ErgoX Speakers

Read about our invited speakers who are dedicating their time and knowledge to make the ErgoX Symposium an outstanding educational event. Chairs and speakers for all three tracks appear in alphabetical order below by track:

Cyber Security Track

Rob Black, Deputy Director of the UK’s National Cyber Deception Laboratory and a Lecturer in Information Activities at Cranfield University, Defence Academy of the United Kingdom.

Rob Black has worked in the field of Influence and Information Operations since 2003. As a Lecturer in Information Activities, he leads a series of modules on the UK MoD’s MSc in Cyber Operations, as well as supporting the UK Defence Cyber School in educating senior MoD Leaders about Warfare in the Information Age. His research interests are focused on looking at the nexus of Cyber, intelligence and warfighting, exploring concepts such as the legality of cyber operations today and the role of Influence and Deception in the Information Age, in support of the National Cyber Deception Laboratory. Prior to joining Cranfield, Rob worked for DSTL exploring, building and developing Cyber Influence Capabilities and was involved in operational planning and delivery in support of the UK government’s and her international partners cyber operations. Rob also works for Artifice, a specialised adversarial behaviour change company, providing training and consultancy support to defence and security organisations on the application of deceptive thinking and influence.


Dr. Josiah Dykstra, Technical Fellow, Cybersecurity Collaboration Center, National Security Agency

Dr. Josiah Dykstra is a Technical Fellow and member of the Senior Executive Service in the Cybersecurity Collaboration Center at the National Security Agency (NSA). He holds a Ph.D. in computer science and previously served at NSA as a cyber operator and researcher. Dr. Dykstra is interested in cybersecurity science, especially where humans intersect with technology. He has published and spoken at Black Hat about his research on cognitive stress in tactical cyber operations. In 2017, Dr. Dykstra received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from former President Barack Obama. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and a Lifetime Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). He is the author of numerous research papers and one book, Essential Cybersecurity Science.

Dr. Lorrie Faith Cranor, Director and Bosch Distinguished Professor of the CyLab Security and Privacy Institute and FORE Systems Professor of Computer Science and of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Among numerous accomplishments and accolades, Dr. Cranor was named an ACM Fellow for her contributions to usable privacy and security research and education, and in 2016 she was named an IEEE Fellow for her contributions to privacy engineering. She also served as Chief Technologist at the US Federal Trade Commission, has authored over 200 research papers on online privacy, usable security, and other topics, and played a key role in building the usable privacy and security research community, having founded the Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS).

Dr. Margaret Cunningham, Principal Research Scientist for Human Behavior, Forcepoint

Dr. Cunningham is the behavioral scientist for Forcepoint’s X-Labs, an interdisciplinary team of data scientists, cybersecurity researchers, and counter-intelligence specialists.  Her current research explores how to measure critical interactions between humans and technology in order to facilitate the development of risk-adaptive, human-centric cybersecurity software.  Previously, she provided human factors engineering support for technology acquisition and integration, R&D, and operational testing for government and healthcare clients. Her areas of expertise include insider threat, behavioral analytics, human machine interaction, and applied research methods.

Dr. Kimberly Ferguson-Walter, Senior Research Scientist, NSA Research

Dr. Kimberly Ferguson-Walter is a Senior Research Scientist with the National Security Agency’s Laboratory for Advanced Cybersecurity Research. She earned a BS in Information and Computer Science, cum laude from the University of California Irvine with a specialization in artificial intelligence and her MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research interests are focused on the intersection of computer security, artificial intelligence, and human behavior. Her research background includes reinforcement learning, transfer learning, representation learning, and intelligent tutoring systems. She has been focused on adaptive cybersecurity at the NSA for the past ten years and is the lead for the Research Directorate’s deception for cyber-defense effort. She has organized multiple international workshops on cyber deception, autonomous cyber operations, and cognitive security. Dr. Ferguson-Walter is a founding member of the Cybersecurity Technical Group of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.

Dr. Sunny Fugate, Senior Scientific and Technical Manager for Cyber Warfare at the Naval Information Warfare Center, Pacific.

Dr. Fugate earned his PhD from the University of New Mexico in 2012 with a focus on adaptive threat detection and has supported the Naval Information Warfare Center, Pacific since 2002 where he leads research efforts for protecting computing systems and networks from attack and to better incorporate human factors and human cognition into our systems and defenses. During his career Dr Fugate has supported the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Office of Naval Research, the National Security Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Marine Forces Cyber Command, and US Cyber Command. Dr Fugate’s research efforts have included AI and expert- system based network intrusion detection, network traffic analysis and visualization, the development of cyber common operational picture displays and implementing cyber symbology, moving target defenses, game theory of cyber defenses and cyber operations, understanding attacker cognition and undermining attacker cognition using the theory of oppositional human factors, and constructing and testing systems to perform defensive cyber deception. Dr. Fugate is also a founding member of the Cybersecurity Technical Group of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, a board member and volunteer science educator for the League of Extraordinary Scientists and Engineers, a ComicCon Panelist, and father of two boys.

Dr. Dana S. LaFon is a Senior Behavioral Scientist with focus areas in investigative and forensic psychology, operational psychology, and social science research as applied to national security. Following a career in computer systems analysis, she earned her clinical doctorate in Psychology from Loyola University in Maryland. Dr. LaFon has worked in government service for over seventeen years serving such agencies as the Departments of Justice and Defense. She has also enjoyed a lengthy career as adjunct university faculty, most recently teaching at the University of Maryland College Park.

