The simulation industry’s vital role to Central Florida and the high-wage jobs it produces will be the focus of a symposium at UCF.

UCF’s Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government in partnership with the National Center for Simulation will host “Simulation: Evolutionary Past, Boundless Future.” The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Pegasus Ballroom of the Student Union from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 30.

The opening keynote speakers at the symposium will be U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and U.S. Rep. John Mica.

Nelson, a three-term US Senator from Florida who serves as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space, has been a staunch supporter of the Central Florida simulation industry in Washington.

Mica, an 11-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Winter Park, was recently at UCF to tour the advanced-simulation work at the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL).

Simulation employs more than 27,000 people in Central Florida with an average salary of $70,000. The industry has become a hub for high-tech jobs in the southeast and plays an essential economic role in Central Florida.

In addition to hearing from the legislators, those in attendance will be able to learn about, see and use the various simulation approaches and technologies used by our local simulation community.

Additionally, local high school students will be on hand to present their own projects that utilize simulation, gaming and motion capture technology.

A main focus of the symposium is promoting high-tech simulation jobs to the next-generation workforce.

“Over the past 48-plus years, Central Florida has grown into the epicenter of the world’s modeling and simulation industry. To maintain that industry preeminence, we must grow the workforce of the future,” Frey said. “And that takes a united community that recognizes the power of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and what it takes to get our young people excited about a future career in modeling and simulation.”

The Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government is a nonpartisan organization affiliated with the UCF Department of Political Science. The institute promotes civic education and engagement, particularly among young people. Institute programs encourage informed discussion of issues from diverse viewpoints, stimulate participation in the political process and support research on politics and policy.

Frey, the institute’s founder, represented Central Florida in Congress from 1969 to 1979. He has received the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress’ Distinguished Service Award for his efforts to improve civic education and encourage young people to be more actively involved in government.

Sponsors for the symposium include Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed law firm, Lockheed Martin, Disney, Florida Hospital Nicholson Center, E.A. Sports, VA SimLEARN, R-Squared Solutions LLC, Aegis Technologies Group, SIMETRI Inc., Henry C. Okraski & Assoc., and Parsons Transportation.

For more information, including a full schedule for the symposium, go to