IEPAL Orlando - Putting Imagination to Work

Priscilla Elfrey



The Intensive Education in Advanced Logistics has been developed in a unique partnering among Europeans and Americans to promote effective learning experiences and nurture a generation of internationally minded professionals and a new model of f leadership, what Warren Bennis calls “teams of leaders.” The program builds on an exchange program that had brought students from Italy to America and American educators and program facilitators to Italy. Although the subject matter is simulation applied to logistics, the learning is far more than that.
Initial efforts between the University of Genoa’s Liophant Club and the Training and Simulation Technology Consortium, now the National Center for Simulation in Orlando affirmed the value of immersion in English, the language of international technology. The first three students in Orlando, for example, all went to work in Milan,Italy for companies whose headquarters are in the US. The exposure to American government agencies, universities, and industry was rich.  They  all had opportunity to make presentations before TSTC/NCS membership meetings. One was featured in a television broadcast about the simulation community in Orlando and another was invited to speak to  the Defense Modeling and Simulation Organization in Washington, D.C. They shadowed the project manager affording opportunities to experience partnering activities and participate in the evolution of an emerging technology.
The IEPAL program presents the Orlando community with a further opportunity to benefit from the students and the students to benefit from them. The students will attend courses in simulation at the University of Central Florida and will attend group meetings and work on team projects. Guest lecturers may include members of other UCF departments, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Crummer School of Business at Rollins College.  NCS company representatives will serve as student mentors, conduct orientation, assign and support work assignments. The students will work on company projects for approximately 80-120 hours. They will , on an individual basis, be able  to visit companies of interest to them,especially those with European offices.
The program provides an easy opportunity for a wide number of NCS members to participate and exchange ideas about simulation. NCS members who participate will  expand their network, have an opportunity to present ideas about our approaches and see how others work similar issues.
Examination of experience reinforces learning. IEPAL Orlando will include review and analysis activities, guest presentations, study group activity and informal discussions. Speakers may include experts from among  the Kennedy Space Center, the Army’s STRICOM, the Naval Air Warfare Training Center Systems Division, the Air Force Advanced Modeling and Simulation Agency, United Space Alliance, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Booze Allen, Dynamic Research Corporation,  AEgis, Veridian, the Department of Defense Co-Lab in Advanced Distributed Learning and others from Florida’s theme parks and growing digital media  industry. The experience of meeting and discussing simulation with industry leaders will enhance both the work and academic experience.
 Because simulation has better decision-making as its purpose, supports efforts to keep up with a changing world  and models and promotes team leadership and vision—these topics will be a focus of student interactions with employers, academic researchers, government project managers and analysts.
Simulation is changing the way we do business. It is challenging our ideas of how to cope with a changing world and challenging us to put our imaginations to work.  European student experience in the Orlando  will take note of what this means now and in the future- especially, the power, problems, and potential of this amazing discipline in a global economy where seaports, airports and spaceports can inspire  new generations. .

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