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By LYDIA EARHART lee003@latech



Aviation students will experience a new simulator thanks to the money given to the department by the student technology committee.

The student technology fee committee met Oct. 25 to discuss 26 proposals submitted by various departments.

“The board usually meets as often as necessary to discuss the funds provided from the student technology fee,” Lindsay Mencacci, president of the Student Government Association and a senior biology major, said. 

Mencacci said the committee, which is made up mostly of students, decides where the technology fee money will go.

“Since the fee has started in the school year of ’97-98, we have spent $11,497,405 on technology around campus,” Mencacci said.

Mencacci also said the meeting went well because the committee received a lot of good proposals.

“We had $1.6 million in requests in proposals and we only had $907,776 to spend,” Mencacci said. “All the members of the committee get a copy of the proposals to look over them before the meeting.”

The committee members go through each of the proposals on the list one by one, Mencacci said. The top three proposals, which most of the money was spent on, were information technology services, a new professional aviation simulator and the electrical and chemical engineering control systems laboratory enhancement.

“The information technology services’ money will renew subscriptions to various electronic journals that can be accessed through the library’s database,” Mencacci said. “The engineering control systems laboratory enhancement will be utilizing practical knowledge in the engineering field.”

The aviation proposal was a good idea and was accepted because the new simulator would help save students money, Mencacci said.

Dale Sistrunk, head of the department of professional aviation, proposed the idea of having a simulator for his department since it is nationally known in the top 10 universities for aviation.

“The aviation industry, particularly for college and universities, has gotten to the point where airplanes are so expensive and gas is high, so for years we have been looking at the possibility of having more of our training into the simulation area,” Sistrunk said.

The cost of simulators have currently gone down in price, he said.

“Because of the decrease in price, the simulator will be feasible,” Sistrunk said.

“There is a realistic simulator that can be used to substitute 44 hours of aircraft time.”

The simulator could save the average aviation student about $2,600, Sistrunk said. He hopes the aviation department will have the simulator up and running by fall of 2006.

“We are not trying to get totally away from the airplane, but the simulator has a number of the advantages over the airplane,” he said. “The simulator will help because we are able to play back the machine of the students to show them their mistakes.”

Chris Hall, a senior professional aviation major, is excited about using the new simulator.

“I think it is going to be pretty cool to see how realistic the new simulator will be,” Hall said.

“I can’t wait to test out the simulators to see if they are more advanced.”

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