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Dr. Kathleen Van Benthem & Dr. Chris Herdman

Dr. Kathleen D. Van Benthem, Senior Research Associate, Carleton University

Dr. Kathleen D. Van Benthem is a Senior Research Associate at Carleton University (Department of Cognitive Science). Dr. Van Benthem has been actively researching aviator cognitive performance for more than a decade and has more than 20 years experience in clinical cognitive assessments. Dr. Van Benthem is the lead researcher for one of the world’s largest studies on pilot cognitive health assessment. A major goal of her work is to advance evidence-based and non-age-biased methods for determining pilot competencies and for classifying pilot risk. Dr. Van Benthem is a proponent of emerging extended reality technologies and has extensive experience with virtual (VR) and augmented reality in the aviation and maritime domains.  Dr. Van Benthem has developed novel methods for the classification of pilot mental workload using electroencephalography, heart rate variability, and electrodermal activity. Her primary research agenda involves the development of a VR testing environment and a cognitive assessment protocol for identifying pilot competencies and levels of risk along a continuum of key aviation outcomes. Dr. Van Benthem has published and presented her work on pilot cognitive assessment in North America and internationally.


Dr. M. Chris Herdman, Full Professor of Cognitive Science and Psychology, Carleton University

Dr. M. Chris Herdman is a Full Professor of Cognitive Science and Psychology, the Scientific Director of the Carleton University Centre for Visualization and Simulation (VSIM), and Head of the Advanced Cognitive Engineering (ACE) Lab. As Scientific Director of the VSIM Centre, Dr. Herdman leads an interdisciplinary team that is focused on bridging fundamental and applied research. The VSIM Centre is a research facility with eleven core labs equipped with state-of-the-art visualization and simulation technologies, including several high-fidelity flight simulators as well as driving, naval (ship deck) and UAV simulators. The VSIM Centre also has state-of-the-art virtual reality and augmented reality technology. Dr. Herdman is the research director for one of the world’s largest studies examining assessment methods for pilot cognitive health.