Spotlight on Javier Rivera

By: Graduate Studies on

An animal lover, Javier Rivera originally entered UCF as an undergraduate Biology major with the intention of becoming a veterinarian until he discovered that he enjoyed listening to and helping people as much as animals. This brought him to the Psychology program, specifically Human Factors. From there, Rivera learned that the modeling and simulation master’s program offered human factors related courses so he went on to earn his master’s degree.

Rivera is now a doctoral candidate in the Modeling and Simulation program specializing in Human Factors. He enjoys the interdisciplinary nature of the program where he has learned about human factors psychology, simulation systems, simulation for training, and instructional design. In addition, he appreciates the opportunity to continually develop his writing skills through research papers, technical reports, and grant proposals.

As a Graduate Research Assistant at the Team Performance Laboratory (TPL) in the Institute of Simulation and Training (IST), his work employs a human-centered approach to develop low-cost training tools to improve team performance. Currently, Rivera’s research is funded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and it focuses on improving pilot performance on the flight deck.

“A major benefit of being part of this research is that it has given me an opportunity to attend and present at international research conferences,” Rivera states. He enjoys engaging in discussions to improve his research and networking with researchers from other universities.

Rivera is also McKnight Doctoral Fellowship recipient and will finish his doctorate in 2015.

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