John Howard, Keynote Speaker
John Howard, MD, MPH, JD, LLM, MBA, serves as the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. He first served as Director of NIOSH from 2002 through 2008, and again from 2009 to 2015. He was re-appointed to a third six-year term in 2015 and a fourth six-year term in 2021.
Prior to his appointment as Director of NIOSH, Dr. Howard served as Chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health in the California Department of Industrial Relations, Labor and Workforce Development Agency, from 1991 through 2002.
Dr. Howard received his Doctor of Medicine from Loyola University of Chicago, his Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, his Doctor of Law from the University of California at Los Angeles, and his Master of Law in Administrative Law and his Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Howard is board-certified in internal medicine and occupational medicine. He is admitted to the practice of medicine and law in the State of California and in the District of Columbia, and he is a member U.S. Supreme Court bar. He has written numerous articles on occupational health law and policy and serves as a professorial lecturer in environmental and occupational health in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


William "Bill" Billotte, Speaker
ASTM International


Dr. William “Bill” Billotte is the Executive Director of the Exo Technology Center of Excellence and Director of Global Exo Technology Programs at ASTM International. Bill leads a dynamic team that pursues a vision of people of all ages free to pursue high-quality life and participate fully in work and society thanks to safe and reliable exo technologies. He is a member of Committee F48 on Exoskeletons and Exosuits, a board member for the Automotive Exoskeleton Group (AExG), and a life member of the National Eagle Scout Association. Prior to joining ASTM, Bill spent the past 20 years providing scientific and technical advice to federal agencies, first responders, and international organizations on topics including standards, exoskeletons, critical infrastructure protection, CBRNE detection, and first responder equipment. 

He has held scientific positions at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Navy, and Booz Allen Hamilton.  During his time with NIST, he served 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. 

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. 



      Katie Driggs-Campbell, Speaker
University of Illinois
Presentation Title: Fantastic Failures and Where to Find Them: Considering Safety as a Function of Structure 
Dr. Katie Driggs-Campbell is currently an assistant professor and Bruning Faculty Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prior to joining UIUC, she received a B.S.E. with honors from Arizona State University in 2012, a M.S. and PhD from UC Berkeley in 2015 and 2017, respectively, and was a postdoc in the Stanford Intelligent Systems Laboratory. Katie now runs the Human-Centered Autonomy Lab, which aims to design safe autonomous systems and robots that can safely interact with people out in the real-world. She is a recent recipient of the NSF CAREER award and IEEE RAS Early Academic Career Award.


Marvin Cheng, Speaker

Presentation Title: Human-Robot Collaboration in Future Manufacturing Workspaces: Enhancing the Safety and Efficiency

Dr.  Marvin Cheng is the Assistant Coordinator at the Center for Occupational Robotics Research in NIOSH. Dr. Cheng’s major research interests in the past few years focus on studies of workspace safety using collaborative and exoskeleton robots and cyber-physical systems with the concentration in the following areas: worker safety and, human-robot interaction in collaborative workspaces, machine vision and motion recognition, and multiaxial control of exoskeleton robotic devices. The goal of his robotic research activities aim to create a safer collaborative workspace by avoiding injuries caused by potential collisions between the robotic devices and the human workers in the shared workspace. As the team lead of the Safety Control Team at NIOSH, Dr. Cheng is also actively involved in the research projects in the fields of virtual reality simulation, motor vehicle safety, and safety with the consideration of ergonomic engineering. Dr. Cheng is currently a member of the RIA R15.06/R15.08 committees. He has been participating the review and revise of the safety standards of collaborative and mobile robotic devices since 2020.



Avishek Choudhury, Speaker
West Virginia University

Presentation Title: Balancing Trust and Risk in the Adoption of AI Chatbots for Healthcare Applications: User Perception of ChatGPT: A Cross-Sectional Survey Findings

Dr. Avishek Choudhury (Ph.D.) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering at West Virginia University. He holds a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology (2022), and a master’s degree in industrial and systems Engineering from Texas Tech University (2017). He has received several awards for his work, including the Paul Kaplan Award, the Fabrycky-Blanchard Award, and the Excellence Doctoral Fellowship.

