University of Iowa News Release
March 10, 2006
NADS Moves To UI College Of Engineering (CCAD)
The University of Iowa announced today, March 10, that the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) will report to the College of Engineering through the College's Center for Computer Aided Design (CCAD) under the leadership of CCAD Director Karim Abdel-Malek.
Previously, NADS reported directly to the Office of the Vice President for Research.
Meredith Hay, UI vice president for research, said that the organizational change is designed to better align the activities of NADS with the research, education and service missions of the College of Engineering and the University of Iowa. She noted that NADS will provide a focal point for research in all aspects of vehicle driving and driver performance, while attracting faculty and graduate students from diverse disciplines to work in a collaborative research environment.
"This is an outstanding example of many of the aspirations and goals of 'The Iowa Promise,' the UI 2005-2010 strategic plan that aims to advance excellence in education, research and service," she said. "The move will help us realize specific goals by adding a teaching component not there before that will strengthen graduate education and research."
Abdel-Malek, who also serves as professor of biomedical engineering and directs CCAD's Virtual Soldier Research (VSR) program, noted that because NADS was conceived in the late 1980s by CCAD faculty and staff as a natural evolution from the earlier Iowa Driving Simulator, it makes good sense to bring NADS back into CCAD where it will provide new opportunities for faculty, staff and student collaboration in developing the full academic potential of NADS.
College of Engineering Dean Barry Butler said, "The college is privileged to have NADS under its banner. We fully expect this move to positively impact the visibility of the college and provide NADS the faculty and graduate student base it needs to remain at the forefront of research at the national level."
L.D. Chen, NADS director since its inception, will continue to serve as professor and departmental executive officer in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering-a position he assumed recently-and continue his on-going research through the National Science Foundation (NSF) University-Industry Cooperative Research Center associated with NADS.
Located at the University of Iowa's Oakdale Research Park, NADS is the most sophisticated research driving simulator in the world. Developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it offers the highest fidelity real-time driving simulation experience. The University of Iowa was selected to host NADS as the result of a national competition, conducted for NHTSA by the National Science Foundation, among major transportation research universities.
The NADS' primary mission has been to conduct research leading to a better understanding of the complex driver-vehicle-roadway interaction in critical driving situations. The results of this research -- augmented by the new NADS teaching component -- will ultimately lead to reductions in the number of traffic-related deaths and injuries on the nation's highways. The NADS can also be used to conduct vehicle system engineering research that will enhance the productivity of the U.S. automotive manufacturing sector.