Dr. Daniel “Rags” Ragsdale, Assistant Director, Cyber, Department of Defense USD (R&E) Modernization

Dr. Ragsdale is responsible for coordinating cyber modernization efforts across the Department of Defense (DoD). His specific responsibilities involve the establishment of policies, as well as supervision and portfolio management of all DoD cyber modernization programs and activities, including research and engineering, technology development, prototyping, experimentation, test and evaluation, and transition. He is also responsible for making recommendations concerning the allocation of resources and alignment of efforts across the Department. Prior to assuming his current role Dr. Ragsdale was the Founding Director Cybersecurity Center at Texas A&M University. Before joining the faculty at Texas A&M, Dr. Ragsdale was a Program Manager in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he successfully led and managed a $175M research and development portfolio of classified and unclassified cybersecurity, educational, and behavioral science programs. Prior to joining DARPA, Colonel (retired) Ragsdale served 30 years in the U.S. Army in a wide array of operational, educational, and research and development roles. His deployments included Operations Urgent Fury (Grenada), Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Iraqi Freedom (Iraq). Dr. Ragsdale served nearly 15 years at the United States Military Academy, West Point, in a variety of teaching, research, and leadership roles. He culminated his Army service as the Vice Dean for Education, the Principal Deputy to the Dean of the Academic Board.

Dr. Neil C. Rowe, Professor of Computer Science, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School

Dr. Neil C. Rowe is Professor of Computer Science at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School where he has been since 1983.  He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford University (1983) and three degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  His main research interests are in data mining, digital forensics, modeling of deception, and cyberwarfare.  He has also worked on text processing, computational geometry, and intelligent tutoring systems.

Dr. Jono Spring, Member of the Technical Staff, CERT Coordination Center, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

Jono Spring began working at the SEI in 2009. Prior posts include adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences and research fellow for the ICANN’s Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC). At the SEI, Spring’s work focuses on producing reliable evidence for various levels of cybersecurity policies. Spring’s approach balances leading by example with reflecting on study design and other philosophical issues. Spring earned a doctoral degree in computer science from University College London.

Dr. Dick Steinberg, Senior Principal Human Systems Engineer, Raytheon Technologies (RTX), Intelligence and Space (RI&S)

Dr. Dick Steinberg has 35 years’ experience in design of Command and Control (C2) displays and architectures integrating technology and humans. Since 2012, he has served as a senior principal engineering scientist at Raytheon Technologies (RTX) developing products in Space and Defense Command and Control and Cyber Monitoring. He designed decision aides using machine learning for cyber anomaly Detection for tactical systems, implemented crew designs, human performance and workload modeling, usability testing for Space Satellite, Missile Defense, and Cyber Dashboard C2 Displays. Prior to working at RTX, Dick was a Human Systems Integration Chief Engineer at Northrop Grumman. He has also been recognized with several company innovation awards and a patent in UX/HFE technologies and Cyber protection and resiliency. But, what makes him most qualified to be a keynote speaker is that he tutors 2nd graders in math at a local elementary school. If he can convince a 2nd grader to be interested in math, he should certainly entertain us on the role of humans in cyber command and control.


Exoskeleton Track

Kendra Betz is a Physical Therapist and RESNA credentialed Assistive Technology Professional with an accomplished 25-year career with the Veterans Health Administration. Kendra’s areas of clinical specialization include Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) rehabilitation, assistive technology, adaptive sports and patient safety. Kendra holds an adjunct faculty position at the University of Pittsburgh, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, and teaches regularly at national and international forums. Her expertise and contributions are recognized by induction into the National SCI Association Hall of Fame, the Air Force Association’s Employee of the Year Award, and the Clinical Excellence Award and Therapy Leadership Council Distinguished Lecture Award from the Academy of SCI Professionals.

Dr. William “Bill” Billotte is the Director of Global Exo Technology Programs and the Executive Director of the ASTM Exo Technology Center of Excellence with ASTM International.  Formerly, he was a scientist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the vice chairman of the ASTM F48 Exoskeletons and Exosuits committee.  Bill spent the past 17 years providing scientific and technical advice to federal agencies, first responders, and international organizations on topics including exoskeletons, critical infrastructure protection, CBRNE detection, and first responder equipment.  His scientific curiosity and passion for helping others has led him to work on a host of diverse projects. Bill advocated and aided the establishment of the ASTM F48 committee and is working on their long-term strategy and research agendas.  He spent a year abroad as a visiting scientist on the European Union’s critical infrastructure protection team at the Joint Research Centre in Italy, where he provided technical assistance to their working groups to help inform EU policies and international standards.  He sponsored a forum through the National Academy of Sciences to convene experts from the federal, private, international, and non-government sectors to exchange information and ideas to improve preparedness and capabilities for disasters that involve accidental or intentional contamination with CBRN agents. He coordinated federal programs that produced over 50 homeland security focused national standards and over 100 reports on first responder equipment. Bill has received several awards including the US Department of Commerce’s Gold Medal Award for Heroism.  Bill holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Dayton, a Master of Science in Engineering from Wright State University, and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Bruce Bradtmiller, a physical anthropologist, is the owner and president of ANTHROTECH, a small business engaged in the collection, analysis, and application of human body size data to ergonomics, design, and sizing problems. Since joining the firm in 1983 Dr. Bradtmiller has designed, conducted, and directed a number of military and civilian body size surveys and other anthropometric research projects. His team recently conducted a major anthropometric survey of US Marines Corps and US Army to update its historic ANSUR survey.  More than 14,000 uniformed military personnel were measured and scanned with 3D scanners.  Following those surveys, his team completed data collection for a smaller US Navy anthropometric survey, but then used the larger Army data set to create a virtual Navy database with many more dimensions. Currently, his team is collecting anthropometric data on the nation’s law enforcement officers to better accommodate that population in its vehicular workspace.