Dr. Choudhury serves as the associate editor for Nature Scientific Reports and JMIR Human Factors. He has been an invited speaker at the National Academy of Sciences to discuss on the critical issue of trust in AI as it pertains to integrated diagnostics and precision medicine in oncology.

His research focuses on cognitive human factors, artificial intelligence, and healthcare, specifically on patient safety, neuroergonomics, and user experience. Beyond his academic work, Choudhury works with many not-for-profit organizations around the world, especially in low-income countries focusing on healthcare disparity, malnutrition, and maternal health. He aims to solve public health problems and bridge the digital gap, which are key parts of the Sustainable Development Goal.



Jennifer Cowley, Closing Keynote Speaker
Department of Defense

Closing Keynote Address: Today, AI is not just a commercial asset but a military necessity.  The CDAO is building a strong foundation for data, analytic, and AI-enabled capabilities to be developed and fielded at scale.  The CDAO’s collaborative efforts with academia, industry and gov’t, accelerates the AI adoption across the Department of Defense (DoD).  This address will highlight how collaboration with the ErgoX community can assist in the CDAO mission and will close with a few AI-related Human Factors and Ergonomics gaps that needs your attention. 

Jennifer Cowley, MS and PhD, currently serves as the lead of Market Intelligence within the Chief Digital and AI Office’s (CDAO’s) Chief Technology Office (CTO).  The CDAO mission is to accelerate AI Adoption across the Department of Defense (DoD) to achieve decision advantage. Dr. Cowley’s contribution to that mission is to study the cutting edge AI technologies to inform DoD Strategic Visioning.   

Dr. Cowley earned her MS and PhD in Human Factors Psychology at North Carolina State University (NCSU). While at NCSU, she studied the relationship between multi-tasking, vigilance, workload, distracted thinking and human performance.  Subsequently, she broadened her studies to include team design, UI/UX design and test, psychosocial profiling of insider threats, and personnel selection programs.  Much of Dr. Cowley’s Human Factors expertise has been applied to the fields of Big Data Analytics and Cybersecurity.  Throughout her career, Dr. Cowley has had the privilege of working in commercial, gov’t contracting, academia, Federal labs and has brought forth those experiences to the Department of Defense.



Matthew Dickinson, PhD, a senior lecturer in mechatronics engineering at the University of Central Lancashire, is a pivotal member of the MedTech Solutions group led by Professor Richards. With a Ph.D. in tribology, he has made significant contributions through research publications and conference presentations in this field. Dr. Dickinson's expertise in computer-aided design has led him to pivot towards smart assistive technologies, particularly exo-skeleton design, emphasizing the use of accessible materials for cost-effective maintenance.

His current research involves additive layer manufacturing and topological optimization to create high-performance components, mirroring the advantages of traditional metallic counterparts. While in its early stages, this work holds immense promise. Dr. Dickinson and his team are also exploring machine learning for signal catharizing, specifically in electromyography muscular responses.

Beyond his research, Dr. Dickinson actively participates in ASTM, where he serves as the subcommittee chair for F48.04, focusing on exoskeleton maintenance and disposal.


Woody Dwyer, Speaker
AmTrust Financial

Woody Dwyer, MS, CPE, CIE is the Director of Loss Control with AmTrust Financial with more than 25 years experience. He has conducted numerous high impact presentations throughout the world on ergonomics and numerous risk management topics. Woody has written or been featured in many industry and trade publications discussing workers compensation, health and safety and ergonomics. Woody is a Certified Professional Ergonomist, CPE.



Heather Frase, Panelist Speaker
Senior Fellow, Georgetown
Heather Frase, PhD is a Senior Fellow at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), where she works on AI Standards and Testing. Prior to joining CSET, Heather spent eight years providing data analytics, computational modeling, Machine Learning (ML), and Artificial Intelligence (AI) support for Intelligence, Defense, and Federal contracts. Additionally, Heather spent 14 years at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), supporting Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E). At IDA she led analytic research teams to apply scientific, technological, and statistical expertise to develop data metrics and collection plans for operational tests of major defense systems, analyze test data, and produce assessments of operational effectiveness and suitability. She has a Ph.D. in Material Science from the California Institute of Technology and a BS in Physics from Miami University in Oxford Ohio. 


