Driving Vision News: What exactly is your job at UMTRI? How many researchers are working with you?
Michael Flannagan: Formally, I am a research associate professor. Historically, about a third of my work has been in the Affiliation Program, although all of my research has been in the areas of driver vision and lighting. Of course my involvement in the Affiliation Program will be even higher now that I also have administrative responsibility for the program. The Affiliation Program currently involves about a dozen people, and I've also worked with probably half of the people at UMTRI at some point over the years. As a whole, UMTRI has 26 research faculty members and a total staff of about 140 people.
DVN: You replaced Michael Sivak about a year ago. Has there been some change since you arrived at this position?
MF: Well, Michael Sivak and I have worked closely together on the Affiliation Program since the very beginning, so there have not been dramatic changes. One circumstance that has developed over the past ten years or so has been that [Sivak] had more responsibility for our relationships with industrial sponsors, mainly through the Affiliation Program, and I was more involved with our work for the U.S. federal government, mainly NHTSA. Nominally, I will now be coordinating both of those areas, although even in the past we've always seen them as complimentary forms of sponsorship in the overall UMTRI research program on driver vision.