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Meet: Sandy Lozito

System Evaluation and Assessment (SEA)
Sub-Project Manager
Ames Research Center

Who I am and what I do:
I work with air traffic controllers, airlines, pilots, and other people who use the national
airspace system. I conduct different types of experiments to see how tools work and where
they might need improvement. The goal of my work is to try to make air traffic control tools safer and more efficient.

Areas of expertise:

  • human factors (understanding how people interact with different tools and automation)
  • design of automation tools
  • psychology
  • math

How I first became interested in this profession
I was an intern at NASA in college working with human factors professionals and conducting
experiments with pilots and controllers.

What helped me prepare for this job
Having an understanding of math, science, and psychology helped prepare me for my work.
Also, working within a team helped me to be a better researcher.

My role models or inspirations
I had several grammar school and high school teachers who were my role models and
inspirations. They helped me understand that with some effort and motivation, I can do
whatever I wanted to do in my career.

My education and training
I have a four year degree (Bachelor of Arts) and a graduate degree (Master of Arts) in
Psychology. Both degrees are from San Jose State University.

Career Path
As a graduate student in psychology at San Jose State University, I began working at Ames as an intern conducting experiments with pilots and air traffic controllers. After a few years I was hired by San Jose State Foundation as a full time employee working at NASA Ames. A few years later, NASA hired me as a research psychologist.

What I like best about my job
I like being able to study new automation and tools and trying to figure out how they can be improved.

What I like least about my job
There is a fair amount of administrative details that I have to handle, like budget issues and personnel. I don't like that very much.

My advice to anyone interested in this occupation
To study hard and take as many math and science classes that you can. Also, learn to work in a team and to appreciate your own skills and the skills of other people around you.

I like to try to have a balanced life, so I participate in a lot of volunteer work and outdoors activities. I think it helps me to be a better person and a better professional at work.


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