Richard Gardner, Speaker

Presentation Title: Human-Cobot Teaming in Shared Industrial Workspaces: Opportunities & Challenges

Mr. Richard Gardner is a Boeing Technical Fellow with the Boeing Research & Technology, Materials & Manufacturing Technology organization.  He supports product development programs by integrating ergonomics requirements into design processes and helps establish methods for verifying safe and producible manufacturing systems. Mr. Gardner also serves as principal investigator for manufacturing ergonomics research & development and is technical leader for a portfolio of internal research focused on enhanced human performance and worker augmentation including collaborative robotics and wearable technologies.  Prior to Boeing, Mr. Gardner worked as a human factors flight test engineer for the Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD, conducting research, development, test & evaluation of human-machine interfaces for a variety of aircraft platforms.  He serves on the Editorial Board of Ergonomics in Design, is a member of National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), Musculoskeletal Health Council and a Texas Tech University Manufacturing, Industrial & Systems Engineering Academy inductee.  Mr. Gardner holds a M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas Tech University and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado @ Boulder.  He is a Licensed Professional Engineer and Board Certified Professional Ergonomist.



Nakul Gopalan, Speaker
Arizona State University 

 Presentation Title: Representation Learning and Language Grounding for Robots to be Diligent Collaborators

Nakul Gopalan is an Assistant Professor at the School of Computing and Artificial Intelligence (SCAI) within Arizona State University. His research interests lie at the intersection of language grounding and robot learning. He is interested in algorithms and methods that allow robots to be trained by leveraging demonstrations and natural language descriptions. Such learning would improve the usability of robots within homes and offices. His other research interests are in hierarchical reinforcement learning and planning. His works have been nominated for best paper awards at R:SS and the RoboNLP workshop.



Janelle Haines, Panelist Speaker

Janelle Haines is an EHS NPI Technical Program Manager for Google. She focuses on safety and ergonomic processes for new products within the data centers, leading the charge for injury prevention through design. Prior to this role she owned the ergonomics program for data centers globally at Google.
Janelle has over 10 years of industry experience, with 7 of those being focused on virtual reality processes at John Deere. Using virtual reality and human modeling technology, she was able to assess combine cabs for ergonomic fit and operator comfort as well as developing a process for virtually evaluating manufacturing assembly processes to identify high risk procedures and eliminate any risk before it was physically present. She also was the owner of the Virtual Reality lab onsite, assisting with manufacturing reviews in the virtual environment targeting injury prevention.

Janelle has had the privilege and opportunity of sharing her experience at various industry conferences and workshops over the years including the Enterprise of Wearable Technologies Summit, SAP AR/VR Conference, and the National Ergonomics Conference to name a few.
Janelle studied at the University of Iowa where she earned a B.S in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on Ergonomics and Biomechanics.



Carisa Harris, Speaker
University of California, San Francisco

Presentation Title: A Normalization Approach to Optimizing Arm Support Exoskeletons for Varied Tasks

Carisa Harris, PhD, CPE is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.  She is the Director of the Northern California Center of Occupational & Environmental Health in the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley, Associate Director of Research for the California Labor Lab, a NIOSH Total Worker health Center, and Director of the UCSF/UCB Human Factors and Ergonomics Research Lab.  She received her PhD in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley and teaches a variety of classes including Occupational Biomechanics and Human Factors in Industrial Design. 

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 epidemiological research evaluates the relationship between physical, personal, and work psychosocial factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders and subsequent work disability. Her  team applies machine learning to wearable device data for primary and secondary prevention purposes and performs various intervention studies on occupational tasks with high risk of musculoskeletal injuries.  She and her team also engage in applied research for high injury sectors such as construction, medical, hotel, janitorial, warehousing and manufacturing sectors. 



Boyi Hu, Speaker
University of Florida 

Presentation Title: Biomechanical and Mental Workload during Human-Robot Collaborative Pollination Task

Boyi Hu serves as an assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering at the University of Florida since 2018 Fall. He received his Ph.D. degree from West Virginia University majoring in Ergonomics in 2016 and worked as post-doc research fellow at Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health 2016-2018. His research interests are Ergonomics, Biomechanics, Safety Engineering & Human-Robot Interaction. His primary research interest is in identifying intervention pathways that influence and improve safety and health by using classical ergonomics principles augmented by emerging robotics technologies, wearable sensors, and artificial intelligence methods. The overarching goal of his research is to assist humans in living and working more independently, interacting with the environment and systems in a smooth manner, and achieving greater productivity in the foreseeable future.  Since 2018, He has been the principal or co-principal investigator on seven competitive grants totaling $1,219,726 with funding organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the Department of Transportation.