Dr. Krystyna Gielo-Perczak is an Associate Professor in Residence in the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Connecticut. Her research interests include biomechanical modelling, musculoskeletal system simulation, control theory, and the application of a systems approach to prevent musculoskeletal injuries.  By combining these disciplines, she crosses the boundaries of traditional research approaches to improve the design of exoskeletons and robotics. She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and presentations and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. Dr. Gielo-Perczak served as both chair for 14 years and program co-chair for six years of the Individual Differences in Performance Technical Group of the Human Factors and Ergonomic Society. In these roles, she worked to increase the group’s diversity.

Dr. Jason Gillette received a B.S. degree in Engineering Science, an M.E. degree in Engineering Mechanics, and a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering/Engineering Mechanics from Iowa State University in 1991, 1993, and 1999. From 1999 to 2002, he was a Postdoctoral Scholar with the Center for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. He is currently an Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Education with the Department of Kinesiology at Iowa State University. His research interests include biomechanics, ergonomics, and injury mechanisms. He utilizes video, force, and EMG measurements combined with musculoskeletal modeling to analyze human motion and estimate loading on the human body. Dr. Gillette is a member of the ASTM International F48 Exoskeletons and Exosuits Committee. One of his current projects involves assessing a passive shoulder support exoskeleton in lab-based, manufacturing, and construction settings using EMG and motion analysis to quantify effects on muscle activation and fatigue.

After a career as a classical ergonomist in a consulting firm, Yonnel Giovaneli joined the SNCF in 2005. Since 2015, he has been in charge of the Exoskeleton project for the equipment department. His team has developed with Ergosanté Technologie and Cogitobio a multi-assistance passive exoskeleton.  He is an Associate lecturer at Reims Champagnes Ardennes Sports University and is beginning a doctorate program about the place of humans in a specific design process with iterative loops based on physical behaviour and Organisational and Human factors.

Prof. Dov Greenbaum has degrees and postdocs from Yeshiva University, Yale University, the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University and ETH Zurich. Dov’s doctoral research focused on informatics and big data. Dov is a licensed attorney before the State of California and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional. Dov has practiced law as a litigator in Silicon Valley and as a patent prosecutor in Israel, where he worked in the area of exoskeletons, among other areas of technology.  Dov teaches various courses at the intersection of law and technology at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya and directs the Zvi Meitar Institute for Legal Implications of Emerging Technologies. He has a joint appointment at Yale University in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Singapore Management University in the area of artificial intelligence.

Dr. Carisa Harris, PhD, CPE is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, is the Director of the UCSF/UC Berkeley Ergonomics Research & Graduate Training Program and the Deputy Director of the Northern California Center of Occupational & Environmental Health.  Dr. Harris and her team performs research in a variety of areas focused on understanding and preventing work related injuries and improving human performance, productivity and health.  Her team is developing and/or testing a variety of exposure assessment devices (wearables) for primary and secondary prevention purposes and performs various intervention studies on occupational tasks with high risk of musculoskeletal injuries, such as the implementation of passive exoskeletons in construction work.

Kristen Hohl, PT, DPT, NCS currently divides her time as an outpatient physical therapist focusing on treating individuals with neurological diagnoses and working in Dr. Arun Jayaraman’s Max Nader Center for Rehabilitation and Technologies and Outcomes Lab at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, IL.  Kristen received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Denison University in 2009 and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from University of Pittsburgh in 2012. She earned her APTA Board certification in Neurologic Physical Therapy in 2017.  Kristen has established herself as a leading clinician using various technologies, most notably robotic exoskeletons and their implementation into clinical practice.  She is certified in the use of over a half dozen lower limb robotic technologies.

Kurt Mudie completed a Bachelor of Sports and Exercise Science (Honours) in 2012, a PhD in Biomechanics in 2017 at Western Sydney University and a two year Postdoctoral research fellowship at Victoria University in 2018. Kurt joined Defence Science and Technology (DST) in 2018 as a Biomechanist and predominantly supports the Assistive Technology and Fight Recorder research programs, working collaboratively between military stakeholders, universities and industry.

Meghan O'Donovan is a Biomechanics Research Engineer and Principal Investigator at the Center for Military Biomechanics at the US Army Soldier Center. Her research experience includes both fundamental research topics such as military biomechanics, load carriage, marksmanship mechanics, and Soldier physical performance, as well as more applied areas including military equipment testing, in-field assessments, and military exoskeleton evaluations. She has been with the Soldier Center for 10 years and previously presented this work at the International Congress on Soldier Physical Performance in Quebec.

