.

Hunza Zainab

Hunza Zainab

Q: What brought you to the National Advanced Driving Simulator? 

A: An interest in digital signal processing techniques and devising algorithms that help improve quality of life is what brought me to NADS; as automobiles become better and more efficient with technology, we also need to ensure passenger safety, and my work on vital signs detection in a moving vehicle was a step in that direction. 

Q: What are you most proud of? 

A: I am proud that we were able to come up with an algorithm that would accurately detect the heart rate and breathing rate of occupants of a moving vehicle. This could be groundbreaking as the number of crashes that happen due to drowsy driving and infants suffocating in a closed car will decrease. 

Nicole Corcoran

Nicole Corcoran

Q: What do you work on and what do you enjoy most about your work? 

A: 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 is being able to put the focus back on the needs of the people. 

Q: What are your goals for the future? 

A: My goals are based on 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. 

Thomas Burt

Thomas Burt

Q: What brought you to the National Advanced Driving Simulator? 

A: After taking a semester off to recover from a car crash, I took Professor McGehee’s Autonomous Vehicles course and learned about NADS research. The idea of traffic safety research was especially appealing given my personal experience, and after a fantastic summer internship at NADS, the rest is history. 

Q: What do you work on and what do you hope to do in the future? 

A: I am doing research on impaired driving and modeling. I hope to get into the automotive industry, applying my interests of coding, design, and statistical analysis. 

Christopher Mitropoulos-Rundus

Christopher Mitropoulos-Rundus

Q: What do you work on and what do you enjoy most about your work at NADS? 

A: As a graduate research assistant, much of my research is with electric vehicles. I am researching regenerative braking and how human drivers interact with the new braking system. I am also researching how regenerative braking can be leveraged to assist drivers in emergency braking. 

Q: What are your goals for the future? 

A: My goals for the future are to earn my PhD in industrial and systems engineering and conduct human factors research for a major automaker. 

Emily Shull

Emily Shull

Q: What brought you to the National Advanced Driving Simulator? 

A: As an undergraduate in psychology, I came across the NADS and realized that my fascination with psychology could be applied to a much broader context, potentially influencing the way we design and implement automation into our lives. 

Q: What do you work on and hope to do in the future? 

A: My research involves evaluating effective ways of maintaining a user’s attention and awareness while in an automated vehicle. Ideally, I would like to continue my research for a broader transportation safety organization that is able to implement guidelines for design and production of automated vehicles.