Lixiao Huang, Speaker
GSI, Arizona State University

Presentation Title: Applying a Generalized Model of Human Emotional Attachment to Human-Robot Interaction

Dr. Lixiao Huang is an Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Human, Artificial Intelligence, and Robot Teaming (CHART) within Global Security Initiative (GSI) at Arizona State University. She completed her Ph.D. in Human Factors and Applied Cognition from North Carolina State University in 2016 and Postdoc in the Humans and Autonomy Lab (HAL) at Duke University in 2018. She is the founding chair of the Human–AI–Robot Teaming (HART) technical group at Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, advocating cutting-edge HART research, interdisciplinary collaboration, and advanced testbeds and analytics. She has worked on ARL, ONR, and DARPA research projects as a research lead. Dr. Huang's research interests include 1) Human–AI–Robot Teaming effectiveness; 2) Humans’ responses (i.e., emotional states, behavioral patterns, and cognitive processes) to robots and technologies, especially emotional attachment, intrinsic motivation, coordination, trust, and metacognition; 3) The design of human-robot systems using Human Factors methods to make AI and robots effective, safe, user-friendly, trustworthy, and engaging. 




Presentation Title: OSHA Resources on Robot Systems and Robot System Safety

Christina Jones is a Certified Industrial Hygienist with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in Washington, D.C.  She is the Director of OSHA’s Office of Outreach Services and Alliances. 

Ms. Jones began her employment with OSHA in 2003 and worked almost exclusively on emergency preparedness and response related initiatives until 2009, helping to craft both OSHA and Federal emergency response and recovery policy, and providing significant support during OSHA’s response to natural disasters and significant events. Ms. Jones moved to her new role in the Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs in 2013, and now heads the office responsible for overseeing OSHA’s outreach efforts and Alliance program. Prior to working for OSHA, Ms. Jones worked for 13 years as an Industrial Hygienist in private industry and consulting.

Ms. Jones holds a BS in Chemistry from Ithaca College and a MS in Occupational Safety and Health from Temple University.


Dr. Monica Lopez, Speaker
Co-Founder & CEO, Cognitive Insights for Artificial Intelligence
Presentation Title: Preempting the Risks of AI: A human-centered approach to risk management
Dr. Monica Lopez is the Co-Founder & CEO of Cognitive Insights for Artificial Intelligence focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) risk management, governance and compliance across various industries. A serial entrepreneur, Monica previously co-founded and led as CEO and business strategist La Petite Noiseuse Productions. In those roles she advanced novel ethical and human-centered research and data analytics projects and policy initiatives across the AI lifecycle, advising partners in healthcare, autonomous vehicles, and cybersecurity, and presenting and publishing her work nationally and internationally. Recent accolades include being named one of 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics 2023, and receiving a research award from Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s Center for Law, Science and Innovation to propose soft law solutions for AI in healthcare. Other accolades include being named Baltimore’s Top 10 BioHealth Startup CEOs, The Business of Biotech; a Millennial Leader of the BioHealth Capital Region, BioHealth Innovation, Inc.; and a Particularly Imaginative Polymath, Imagination Institute, Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania. Aside from her work in the private sector, Monica is also teaching faculty at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in the Whiting School of Engineering and the School of Advanced International Studies. She teaches courses in AI, ethics, business, and public and global policy. Monica holds BAs in Psychology and French, a MA and PhD in Cognitive Science, and a Graduate Certificate in International Studies, all from JHU. She also has a Certificate in AI Policy from the Center for AI & Digital Policy in Washington, D.C. and a Certificate from the Venture Capital University Independent Director Initiative, University of California Berkeley, School of Law. She is also a longtime fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar.