Joseph Parham is a Research Anthropologist at the US Army Soldier Center, where his research focuses on physical accommodation, design, modeling, and analysis of anthropometric data. He served as the Field Supervisor for the 2010-2012 US Army Anthropometric Survey and has worked in extensively in developing military and industrial standards concerned with Human Systems Integration. Prior to joining the Soldier Center, Joe worked as an Operations Research Analyst for the US Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity and spent over two years deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Ryan Porto is a Technical Specialist in Ergonomics at General Motors. Mr. Porto received a Bachelor of Human Kinetics and a Masters in Human Performance from the University of Windsor. For the past 13 years, he has worked with design and manufacturing engineering, managing new program launches in all sectors of the industry including Vehicle, Powertrain and Advanced Propulsion. Ryan leads the advancement of virtual human simulation in product and manufacturing for GM’s Global Ergonomics program. He also provides technical support to the development and implementation of evolving wearable technologies. Ryan is a member of the Ergonomic task force at the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR) and a member of the Automotive Exoskeleton Group (AExG), sponsored via the Wearable Robotics Association.

Kevin Purcell is an Ergonomist with the US Army Public Health Center (PHC).  He holds a Master’s degree in Human Factors and Ergonomics from San Jose State University, completing his thesis work at NASA Ames Research Center on human-machine interfaces. He also holds a Project Management Professional certification, and is currently project lead for ASTM’s F48.02 Exoskeletons and Exosuits - Usefulness and Usability work group.

Current projects for the Army PHC include field work exoskeletons in industrial environments, as well as work on Health Hazard Assessments, and Army industrial ergonomic risk mitigation projects.

Dr. Chris Reid is a Human Factors & Ergonomics (HFE) Associate Technical Fellow for Boeing’s Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) organization in Charleston, SC. He is the EHS portfolio manager of wearable technology (e.g., exoskeletons, mixed reality, and wearable sensing and computing systems). Prior to Boeing, Dr. Reid worked for Lockheed Martin on astronaut spacesuit assessment as a Human Factors & Ergonomics Discipline Lead at NASA and as a Human Factors Engineer for the US Army assessing Warfighter personal protective equipment. Outside of Boeing, he is a member of the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society Executive Council as the 2020 President-Elect, advises on ergonomics as a Delegates Committee member for the National Safety Council’s Board of Directors, sits on the Editorial Boards for the Augmented Human Research and Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Sciences Journals, is a 2019-2020 Special Issue Editor for the Human Factors Journal, Chair of the Annual ErgoX International Symposium, and Chair of the HFE Subcommittee for ASTM F48 standards on Exoskeletons. He is a recipient of both the 2018 Rising Star Award from the National Safety Council and the 2020 Black Engineer of the Year Award. He graduated from the University of Central Florida, with degrees in Electrical Engineering Technology (BS) and Industrial Engineering (MS and PhD).

Dr. Samuel Reimer is responsible of the global business development and product management of Ottobock’s exoskeleton portfolio, Paexo. He joined Ottobock in the Summer of 2019 after several years in management consulting at the Boston Consulting Group. There he focused on mergers and acquisitions, transformations and pricing strategies for the healthcare and medical device practice areas. He lives in Hamburg, Germany, holds a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Imperial College London and UC Davis and a PhD in biomechanics and robotics from the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Bob Scheidt earned MS and PhD degrees from Northwestern University in Biomedical Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Andrew Kertesz and Zev Rymer. His dissertation focused on the effects of mechanical and visual constraints on sensorimotor adaptation during reaching. In his post-doc, he worked on time series modeling of motor adaptation with Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Before taking a faculty position at Marquette University in 2000, Dr. Scheidt served as systems engineer at Baxter Healthcare and as a Senior Research Scientist at Medical Research Labs, Inc.  Dr. Scheidt is currently serving a 4-year term with the National Science Foundation as a Program Director for the Mind, Machine and Motor Nexus (M3X) program, the Future of Work and the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF), and the National Robotics Initiative (NRI 2.0).  Dr. Scheidt founded and co-directs the Neuromotor Control Laboratory at Marquette University, which uses robotic tools and simple virtual reality systems to probe how the human nervous system uses sensory information to optimize movements and interactions with the physical environment. Their work seeks to acquire knowledge needed to develop technologies, training strategies and therapeutic interventions for facilitating motor learning in healthy individuals and for promoting rehabilitation in patients with neuromotor injury or neurodevelopmental disorders.

Johan Sleman (Senior Assessment Consultant at Bioservo) is a licensed Physical Therapist with a degree from Saxion University of Applied Science, in Enschede, The Netherlands. His clinical experience is within the field of Sports Physical Therapy. He has vast experience with exoskeleton implementation and has worked in collaborative projects with global companies such as General Motors, General Electrics and Toyota.

Marty Smets is a Technical Expert within the Advanced Manufacturing Organization at Ford Motor Co. Prior to his current appointment, Marty was the Senior Ergonomics Engineer and Subject Matter Expert in Manufacturing Ergonomics and was responsible for managing the Ergonomics and Virtual Assembly Lab in Final Assembly Engineering. He has been practicing Industrial/Occupational Ergonomics for 13 years and has been with Ford Motor Co. since 2011. Prior to joining Ford Motor Co. he was sessional faculty at McMaster University teaching Advanced Ergonomics. In his current role, Marty is responsible for the global XR strategy across Manufacturing Operations, advanced ergonomics methods, and digital toolset integration for the Ford Factory of Tomorrow team.

