UCF psychology professor Eduardo Salas has been presented with a Distinguished Professional Contributions Award, given annually by the Society of Industrial & Organizational Psychology for contributions to the practice of industrial and organizational psychology.

“I consider myself a scientist practitioner – that is, I use science to solve organizational problems,” Salas said about the honor. “The award also recognizes that UCF is a leading expert in team performance, because not only do we understand the science of team performance but we understand the practical side because we engage in team training as well.”

Salas, a former president of SIOP and a SIOP Fellow, has been a professor at the University of Central Florida for 12 years.  Previously he was a senior research psychologist and head of the Training Technology Development Branch of the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command in Orlando for 15 years.

“My research has focused on teamwork – how a team in a high-stakes environment functions in industries like aviation, military, healthcare, oil and the like,” he said.  He also has worked with airlines through a longstanding grant UCF has with the Federal Aviation Administration and has worked in healthcare with Florida Hospital and Orlando Health, Ryder Trauma Center and Jackson Memorial in Miami along with schools of medicine across the country.

He is currently involved in a project with NASA involving team cohesion in astronauts for a projected trip to Mars. He is also researching the effects that different cultures have on collaboration and working with Florida Hospital on developing efficient rapid response teams.

Salas has co-authored more than 300 journal articles and co-edited more than 20 books. He is also a fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and has served on numerous editorial boards for psychology-related journals.