Ming-Lun, Speaker

Presentation Title: Challenges in Assessing Risks of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Workers Wearing Exoskeletons

Ming-Lun or Jack Lu, is a certified professional ergonomist and a researcher at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). He holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Hygiene with a concentration on ergonomics from the University of Cincinnati. He has 26 years of research experience in biomechanics and epidemiology for the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. He is co-manager for the NIOSH Musculoskeletal Health Cross-sector Program and the co-chair for the National Occupational Research Agenda Musculoskeletal Health Council. His current research interests include wearable sensor or computer vision based ergonomic risk assessments, industrial exoskeletons, healthcare ergonomics, and interventions for airport baggage handling operations. He is the principal investigator for an on-going NIOSH research project aimed at assessing the long-term health effects of passive shoulder exoskeletons in the manufacturing setting.



Ranjana Mehta, Speaker
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Presentation Title: Mind-Motor Interactions of Exoskeleton Use using Neuroergonomics

Ranjana Mehta is a professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at University of Wisconsin Madison. Her research examines the mind-motor-machine nexus using a novel neuroergonomics approach to understand, monitor, and predict human performance under fatigue and stress. With these predictions, research in her lab focuses on developing closed-loop human augmentation technologies (sensory, neural, physiological) for safety-critical applications (emergency response, space exploration, and oil and gas).  Projects in her lab are funded by numerous agencies and industries and include user-centered and equitable design and evaluation of adaptive interfaces, wearable technologies, human-robotic interactions, and brain-computer interfaces to facilitate effective human-technology partnerships.



Katherine Meza, Speaker


Dr. Katherine Meza is an Associate Technical Fellow with over 10 years of service at The Boeing Company. She has over five years of research experience, two years of teaching experience and over sixteen years of industry experience in multiple industries such as manufacturing, aerospace, and government. Her work has resulted in 4 patents, several accomplishment awards, and over twenty journal publications and presentations at national and international conferences.

She currently provides leadership in the development of advanced visualization, digital human, & Immersive technology, including technology, process and tools. Her current statement of work includes the development, analysis, management and compliance verification of process and product baselines of highly integrated complex products. She is also involved in defining and allocating Configuration and Data Management requirements for product hardware, software and engineering design data systems that span multiple engineering functions throughout the product lifecycle. Additionally, Dr. Meza is also engaged in activities to promote human engineering design processes across the enterprise by being part of the Human Interfaces and Human Engineering Design Practice Tech Board, Co-Lead for the UX Design Practices Sub-Committee, as well as the lead of the Advanced Visualization track for Boeing’s Advanced Visualization, Data Analytics, Modeling & Simulation Symposium (AVDATS).

Dr. Meza earned a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, with an emphasis in User Centered Design, from the University of Central Florida in 2008. She focuses on the design of products, systems, & tools while taking into consideration requirements associated with user experience, physical design, cognitive design, and industrial design. She has experience in project management, lean principles and six sigma methodology, human factors and ergonomics, process mapping, quality management, survey design and development, lean manufacturing, and operations improvement. Dr. Meza is a lead expert resource for strategic initiatives, development and analytics, design practices, customer service and organizational development. She has experience working with senior management teams, developing strategic plans, and interacting with multi-discipline professionals towards the achievement of project goals.

In her spare time, Dr. Meza also serves as a SHPE Deputy at Boeing; leading efforts focused on professional development, diversity & inclusion. Among her many accomplishments, she has developed and lead mentoring programs for Boeing interns and new hires. She was the recipient of the 2019 SHPE Puget Sound Professional Role model Award and 2022 Women of Color – Outstanding Achievement - Technology Rising Star Award.