Divya Srinivasan is an Associate Professor in the Industrial & Systems Engineering Department at Virginia Tech. With a background in human factors, motor control and biomechanics, her research focuses on assessments and improvement of human health and performance in occupational settings. Over the last 5 years, her work is increasingly focused on investigating the effects of active and passive exoskeletons on human physical and cognitive demands, and control strategies, with the goals of improving both design as well as applications of these devices in diverse industrial domains. These efforts are variously supported by federal agencies such as NSF and NIOSH, as well as industry partners in manufacturing, construction, agriculture as well as emergency response.

Leia Stirling is an Associate Professor in Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, a Core Faculty in the Center for Ergonomics, and a Core Faculty in the Robotics Institute. Her research quantifies human performance and human-machine fluency to assess performance augmentation, advance exoskeleton control algorithms, mitigate injury risk, and provide relevant feedback to subject matter experts across domains. She received her B.S. (2003) and M.S. (2005) in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her Ph.D. (2008) in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. She was a postdoctoral researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (2008-2009), on the Advanced Technology Team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering (2009-2012), then an Assistant Professor at MIT (2013 – 2019). She joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2019.

Conor Walsh is the Paul A. Maeder Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the John A. Paulson Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He is the is the founder of the Harvard Biodesign Lab, which brings together researchers from the engineering, industrial design, apparel, clinical and business communities to develop new disruptive robotic technologies for augmenting and restoring human performance. Example application areas include, enhancing the mobility of healthy individuals, restoring the mobility of patients with gait deficits, assisting those with upper extremity weakness to perform activities of daily living and preventing injuries of workers performing physically strenuous tasks. His multidisciplinary research spans engineering, biology and medicine and has led to multiple high impact scientific papers. Multiple technologies from the lab have been translated to products including the ReStore soft exosuit from ReWalk Robotics and back support soft exosuit from Verve Inc. He is the winner of multiple awards including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the MIT Technology Review Innovator Under 35 Award.

Mark H. Weir has a BS and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineer focusing on water and wastewater systems design and complex systems modeling focused on bioaerosol modeling for bioterror agents, respectively. He is a boundary scientist conducting research at the convergence of engineering, healthcare, and environmental controls using the within the general framework of quantitative risk analysis. The methodology he is developing considers the world as a complex system of systems. Therefore, he researches how to consider the complex system of how a pathogen survives in the environment and infects a person are link and can be controlled. As such he has modeled pathogen survival, environmental transmission, and infection risks for a wide spectrum of pathogens, in all environmental matrices and modes of transmission. As an Assistant Professor in the Sustainability Institute and the College of Public Health at Ohio State University has continued this research program. At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been assisting with the State of Ohio’s response, firefighter equipment safety and cleaning plans, mass transportation decontamination, OH Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections decision making, statewide and on-campus wastewater monitoring and OSU campus reopening safety planning among other response actions.

Cathy White is a Global EH&S Project Leader at Dow.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.  Cathy is a Certified Professional Ergonomist, Certified Safety Professional, and Certified Industrial Hygienist.  She has spent the last twenty years working in various positions in engineering, industrial hygiene, and personal safety.  She currently is leading innovation projects in EHS mobility solutions to achieve breakthroughs in EHS performance at Dow.  Cathy is the former chair of the AIHA Ergonomics Committee and a member of the ASTM Training Task Group of the ASTM F48 Exoskeleton and Exosuit Committee.

Ben Wolff serves as the Chairman, CEO and is the largest shareholder of Sarcos Robotics. In this role, he oversees the strategic direction of the company and engages with the company’s partners, customers and investors.


Prior to joining Sarcos, Wolff served as Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman at Pendrell Corporation from 2009 to 2014. In 2003, Wolff co-founded Clearwire Corporation, where he served as President, CEO and Co-Chairman. Clearwire was sold to Sprint in 2013 for more than $14 billion. Wolff has also served as President of Eagle River Investments, an investment fund focused on telecom and technology investments.


Wolff previously served as a Director of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) and is currently a member of the Board of Visitors of Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.


Wolff earned his law degree from Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon in 1994, and his Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic State University in 1991.

Robotics Track

Shelly Bagchi is an Electrical Engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  She received her Masters in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2015, and her Bachelors in Computer Engineering from the George Washington University in 2013.  Her research interests are in human-robot interaction, situational awareness, and augmented reality.  She previously co-taught the introductory Artificial Intelligence class in Georgia Tech’s Online Masters in Computer Science program, a program which has enrolled over 10,000 students.  She participates in the ASTM Standards Committee E57 on 3D Imaging Systems and the IEEE Study Group on Metrology for Human-Robot Interaction.  Shelly also serves as an organizer for the ‘Test Methods and Metrics for HRI’ Workshop, which occurs annually at the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, as well as the ‘Artificial Intelligence for Human-Robot Interaction’ Symposium, part of the annual AAAI Fall Symposium Series.


Jordan M. Berg serves as a Program Officer in the Engineering Directorate of the US National Science Foundation. His research interests include nonlinear and geometric control, soft robotics, human-machine systems, and the modeling, simulation, design, and control of nano- and micro-systems. He received the BSE and MSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1981 and 1984, and the PhD in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics and the MS in Mathematics and Computer Science from Drexel University in 1992. In 1996 he joined the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department of Texas Tech University, where he remained until 2018. He began at NSF as a rotator in 2014, and returned as a permanent employee in 2018. At NSF he co-directs the Dynamics, Control, and Systems Diagnostics program in the Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation, and has served on several cross-cutting programs, including the Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier: Core Research, Foundational Research in Robotics, EFRI Continuum, Compliant, and Configurable Soft Robotics Engineering, National Robotics Initiative 2.0, Cyber Physical Systems, and the National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes. He is a Fellow of ASME.

