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Moderator:   Gwen Malone is currently a managing partner T3 Innovative Strategists LLC. The company specializes in minority supplier development, assessing enterprise efficiencies/risk mitigation, and creating strategies for profitable growth. Gwen is the company’s lead for human factors, ergonomics and health and safety, where she helps companies evaluate their workplaces to protect the health & safety of employees and improve performance & productivity management and reduce associated costs.  Gwen retired from General Motors, after 34 years. Gwen held the position of General Motors Technical Fellow and Senior Manager of Ergonomics, GM Global Manufacturing Engineering. She led a global ergonomics team setting ergonomic policies and direction for the automaker in the areas of manufacturing and product design across multi-functional teams. Gwen directed technical and innovative research in Virtual Human Simulations & computer models to design jobs. Her team conducted research on the use of exoskeletons for use in manufacturing plants. She led an evaluative worker on-boarding & conditioning program for manufacturing plants; emphasis was to create a longer term on the job training to improve both the physical condition of operators and better job training when hired into manufacturing facilities. Her GM career also included positions focused on worker safety & health, industrial hygiene, health surveillance/epidemiologic studies. She retired in 2018.

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Dr. Kathy Abbott has over 40 years of experience specializing in aviation human factors.  She currently serves as the Chief Scientific and Technical Advisor for Flight Deck Human Factors to the US Federal Aviation Administration on human performance and human error, systems design and analysis, advanced automation for flight path management, flight crew training/qualification, and flight crew operations and procedures.  She serves as FAA liaison to industry and other government and international agencies dealing with flight deck human factors.


Since 1996, Dr. Abbott has led the integration of human engineering into development and application of FAA/international regulatory material and policies for flight guidance systems, avionics, all weather operations, Required Navigation Performance, pilot training and qualification, data link, instrument procedure design criteria, electronic flight bags, electronic displays, and training and operation of automated systems for flight path management.

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Sami Durrani is Associate Vice President at Eli Lilly and Company where he owns Lilly’s portfolio and development of diabetes care connected devices and medical mobile applications. Previously, Sami has led global human factors engineering teams supporting the development of medical devices ranging from drug delivery devices to surgical robots. Overall, Sami has 18 years of broad experience in medical device development, healthcare and transportation systems, and manufacturing.


Sami is an active member of HFES where he currently serves as the Internal Affairs Division Chair. In the past Sami has served as PDTG program chair, President of the New England Chapter, and volunteers on several committees. Sami also teaches graduate and undergraduate classes at George Mason University and Tufts University. Sami received holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering, an M.S. in Industrial Engineering, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.


Dr. Emily L. Howard is a Principal Senior Technical Fellow within Boeing’s Engineering, Test and Technology organization, and is currently the lead for applying human-centered design in complex systems, insuring safe and effective interaction among hardware, software, people, tools and processes. As Boeing’s leading expert in Human Engineering, Dr. Howard specializes in human information processing, perception and cognition, defining how human performance, protection and preferences must be considered in system design. She has worked across the company on products, services, and operations within our Commercial Airplanes, Global Services, and Defense, Space & Security businesses.  Her current focus is to promote early analysis of system vulnerabilities, especially related to complex system interactions that do not lend themselves to traditional, failure-based or probabilistic analyses.  In this capacity, she serves as the company focal for Systems-Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA), as part of Model-Based Systems Engineering.

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Ming-Lun aka 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 25 years of research experience in biomechanics and epidemiology for the prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. He is the 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, and practical interventions for airport baggage handling operations.

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Dr. Sudhakar Rajulu earned his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Industrial and Systems Engineering specializing in occupational ergonomics and biomechanics from the Ohio State University in 1990. Prior to his Ph.D., Dr. Rajulu obtained his Master of Science (MSc.) in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University (1985) and a Bachelor of Engineering (BE with Honors) from the College of Engineering, Madras University (1981).  Dr. Rajulu functions as Technical Manager for the Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility (ABF) at NASA’s Lyndon Johnson Space Center. As Technical Manager for the ABF, he is responsible for space hardware-crew interface related issues, requirements, evaluations, and analyses.

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Danielle Smith is currently on sabbatical from her role as the Managing Director of Digital Inclusion and Research at Express Scripts and Evernorth (part of Cigna Health Services). She joined the Design Leadership team at Express Scripts in 2016 and grew a team of 3 designer/ops/researchers into a “full stack” team of 50+ researchers that support Evernorth’s health services suite of digital experiences. This full stack team includes Product-focused specialists of user experience researchers, accessibility researchers, and digital experience analysts (i.e., Adobe analysts) as well as digital Population-focused specialists of NPS (or survey) researchers, journey and persona researchers, analysts and data scientists that examine overarching trends. These individual specialties collaborate to uncover insights that build a shared understanding that drives how Evernorth delivers care.   Danielle has about 20 years of experience in technology product research and user experience design strategy. She has worked across industries spanning from spaceflight at NASA/Lockheed Martin, to enterprise systems at Dell, and the payments and credit industry at PayPal – beginning as an individual contributor and later transitioned to people leadership. Danielle holds a BS in Psychology from Louisiana State University and a PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with a Human Factors concentration from Rice University. She is currently living in Querétaro, Mexico with her husband – enjoying a sabbatical.