Dr. Tekin Meriçli, Speaker 
Presentation Title: Autonomous Logistics
Dr. Tekin Meriçli is a roboticist with more than two decades of experience and expertise in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and intelligent mobile robotics. He's also a published author with over 40 publications, including several best paper award winners.
He is a co-founder and the former Chief Technology Officer of Locomation, a pioneer in the development of automated driving technologies for the trucking industry.
Before co-founding Locomation, he worked as a Senior Robotics Engineer and Special Faculty/Commercialization Specialist at the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) of the Robotics Institute (RI) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Prior to NREC, as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute (HCII) and the RI at CMU, he led the development of intuitive and expressive interfaces for semi-autonomous robotic systems designed to assist the elderly and disabled. He also worked on the motion and manipulation planning capabilities of NREC's CHIMP robot, which placed third in the DARPA Robotics Challenge.
He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Boğaziçi University in Turkey, where his thesis introduced a case-based mobile manipulation framework. He also holds an MSCS degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a BS degree in Computer Engineering from Marmara University in Turkey.
Since 2004, he's also been an active member of the RoboCup community. He contributed to and led research and development pursued within Cerberus and UT Austin Villa RoboCup Standard Platform League robot soccer teams in addition to serving as a member of the technical and organizing committees of several RoboCup events and as the general co-chair of the RoboCup 2011 Istanbul event. Additionally, he was a technical lead of the UT-Austin Robot Technology DARPA Urban Challenge team. In essence, he was at the epicenter of the "big bang" of the self-driving vehicle revolution, helping build the foundations of this technology. He was also a technical lead of Team Cappadocia, developing a multi-robot ground vehicle system to carry out a surveillance and reconnaissance mission in a dynamic urban environment, which placed fourth in the MAGIC 2010 competition.

More information on his work can be found on his website at


      Dr. Kelly Neville, Speaker
 Presentation Title: Resilience-Aware Development: A Framework and Toolset for Evaluating an Autonomous System’s Readiness to Safely Participate in High-Consequence Operations
Dr. Kelly Neville is a Principal Cognitive Engineer in MITRE’s Modeling and Analysis Innovation Center. She currently leads two research projects. One project focuses on the advancement of decision-making technology for a healthcare setting; the other focuses on resilience-centered technology development and implementation. Her expertise encompasses expertise acquisition and training, cognitive psychology, team performance, complex systems engineering, and the integration of new capability into socio-technical systems. Kelly earned her BA in Psychology from Trinity University and an MA and PhD in Experimental Psychology (specializing in cognitive and human factors psychology) from Rice University.


Randy Nunez, Speaker

Randy Nunez has over 20 years of experience investigating emerging technologies. Randy formerly led the Extended Reality Tech Trend team for Ford Motor Company focused on researching XR trends and technologies, performing proofs of concepts for technology prove-out, writing technical briefs, and delivering presentations to various audiences. Randy has been a speaker and an advisory board member for several technical conferences, is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with a Telecommunications Option.




Adam Quirk, Speaker
Harvard University

Presentation Title: From the Lab to the Field: Staged Evalution of an Active Back Soft Exosuit to Support Occupational Tasks

Dr. Adam Quirk, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, at Harvard University. His research focuses on understanding whether differences in back muscle activation patterns can predict the likelihood of falls or the development of LBP attempting to find novel methods to prevent or reduce the severity of back injuries. Working with Dr. Cheryl Hubley-Kozey’s Neuromuscular Function Lab at Dalhousie University, Dr. Quirk received a PhD in Biomedical engineering researching how humans change the recruitment of trunk musculature in response to aging and low back pain (LBP). At the Harvard Biodesign Lab, working closely with his mentor Dr. Conor Walsh, and a team of clinical and engineering collaborators, he is exploring the potential of using wearable robotic technology to prevent disability associated with musculoskeletal injuries. Conducting secondary experimentation to determine factors that improve or dissuade the use of wearable robots.



Deb Reardanz, Speaker

Presentation Title: Robot Support for Residents and Staff in a Life Plan Residential Community

Deb Reardanz, MBA, has served as the President and CEO of ClarkLindsey, a non-profit Life Plan Community, since 2009, advancing its mission to engage the mind, spirit, and body in wellness and community so that older adults can live their best life. Deb has an MBA from Eastern Illinois University, and a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Illinois. She has been a Licensed Certified Public Accountant since 1997 and received her Nursing Home Administrator's license in 1998.

The ClarkLindsey Community has 300+ residents ages 62 or better and 275 employees, serving the older adults of Champaign County for over 40 years.  In 2017, Clark-Lindsey opened Illinois’ first Green House Homes and advanced regulatory readiness for a more resident centric, small home model.  Deb currently serves as a board member on the Center for Innovation, an organization that has advanced culture change throughout aging services.

Deb is actively engaged in university-community partnerships with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  She serves on the Steering Committee of the Collaborations in Health, Aging, Research, and Technology (CHART) program as well as on the Advisory Board for the Health Technology Education Program.



