Aviation students earn first place at research symposium

Lewis University graduate aviation students earn first place at research symposium

Published: May 12, 2013.


(Left to right) Jennifer Pfieffer (M.S. Aviation),
Elizabeth de Waard (B.S. Physics) and Jacob Luedtke
(M.S. Aviation).

Collaborative research by Lewis University undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty recently earned a first place award at the Fourth Graduate Students Aviation Research Symposium hosted by the Purdue University Aviation Graduate Council.

Aviation graduate students Jennifer Pfieffer and Jacob Luedtke along with physics undergraduate student Elizabeth de Waard presented “Determining the Hazardous Effects of Flight Deck Laser Illumination” at the symposium. Other authors of the study included: Dr. Randal DeMik, associate professor and director of aviation and transportation graduate program, Dr. Stanley Harriman, assistant professor of aviation and transportation, Dr. Ryan Phillips, assistant professor aviation and transportation, Dr. Charles Crowder, associate professor of physics, Shane McHugh, Steven Foster, Michael Streit, Richard Antoniolli, Ernest Knight and David York.

“Their presentation of the research at the Lewis University Celebration of Scholarship gave them a big advantage. The interdisciplinary nature of the study enhanced the study as well,” commented DeMik. lead author.

The Lewis University research study addressed the concern of laser attacks from people on the ground directed towards aircraft have increased over 300 percent since 2005. The lasers aimed at aircraft windshields startles pilots and may cause injury. The study determined empirical evidence of laser intensity in the flight deck and the potential for harm to the human eye at various distances. Study results revealed that relatively low-powered lasers had measured intensity levels through cockpit windshields at the 200 and 500 feet distances that may cause damage to crewmember’s eyes according to standards established by the federal government. At longer distances of 1,000, 1,500, and 2,000 feet these same lasers did not reveal measured intensities at levels to cause damage to crewmember’s eyes. However, they were considered as having potentially distracting visual effects in flight that were further categorized as temporary flash blindness, glare or disruption and distraction or startle.

The Fourth Graduate Students Aviation Research Symposium featured 18 presentations on aviation related research. Topics included effects of music tempos on flight performance, analysis of runway incursions and a case study of Korean airline safety culture.

Since 1932, Lewis University has led the field of aviation education by preparing students from around the world to succeed in the aviation industries. An on-site airport, experienced and industry-leading faculty, personalized learning, degree programs that provide you with specialized experience and a well-rounded business, management and liberal arts education have made Lewis University’s aviation program one of the most respected in Illinois. Lewis University offers a master’s degree in aviation and transportation as well as bachelor’s degrees in aviation flight management, aviation administration, aviation maintenance management, air traffic control management, aviation security and transportation administration.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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