“Pathways to Emerging Technology: Virtual Reality in the Workplace, Today and Tomorrow” was a success!
The Omaha STEM Ecosystem’s event, held at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, March 27th, began with a panel discussion with leading virtual reality industry experts focused on current virtual reality practices in the workplace, as well as predictions for how the field will evolve in the future. The panel participants included:
- Sean Johnson – Senior Director, Business Workforce at Omaha Chamber of Commerce
- Ed Vidlak –Vice President and Principal, Director of Education for Greater Omaha Area at HDR
- Pamela Boyers – Ph.D. , Associate Vice Chancellor at University of NE Medical Center/IEXCEL
- Mukul Mukherjee – Ph.D., Assistant Professor at University of Nebraska at Omaha Biomechanics Research Building
- Doug Derrick – Ph.D., Associate Professor, Director of the Applied Innovation Lab at the Peter Kiewit Institute and the University of Nebraska at Omaha
- Kerry Kelley – Senior Executive Service, Chief Information Officer and Director, Joint Cyber Center at USSTRATCOM
With over 125 attendees, this was the largest STEM Ecosystem event to date. This topic resonated with the audience. One of the take-away moments for several folks was around the comment a panelist said,
“Virtual Reality in the workplace originated with the gaming industry.”
This was a total surprise to many and lead to a call to action – how do we utilize the gaming culture as a tool to develop the necessary skills students need for careers in the future VR technology and supportive content.
In addition to the panel discussion, HDR, UNMC/IEXCEL and UNO Biomechanics Research Building had provided opportunities for guests to experience the virtual reality technology for themselves. This was a big hit!
Moving forward, the STEM Ecosystem will capture that excitement through facilitating smaller venues and discussions around developing pathways for students in the virtual reality technology.