Luke Richards, Speaker 


Presentation Title: The Intersection of User Fairness and Security in Machine Learning 

Luke Richards is a Data Scientist in the National Security Division at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), leading research efforts in Assured Artificial Intelligence (AI). He focuses on identifying, understanding, and mitigating risks when systems include Machine Learning (ML) components using an assurance and user-centric perspective. Luke has served AI research and development needs in government mission spaces across domains such as signal processing and cybersecurity. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and holds a Masters and Bachelors degree in Computer Science. 



Wendy Rogers, Speaker
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Presentation Title: Robot Support for Residents and Staff in a Life Plan Residential Community

Wendy A. Rogers, Ph.D., is Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan Professor of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  Her primary appointment is in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health.  She received her B.A. from the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth, and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  She is a Certified Human Factors Professional (BCPE Certificate #1539).  Her research interests include design for aging; technology acceptance; aging-in-place; human-robot interaction; aging with disabilities; and cognitive aging.

Wendy is the Director of the McKechnie Family LIFE Home; Director of the Health Technology Education Program; Program Director of CHART (Collaborations in Health, Aging, Research, and Technology;); and Director of the Human Factors and Aging Laboratory.  Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health through the National Institute on Aging as part of the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE); and through the National Institute of Nursing Research.  In addition, her work is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services through the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research as part of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers on Technologies to Support Aging-in-Place for People with Long-Term Disabilities (TechSAge) and the Center for Enhancing Neurocognitive Health, Abilities, Networks, and Community Engagement (ENHANCE).



Nate Tenhundfeld, Speaker
University of Alabama

Presentation Title: A SWOT Analysis of Large Language Models’ Potential Influence from a Cognitive Perspective

Dr. Nate Tenhundfeld is an Associate Professor and the Interim-Chair of the Department of Psychology at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Nate received his PhD in 2017 from Colorado State University, and did a postdoc in the Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center at the US Air Force Academy, before joining faculty at UAH in 2019. His research focuses on human interactions with automation, AI, and robotics. To date he has published over 50 journal articles/conference proceedings, and has received $2.3 million in grant funding. In addition, Nate was awarded the 2022 UAH Undergraduate Research Mentor award, the 2018 Raja Parasuraman Award for Scientific Impact by the International Neuroergonomics Society, and the 2023 “Big of the Year” award by the Tennessee Valley chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.



Dr. Alhassan S. Yasin, Speaker
Johns Hopkins University

Presentation Title: From Fundamental Principles: Elegance and Clarity in Emergent Solutions to Complex Systems

Dr. Alhassan Yasin is a multidisciplinary scientist working and researching at the intersections of four topics: (1) theoretical and applied physics, (2) machine learning and artificial intelligence, (3) bioinformatics, and (4) mechanical and aerospace engineering. He is a Professor at Johns Hopkins University, Senior Research Scientist with the Applied Physics Laboratory, NASA autonomy Lead/Deputy for Extreme Access and Excavation & Construction groups, and founder/lead of Yasin Research Group.

Overall, in his academic and professional career he has had the privilege and honor to work with amazing students, faculty, researchers, educators, mentors, and scholars from academia and industry. He is actively working and developing various frameworks with the aim of providing a sustainable footprint in our evolving society. Most of the research aims at developing better approaches to solving multi-process challenges. Some of the areas that are critical to our future and currently his group pursues are quantum computing, biomedical/healthcare, human factor, security of control systems and formal methods, Cyber Physical Systems (CPS), Digital Twins, risk and assurance of autonomous agents, robotics, understanding how to assess risk in complex systems and design optimal security controls measurably based on that, and automating some of the processes through formal models and intelligent algorithms.

Much of his work is motivated by and related to the diversity in thinking and perspective as applied to technology, ecosystem, ethics, and governance. The work is and will be at the heart of public policy questions and debates in many future conversations. His research aims at contributing to the improvement of society and all that interact with and govern it. The debate over the most effective health, technology, and human policy interventions and social welfare are to be expected and must be addressed to better target improvement to the health and well-being of our society. Ultimately, his research group aims to inform scholarly, policy, and the general public about the social consequences of technology on our society and policies by capturing its short- and long-term effects on the well-being of all lives.