Joe Campbell is the head of strategic marketing and applications development for Universal Robots North America, where he is leveraging his 40+ years’ experience in the robotics and factory automation industry.   Previous assignments include executive roles in sales, marketing, operations and customer service with industry leaders including Gudel, ABB, KUKA, AMT and Adept.  Joe has also consulted to the industry on strategy, marketing, M&A and product development.  Joe is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati. He is a regular speaker and lecturer at trade shows, industry events and manufacturing symposiums, presenting the technology and economic benefits of robots and factory automation.  Joe and his family live in Birmingham, MI.

Dawn Castillo is the Director of the Division of Safety Research at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). She is also the NIOSH manager for the Center for Occupational Robotics Research, the Center for Motor Vehicle Safety, and the Traumatic Injury Prevention Program. She is an injury epidemiologist and has authored numerous articles, book chapters, and technical documents on a variety of occupational injury topics, including occupational injuries among young workers, older workers, fire fighters, and workplace violence. Ms. Castillo received her Master of Public Health in epidemiology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. HeeSun Choi is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University. Her research interests are in safety issues related to attentional impairment and cognitive declines, with a particular focus on the older adult and industry worker populations. Her current research projects include perceived risks and safety behaviors involving collaborative robots and cognitive impacts of virtual reality and robotics technologies. Dr. Choi received her MS and PhD in Human Factors and Applied Cognition from North Carolina State University. Prior to joining Texas Tech, she worked for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as a research fellow in the Division of Safety Research and the Center for Robotics Research.

Fadi Fathallah is a Professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Fathallah has over 30 years of experience conducting studies on workers in various industries, including farmworkers in the past two decades.  He directs the University of California Agricultural Ergonomics Research Center and its Occupational Biomechanics Laboratory, and is Associate Director of the NIOSH-supported Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety.  His research focuses on development and evaluation of interventions to help reduce musculoskeletal disorders among farmworkers.  Dr. Fathallah also directs the USDA California AgrAbility Program, which provides assistance to disable California farmers, farmworkers, and their families.  Dr, Fathallah has served on the Board of Directors of the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE) (2013-2019), and is Editor of the Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health.  Prior to joining UC Davis in 1999, he was a Senior Research Associate at the Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.  He received a BS from Texas Tech University in Industrial Engineering in 1986, an MS from Virginia Tech in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (Human Factors Engineering track) in 1988, and a PhD from Ohio State University in Industrial Systems Engineering (Ergonomics and Occupational Biomechanics track) in 1995.

Carole Franklin is the Director of Standards Development for the Robotic Industries Association (RIA). She leads RIA’s standards development activities in developing the ANSI and ISO Robot Safety Standards. Before joining RIA, Carole spent over four years with management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where she led projects on business process improvement, internal communications, and executive communications. Prior to Booz Allen, Carole worked for Ford Motor Company for ten years in the market research department, where she led consumer research projects and tracking studies, providing engineers with crucial customer input to help prioritize design attributes and product quality improvement efforts. Her career has been spent translating the needs of end-users into actionable guidance for engineers and leaders – and vice versa. Carole holds BA and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan.

Masoud Gheisari is an Assistant Professor in the Rinker School of Construction Management at the University of Florida (UF). He received his Ph.D. in Building Construction from Georgia Tech and is currently leading the Human-Centered Technology in Construction (HCTC) research group at UF. He has worked and published extensively in the fields of Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) and human-Robot/UAV interaction within the construction domain. His research has been supported by various funding organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Department of Labor, Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), and ELECTRI International. Dr. Gheisari is serving on the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B30.32 Safety subcommittee to prepare the first standard on UAS uses in inspection, testing, maintenance, and material-lifting operations.

Dr. Hongwei Hsiao serves as Chief of the Protective Technology Branch and Coordinator for the Center for Occupational Robotics Research at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  He received his degrees from Cornell University and the University of Michigan and has held engineering and management positions in both the manufacturing industry and the U.S. Government. He also has taught human factors engineering in academia.  Dr. Hsiao has headed numerous programs and projects in safety research. He also coordinates development of strategic goals for the NIOSH robotics center and manages center resources and seminars. The Center addresses worker safety and integration with caged robots, collaborative robots, mobile robots, exoskeletons, autonomous equipment, drones, and artificial intelligence.  His research covers human-robot interface, statistics and big data, anthropometry and biometrics, biomedical engineering, construction safety, and health protection.  He manages several laboratories for NIOSH, including the Virtual Reality, Anthropometry Research, High Bay, Vehicle Safety, Digital Modeling, Human Factors, Robotics Research, and Sensor Development Laboratories.  An editorial board member for eight scientific journals, Dr. Hsiao has written or contributed over 170 publications and patents in human factors and engineering innovation for injury control. He was credentialed as a Silvio O. Conte Senior Biomedical Research Service Fellow by the Government Executive Resources Board in 2003. 

