|Zeidlik named in Marquis' "Who's Who In American Science"|
Tom Zeidlik, associate professor of aviation has been named in "Who’s Who in American Science" for his innovative contributions to UND research.
Zeidlik has been involved with two research projects that both have proved very successful. The first was replacing runway threshold lights with LEDs (light-emitting diodes) that were made to fit inside the existing socket on the runway. This immediately decreased electric draw by 80 percent, yet pilots noticed absolutely no difference in the lights. Imagine reducing your electric bill at home by 80 percent and it's easy to see the benefit. After an extensive human factors study, the lights were deemed safe by the FAA and are now being placed at airports around the country.
The second research project was to solve the problem of remote runways in Alaska being inaccessible for use during the dark months of the year. If there's a medical emergency, for example, the only choice people have is to wait until the sun comes up around 10 a.m. the next day and hope the weather is good enough to land a plane, or they get on a snowmobile and travel cross-country to a hospital. The sun is only “up” for about four hours each day. It actually rarely breaks the horizon, just gives “civil twilight.”
A system using reflectors from the landing light of the plane itself to illuminate the runway was created, allowing planes to land anytime during the night as long as the weather is good enough.
A U.S. Patent was filed, and a provisional patent granted. With the assistance of Bruce Smith, dean of the Odegard School, UND agreed to release the patent to industry. Because of the patent, no one could make the products to solve this problem. So in the effort to help the people in remote villages immediately, the patent was released and now about 30 companies have developed products for this purpose and are being used around the world at remote airfields, including military airfields.
Marquis' confirmed Zeidlik’s inclusion in June for the "Who’s Who in American Science" 2009 edition, a commemorative issue celebrating the 110th year of publication. The edition is scheduled for print this month.
Zeidlik also works as a paramedic for Altru Health Systems.
-- karen ryba, director of communications, aerospace, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-4761