Beyond the Classroom: Bill Bui

Bill Bui, a fifth-year human factors psychology student, is broadening his studies by working as a human factors engineer at NASA during fall 2022. 

More than 5,000 Shockers each year take what they’ve learned in the classroom and transfer that knowledge into real-world environments. Applied learning — which is required for every Wichita State student — happens in offices, factories, laboratories, nonprofits, industries and companies across the globe. Students work side-by-side with seasoned professionals to ensure that they’re fully prepared to make meaningful contributions to their employers and their communities when they graduate


Santa Ana, California


Human Factors Psychology


Fifth-year Ph.D. student

What is your job title, the company you work for, and your duties during your applied learning experience?

I am currently interning as a human factors engineer at NASA. I will be conducting human-in-the-loop (HITL) testing on the Joint Augmented Reality Visual Informatics team. My duties will be defining use cases, creating HITL-test designs and analyzing results.

How long do you expect to work in your current position?

From Aug. 22 to Dec. 12.

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was in the NASA SUITS (Spacesuit User Interface Technologies for Students) design challenge last year. My NASA mentor, Amanda Smith, team mentor and WSU alumna, from the challenge reached out to the team with the opportunity. 

How is this experience helping you build your resume and prepare you for your career?

This experience will give me more exposure to augmented reality and human factors. I will be able to use what I learn during this internship to support my academic research. Additionally, this internship will provide me an opportunity to apply theory to practice. This kind of experiential learning will also give insight into my skills, passions and interests.

How have your classes and experiences at Wichita State prepared you to succeed in this applied-learning opportunity?

The NASA SUITS challenge at Wichita State was an incredible opportunity to work on real-world problems. We worked on a similar project during my internship — an augmented reality heads-up display for astronauts. The challenge taught me how to work with a multidisciplinary team on computer science, innovation, design and aerospace engineering. I am also grateful to my NASA SUITS WSU advisors Maggie Schoonover and Kristyn Smith, and Amanda Smith, for teaching us how to innovate and collaborate as a team. My graduate school program in human factors psychology has also provided me with a strong foundation in experimental design, statistical analysis and human factor methods.

What advice would you give other students who are looking for hands-on experiences in their major while they finish college?

My advice would be to grab any opportunity that arises even if you are scared. Although I had little experience in aerospace, I decided to apply for the NASA SUITS challenge. This experience ultimately helped me get my internship. Experiences, even small ones, will help you grow and build confidence.

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