Thenkurussi “Kesh” Kesavadas, PhD is the founder Director of the Health Care Engineering Systems Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a professor of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, and holds faculty appointments in the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and with the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine at the university. His current research focuses on medical robotics and virtual reality for medicine. Kesavadas has widely published in the areas of medical robotics, VR, medical simulation and manufacturing. He is also an inventor of products that were successfully commercialized. In 2008, Kesavadas developed the world’s first stand-alone virtual reality Robotic Surgical Simulator called RoSS™ that is used around the world to train residents and medical students. This invention led to forming Simulated Surgical Systems to commercialize RoSS™. Before joining Illinois, Kesavadas was a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo (NY) where, in 1996, he founded one of the first Virtual Reality labs in the US. Kesavadas received his Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Calicut.

Oussama Khatib received his Doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering from Sup’Aero, Toulouse, France, in 1980. He is Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. His work on advanced robotics focuses on methodologies and technologies in human-centered robotics including humanoid control architectures, human motion synthesis, interactive dynamic simulation, haptics, and human-friendly robot design. He is Co-Editor of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics series, and has served on the Editorial Boards of several journals as well as the Chair or Co-Chair of numerous international conferences. He co-edited the Springer Handbook of Robotics, which received the PROSE Award. He is a Fellow of IEEE and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is the President of the International Foundation of Robotics Research (IFRR). Professor Khatib is a recipient of the Japan Robot Association (JARA) Award in Research and Development. In 2010 he received the IEEE RAS Pioneer Award in Robotics and Automation for his fundamental pioneering contributions in robotics research, visionary leadership, and life-long commitment to the field. Professor Khatib received the 2013 IEEE RAS Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his vision and leadership for the Robotics and Automation Society, in establishing and sustaining conferences in robotics and related areas, publishing influential monographs and handbooks and training and mentoring the next generation of leaders in robotics education and research. In 2014, Professor Khatib received the 2014 IEEE RAS George Saridis Leadership Award in Robotics and Automation.

Jeremy A. Marvel is a research scientist and project leader at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD.  Dr. Marvel received the bachelor’s degree in computer science from Boston University, Boston, MA, the master’s degree in computer science from Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, and the Ph.D. degree in computer engineering from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. Prior to NIST, Dr. Marvel was a research scientist at the Institute for Research in Engineering and Applied Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD.  He joined the Intelligent Systems Division at NIST in 2012, and has over sixteen years of robotics research experience in industry, academia, and government. His research interests include intelligent and adaptive solutions for robot applications, with particular attention paid to human-robot and robot-robot collaborations, multirobot coordination, industrial robot safety, machine learning, perception, and automated parameter optimization. Dr. Marvel currently leads a team of scientists and engineers in metrology efforts at NIST toward the performance evaluation of human-robot teams, and developing tools to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to effectively deploy robot solutions.

Cara Mazzarini is the Technology Portfolio Manager for Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM).  Cara develops, curates, and maximizes the value of ARM’s portfolio of innovative technologies. Cara advises organizational investment decisions, provides data for decision-making, prioritizes team and resource allocation, and manages aggregate risk of the projects across the portfolio. Through this work, Cara helps to fulfill ARM’s mission of increasing U.S. global competitiveness by accelerating innovative technologies and workforce programs that make robots more accessible to U.S. manufacturers. Prior to joining ARM, Cara worked as a Program Manager for NAVSEA, the civilian engineering Command for the US Navy.  Cara established and managed a cybersecurity program for Aircraft Carrier mechanical and electrical industrial controls systems. She led the strategic planning, budgeting, and oversight of projects to secure these internet of things (IoT) ship systems from digital attacks. Cara is a graduate of Villanova University with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a certificate in Cybersecurity from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Ranjana Mehta is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University. She is also a graduate faculty with the Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience at Texas A&M University, director of the NeuroErgonomics Laboratory, co-director of the Texas A&M Ergonomics Center, and a faculty fellow with the Center for Population Health and Aging and the Center for Remote Health Technologies and Systems. She received her MS and PhD from Virginia Tech, MEng from University at Buffalo, and BE from Mumbai University. She examines the mind-motor-machine nexus to understand, quantify, and predict human performance when interacting with emerging technologies (unmanned, collaborative, and wearable systems) in safety-critical extreme environments (e.g., emergency response, oil and gas). Applied research and technology development efforts in her lab focus augmenting, and supporting embodied cognition through equitable multimodal interface designs, wearable technologies, fluent and trustworthy human-robotic interactions, and brain-computer interfaces.

Bilge Mutlu is an associate professor of computer science, psychology (affiliate), and industrial engineering (affiliate) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he directs the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory and co-directs the Collaborative Robotics Laboratory. His research program focuses on building human-centered methods and principles to enable the design of robotic technologies and their successful integration into the human environment. He teaches the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in human-computer interaction on the UW–Madison campus. Dr. Mutlu has an interdisciplinary background that combines design, computer science, and social and cognitive psychology and a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a former Fulbright fellow and recipient of the NSF CAREER award. His research has received 17 best paper awards and nominations and recognition in international press including the Economist, New Scientist, and Discovery News.

