simulation@iowa

Internationally Recognized Areas of Computer Simulation Excellence

The University of Iowa has a long history of creating and developing a spectrum of computer simulation on its Iowa City campus. Through a fertile environment of interdisciplinary research collaboration, advanced computer simulation associated with human factors, digital humans, vehicle and road dynamics, operator performance, and patient response thrives at the University.

You will find researchers from Engineering, Computer Science, Medicine, Dentistry, and Public Policy sharing their expertise in a multitude of challenging projects – focused on solving complex issues associated with how humans interact with machines and technology. We invite you to examine these key research areas, determine how they might assist in approaching your specific problem or issue, and contact us for more in-depth dialogue.

 

Cognitive Systems Laboratory photo

Madhavan Raghavan, researcher
Jia Lu, researcher

The mission of the BioMechanics of Soft Tissues (BioMOST) division is to contribute to the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the soft tissue structures in the human body by drawing upon principles in engineering mechanics. The division employs biomechanical experimentation, mathematical modeling, and computational simulations to address issues of interest in the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems.

 

Dentistry Simulation Clinic photo

Dentistry Simulation Clinic

Yvonne Chalkley, director

helps first- and second-year students make a smoother transition from the preclinical to clinical setting. It allows seniors to refine their skills for clinical board/licensure exams and it provides a more realistic environment for practitioners taking continuing education courses. Eighty operatories are clustered in modules that can accommodate right- and left-handed students. Each operatory has a mannequin with a realistic tooth model and jaws that function very much like a human’s.

Virtual Soldier Research photo

Virtual Soldier Research

Karim Abdel-Malek, director

Designed to reduce the cost of prototyping military equipment through the use of human modeling and simulation technology. A team of researchers are working to create "autonomous digital humans" that can answer how humans would interact with proposed vehicles and weapons systems. The digital humans are programmed to provide the feedback that a real human would provide in a simulated world. They are able to respond to inputs "on the fly," answering such questions as the joint angles that would be required for a human operator to reach a switch, and how long the human would be comfortable doing a particular task.

 

Hank Driving Simulator photo

Hank Virtual Environments Lab

James Cremer, co-director
Joseph Kearney, co-director
Jodie Plumert, co-director

Designed to run on a wide-range of platforms, from modest workstations to high-end multi-processor computers with state-of-the-art image generators. Special emphasis is placed on the development of technology supporting applications that use interactive simulation to study human driving behavior. Hank contains a powerful and flexible mechanism for programming scenarios and the behaviors of vehicles, pedestrians, and other entities through Hierarchical Concurrent State Machines (HCSM).

Hank Driving Simulator photo

Musculoskeletal Imaging, Modeling, and EXperimentation (MIMX) Program

Nicole M. Grosland, director

A collaborative effort directed at computational modeling of anatomic structures.   A primary objective is to automate the development of patient-/subject- specific models using a combination of imaging and modeling techniques, with particular emphasis on finite element modeling.

National Advanced Driving Simulator photo

Herm Reininga, interim director
Omar Ahmad, assistant director

World’s most sophisticated simulator for conducting research to achieve fundamental improvements in highway safety and transportation efficiency, and to enhance equipment product development effectiveness without the need to construct expensive prototypes. Experts collaborate on vehicle dynamics and simulation, simulator technology and virtual reality environment, and human factors.

 

Operator Performance Laboratory photo

Thomas Schnell, director

Conducts research in a number of areas of surface and air transportation. Aviation research includes synthetic vision, flight simulation, pilot eye movements, pilot and crew performance and workload, situational awareness and display optimization research.

Critical Patient Simulation photo

Paul A. Leonard, co-director
Ann Willemsen-Dunlap, co-director

The Department of Anesthesia uses simulation in a controlled environment chiefly as a tool for experiential practice of a) unusual, difficult clinical situations and b) coordination of teams in emergencies.  Life-size adult and infant mannequins model normal and abnormal physiology, drug responses, and some anatomic changes.  A third use of simulation, “on location” in the work environment, is being piloted to test workplace safety systems. 

Critical Patient Simulation photo

Reliability and Sensory Prognostic Systems (RSPS) Group

Sharif Rahman, director

The Department of Anesthesia uses simulation in a controlled environment chiefly as a tool for experiential practice of a) unusual, difficult clinical situations and b) coordination of teams in emergencies.  Life-size adult and infant mannequins model normal and abnormal physiology, drug responses, and some anatomic changes.  A third use of simulation, “on location” in the work environment, is being piloted to test workplace safety systems. 

Simulator for Interdisciplinary Research in Ergonomics and Neuroscience photo

Matthew Rizzo, director

A sophisticated fixed base driving simulator designed for research in the clinical setting, in collaboration with Drive Safety (Fort Collins, CO). SIREN creates an immersive real-time virtual environment for assessing at-risk drivers in a medical setting. The simulator generates a range of driving environments including roadway types and grades, traffic, signal controls, and light and weather conditions, for differing clinical and experimental needs.