Dr. Eduardo Salas
Allyn R. & Gladys M. Cline Chair, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Rice University
Dr. Salas is the Allyn R. & Gladys M. Cline Chair Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Rice University. Previously, he was a trustee chair and Pegasus Professor of Psychology at the University of Central Florida where he also held an appointment as program director for the Human Systems Integration Research Department at the Institute for Simulation and Training (IST). Before joining IST, Eduardo was a senior research psychologist and Head of the Training Technology Development Branch of NAWC-TSD for 15 years. During this period, he served as a principal investigator for numerous R&D programs, including TADMUS, that focused on teamwork, team training, decision-making under stress and performance assessment.
Eduardo has co-authored over 450 journal articles & book chapters and has co-edited 27 books. His expertise includes assisting organizations in how to foster teamwork, design and implement team training strategies, facilitate training effectiveness, manage decision making under stress, and develop performance measurement tools.
He is a past president of the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology and the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society (HFES), a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and HFES, and a recipient of the Meritorious Civil Service Award from the Department of the Navy.
Dr. Joshua Gomer
Human Factors/HSI Practitioner, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) Atlantic; Adjunct Professor, The Citadel
Dr. Gomer earned his B.S. in Psychology at the University of Central Florida (2003), an M.S. in Applied Psychology at Clemson University (2008), and his Ph.D. in Human Factors Psychology at Clemson University (2010). His dissertation was a study of the relationship of spatial abilities to the operation of different types of robotic platforms. He currently has his Associate Human Factors Professional certification from the Board of Certified Professional Ergonomists and works at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) Atlantic, in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Gomer served 5 years of active military service, achieving the rank of Sergeant, United States Marine Corps. As a signals intelligence Marine, he collected and reported on matters of national security in a joint environment, supporting a Naval command and the National Security Agency (NSA). Following active duty, Dr. Gomer pursued an education in psychology, focusing on the complex relationship between human limitations and technology. Since joining The Citadel Faculty, Dr. Gomer has taught a graduate course in Human Systems Integration, emphasizing the importance of incorporating the user early and often in the acquisition of systems. He has authored several journal articles, with a special interest in teleoperation, robotics, perception, and performance.
Dr. Jay Elkerton
Director, Human Centered Design, Emerson Automation Solutions
Jay leads the Automation Solutions group at Emerson in design thinking and human-centered design. In his 8 years at Emerson, Jay has guided and directed their industrial automation businesses to transition from a technology focus to a user and customer focus. He has done this with a small group (5 people at its largest) and a radical approach that stresses the importance of educating and coaching people on using design tools to address the needs of control and measurement product users. Unlocking these design tools for well over a 1000 Emerson employees has allowed them to focus on users collaboratively and repeatedly. For Emerson, this has resulted in several new and award-winning products that solve customer problems more effectively and efficiently. Jay came to this approach through several years of design practice at companies like Philips, NYNEX, Nortel and Hewlett Packard. He also conducted design research and taught at the University of Michigan after getting his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Human Factors from Virginia Tech. Through this, he learned the value of multi-disciplinary collaboration and sharing tools and approaches with others. At the core, Jay believes that everyone is a designer since we all attempt to make decisions to turn existing situations into better ones.
Dr. Melroy D’Souza
Principal UX Researcher, Microsoft Corporation
Melroy D’Souza is a Principal UX Researcher at Microsoft, with the Bing Online Services Group, in the AI + Research Division. His cross-disciplinary role requires him to work with the Engineering, Marketing, and Design groups, building customer programs, and delivering strategic audience insights, that move the needle for the business. He has held individual contributor (IC) and managerial roles, during a career that has spanned almost 25 years of industry experience in the technology field, across Microsoft, Gateway Computers, and other international companies. He is a huge believer in the importance of Applied User Research, and uses it as a “teaching moment,” to enable Engineering teams to build great product experiences, that truly make a difference to real people.
His 16 years at Microsoft has spanned several business divisions, with products geared towards enterprise customers, to information workers, and consumers. He continues to push the boundaries of his role, taking on non-traditional research assignments, while adapting to the changing business landscape, and tapping into his entrepreneurial strengths, growth mindset, and agility, to drive product differentiation and increase market share.
Melroy earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering (Human Factors), with a minor in Experimental Stats, from Clemson University.
New this year: Young Alum Panel
Healthcare Analyst, Freeman White
Ali received her masters from Clemson University in Industrial Engineering with a focus on human factors in healthcare. She now works at Catalyst, a Haskell Company which is a healthcare consulting firm with strong ties to architecture. As a healthcare consultant in the operations department, she strives to streamline workflows, visually convey complex data, and the model proposed improvements that shorten throughput times.
Dr. Stephanie Borzendowski
Forensic Consultant, Applied Building Sciences
Stephanie Whetsel Borzendowski is a Human Factors Consultant with Applied Building Sciences in Charleston, SC. She provides forensic analysis related to personal injury matters, which includes providing expert witness testimony. Stephanie earned her PhD in Human Factors Psychology from Clemson University in 2014.
Dr. Toni Pence
Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Toni Pence is an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She received her PhD from Clemson University with a focus on the development of a Virtual Pediatric Patient System for pediatric nurse training. Currently, Toni’s research focuses on detecting gender biases in different types of Virtual Reality Scenarios. Her current course load includes teaching Human-Computer Interaction, Virtual Reality, and Eye Tracking.