Chang S. (CS) Nam is a Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University. He is also an affiliated faculty in the UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering as well as the Department of Psychology. Nam teaches and conducts basic and applied research in human factors and ergonomics engineering to advance the science of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), including brain-computer interfaces, social cognitive and affective neuroscience, computational neuroscience, human-centered AI, and neural correlates of trust in human-robot interaction. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and the Laboratory for Analytic Sciences (LAS), UNC/NCSU Rehabilitation Engineering Center (REC). He has received the NSF CAREER Award (2010), Outstanding Researcher Award (2010-2011), and Best Teacher Award (2010-2011). He is a recipient of the 2018 US Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program (AFSFFP) Award and the 2019 Leland S. Kollmorgen Spirit of Innovation Award from the HFES Augmented Cognition TG. Dr. He is the main editor (with Drs. Nijholt and Lotte) of Brain-Computer Interfaces Handbook: Technological and Theoretical Advances (CRC Press) and “Neuroergonomics: Principles and Practices (Springer). Currently, Nam serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Brain-Computer Interfaces. 

Professor Robert Radwin is the Duane H. and Dorothy M. Blumke Professor in industrial and systems engineering and biomedical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He investigates new ways to measure and quantify physical stress in the workplace, utilizing signal processing, computer vision and machine learning. His expertise is sought after as a consultant to industry and government for ergonomics in manufacturing and product design. Professor Radwin has received numerous awards as an innovator and researcher, is a fellow of five professional societies, has served on prestigious national committees, and is the reviews track editor for the journal Human Factors and associate editor for the journal IISE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors. He is founding chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Biomedical Engineering and is a Discovery Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery.

Dr. Nadine Sarter is the Richard W. Pew Collegiate Professor in Industrial and Operations Engineering and serves as the Director of the Center for Ergonomics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.  She teaches courses in cognitive ergonomics and organizational safety.  Her main research interests include human-automation/robot interaction, the design of tactile and multimodal interfaces, human error/error management, attention/interruption management, and the design of decision support systems. Her research is conducted in application domains such as aviation, military operations, and the modern car cockpit. Professor Sarter serves as Associate Editor for the Human Factors journal and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Peregrin Spielholz is currently the Senior Manager for Commercial Product Development in EHS Engineering at Boeing.  He has over 25 years of experience working in the fields of safety and ergonomics.  Peregrin received his Bachelor and Master degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan, and his PhD from the University of Washington in Occupational Health Sciences.  He is a Certified Professional Ergonomist and Certified Safety Professional. Peregrin has over 50 peer-reviewed publications and is an affiliate assistant professor at the University of Washington. 

Marc Steinberg has been the Science of Autonomy Program Officer at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) from the creation of that program in 2009, and is now also a member of the team that manages the Science of Artificial Intelligence program. His program focuses on highly multi-disciplinary research to develop the foundations of these areas in terms of rigorous mathematical methods, general scientific principles, new experimental paradigms, and theory-based tools to facilitate adoption such as for verification and validation, safety, and robustness. Some of the types of fields that are involved include dynamics and control theory, planning, optimization, machine learning, information theory, game theory, physics, human factors, and related fields such as biology, oceanography, cognitive science, psychology, and neuroscience.  Prior to coming to ONR, he worked in multiple positions within the naval laboratory system for 20 years, and reached the level of technical fellow. As a laboratory researcher, he worked on basic and applied research projects exploring neural network and knowledge-based forms of artificial intelligence, autonomous control, vehicle management systems, prognostics and health management, aviation safety, and robust, adaptive, nonlinear, and reconfigurable control. He has authored or co-authored papers across this range of subjects, and received numerous professional society awards for his contributions including the Derek George Astridge Award for Contribution to Aerospace Safety (British Institution of Mechanical Engineers), the Dr. George Rappaport Best Paper Award (IEEE),  the 2nd Best Paper of Conference Award  for AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, and has twice-won Pathfinder Best Paper awards  for AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America. In 2014, he received the Navy Meritorious Service Award for his contributions. He has B.S. and M.S degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a second M.S. degree in Industrial and Human Factors Engineering.    

Russell H. Taylor received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Stanford in 1976.  After spending 1976 to 1995 as a Research Staff Member and research manager at IBM Research, he moved to Johns Hopkins University, where he is the John C. Malone Professor of Computer Science with joint appointments in Mechanical Engineering, Radiology, and Surgery and is also Director of the Laboratory for Computational Sensing and Robotics (LCSR) and of the (graduated) NSF Engineering Research Center for Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology (CISST ERC).  His research interests include medical robotics and computer-integrated interventional medicine.  He is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the IEEE, of the AIMBE, of the MICCAI Society, of the National Academy of Inventors, and of the Engineering School of the University of Tokyo. He has also received numerous awards, including the Maurice Mueller Award, the IEEE Robotics Pioneer Award, the IEEE EMBS Technical Field Award, and the Honda Prize.

Dr. Jessie Yang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. She also has a courtesy appointment at the School of Information and is an affiliated faculty at Michigan Robotics. Dr. Yang received her B.Eng. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and her M.Eng, and Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (Human Factors), all from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Dr. Yang's main research interest lies in human-agent interaction in safety-critical domains including transportation, healthcare, and defense.  Her research has been sponsored by the Army Research Lab, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Toyota Research Institute and Mcity. 

Megan Zimmerman is a research scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  Megan joined NIST in 2016 and has been active within the human-robot-interface (HRI) community since then.  Megan's primary fields of expertise include human robot interaction and alternative robot control interfaces, including Virtual Reality and Tangible User Interfaces.  Megan is currently leading efforts at NIST to generate public datasets for human-human and human-robot teaming.

 HFES 2020 Annual Conference and ErgoX 

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

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