Our multi-disciplinary team of 30 professionals—with backgrounds including human factors, cognitive psychology, industrial design, system engineering, medicine, and anthropology—apply their expertise to produce concrete results.
As the founder of Design Science, Steve is a pioneer in the field of product-design research. He holds a BS in Psychology and Anthropology from Tulane University, a PhD in Experimental Psychology from Penn State, and a Certificate in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has been working in product development for over 30 years, a period during which he has developed several of the methodologies that are now in widespread use for fitting products to people.
Steve was one of the first professionals to apply cultural anthropology as an effective product-development tool and to employ PhD cultural anthropologists as researchers in product development. He chaired the Human Factors Professional Interest Section of the Industrial Designers’ Society of America for several years and serves on the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Human Factors Engineering Committee as well as IEC/ISO “Joint Working Group 4,” the author of IEC/ISO 62366. He has also taught human factors and research methods in the Design Departments of the University of the Arts and Carnegie Mellon University, has authored over 70 articles in professional journals, and is the co-author (with Michael Wiklund) of Designing Usability into Medical Products (CRC/Taylor & Francis). Steve is the Chair of the Conference Committee for Include 2015, a biennial conference at the Royal College of Art in London that explores the challenges and impact of inclusive design.
Li is the in-house technology “Guru”, with expertise in design and cognitive engineering. He is responsible for electronic simulation and prototyping, as well as assuring that Design Science’s technology remains on the cutting edge. He designs and builds a variety of tools, from new video playback systems to data collection devices.
Li holds a BA in Industrial Design from Tianjin Art College in China and two Master’s Degrees: one from the University of the Arts in Industrial Design Education and another from Ohio State University in Industrial Design with a focus on Cognitive Systems Engineering. At Ohio State, Li worked with David Woods, a leading expert in the human factors of control rooms and complex systems. While there, he worked on the interface design for the TCATS air traffic control system. Li is fluent in Mandarin.
Chief Executive Officer
Katie holds a BS in Biomedical Engineering and Psychology with a MS in Product Design and Development from Northwestern University. Katie oversees daily operations, business development, and client management. She brings extensive industry experience to the Design Science team, having worked in new product development at Baxter for 9 years. Her work included developing and enhancing products ranging from infusion pumps to dialysis management mobile applications for the transfusion therapies, medication delivery, and renal health divisions. Katie uses her considerable understanding of the medical-device industry and its operations—including quality management, requirements development, risk management, and change control—to guide the company’s Quality System and risk management work.
Carmella holds a BS in Industrial Design from Philadelphia University. She has considerable experience capturing video in complex field settings, including several hundred surgical procedures filmed in ORs and catheterization labs. Carmella has also filmed in a variety of other contexts, including simulated-use testing and at-home contextual inquiries. When not in the field, she manages Design Science’s video-processing and data-management services, while also providing support to videographers, researchers, and analysts. As Director of Videography, she is responsible for developing, coordinating, and implementing video-capture strategies, as well as training and managing a team of videographers. Her previous experience includes work at Knoll Inc., where she created instructional videos for chair use, in addition to ISO and Six Sigma documents for assembly-line work stations.
Director of Ethnography
Jennifer has a BA from Evangel University and has extensive experience in recruiting, sales, and leadership development. She has successfully coordinated and conducted recruiting for many research projects at Design Science, enabling ethnographic observations in hospitals and other medical facilities in the U.S. and abroad. Jennifer has developed a unique expertise in navigating the complexities of in-hospital IRBs, HIPPA compliance, and requirements for gaining access to medical facilities. Jennifer ensures that Design Science obtains the proper permissions and follows the necessary procedures, which vary from institution to institution making it possible for Design Science to conduct observational research in a variety of facilities.
Lindsay A. Carrabine
Lindsay holds a BID (Industrial Design) from Syracuse University and an MS in Information Systems from Drexel University. She has several years of experience overseeing the creation of Design Science’s presentation of information—including data visualization, reports, and multi-media presentations—and provides visual design for user-interfaces and instructional materials. Lindsay has considerable expertise in the regulatory expectations for the design and presentation of instructions, and she works with usability teams to design, test, and revise IFUs and user manuals. In addition to graphic deliverables, Lindsay facilitates communication between team members and clients, using her design perspective to translate complex research findings into actionable design recommendations.
Peri holds degrees in Economics and Accounting. Born in Turkey, she earned her Economics degree from Hacettepe University and began practicing as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). After moving to the United States, she earned an additional degree in Accounting. Peri brings a wealth of professional experience to her role as Accounts Manager at Design Science, overseeing the company’s financial affairs. Her responsibilities include accounting, contract management, and financial forecasting.
Peter A. Sneeringer
Director of Human Factors
Peter holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Human Factors Engineering from Tufts University. He is involved in business development and client management, in addition to directing and conducting human factors projects involving usability testing, heuristic analysis, and the design of instructional materials. He has experience with a wide variety of medical devices, particularly drug-delivery devices, diabetes-related products, and home healthcare devices. Peter is an effective study moderator and interviewer, able to place study participants at ease while achieving study goals. In addition to his own projects, Peter coordinates our moderator training program and provides expertise on FDA regulatory expectations. Recent projects include usability testing of a continuous glucose monitor, analysis of a daily auto-injector for patient self-administration, and creation of instructions for use for an infusion pump.
Sarah S. Spegal
HR & Compliance Director
Sarah holds a BA from North Central University in Minnesota. Since joining the team at Design Science, Sarah has driven the company’s development of processes for administrative procedures, including file management and resource allocation. She also serves as a human resources officer, pioneering new standards and systems that help Design Science grow as an organization. Sarah also supports the company’s Quality Systems, which has successfully undergone numerous third-party supplier audits since its creation.
A’Brianna is currently finishing a BA in Political Science, with a concentration in International Relations, at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Design Science, she spent several years working for a law firm in administrative and legal assistant capacities. A’Brianna also has experience working in sales and marketing. In 2014 she studied in Argentina, where she volunteered for the Argentine Chapter of Transparency International and became fluent in Spanish. At Design Science, she supports the research teams by recruiting participants and facilities. She also provides administrative assistance to the ethnography department.
Human Factors Engineer
Ashley holds a BS in Psychology and a minor in Anthropology from University of Central Florida. She also holds an MS in Human Factors and Systems from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. She participated in a variety of academic internships and research disciplines, including mental health, social work, inattentional blindness and attention, and runway safety for the FAA. Prior to joining Design Science, Ashley worked in London doing neuropsychological research on brain injured patients – and worked in the field of Ergonomics at an Industrial Engineering firm. At Design Science, Ashley works on both human factors and ethnography projects. She contributes to all aspects of usability studies, including protocol creation, study moderation, data analysis, and report writing. Recent projects include glucose monitoring systems, in addition to conducting interviews for ethnographic research projects.
Bryon R. Calawa
Bryon has a BA in Psychology from Eastern University. He manages and conducts human factors projects, specializing in methodological innovation and study design. In addition to employing a range of quantitative research methodologies, Bryon supports the creation of test devices. His project experience includes work with various drug-delivery devices, pumps, and infusion systems. Recent work includes analyses of hand dexterity and force requirements for injection devices.
Carrie holds a BA in Anthropology with a minor in Religious Studies from the University of Delaware. Prior to joining Design Science, she conducted archaeological research and excavations, specifically relating to human osteology. During an internship as a lab technician, she was appointed as the graphics lead, where she was responsible for mapping years of data into numerous types of archaeological maps. She has assisted institutions such as the Smithsonian in excavations, pharmaceutical clients in marketing design, collegiate athletic clubs in recruiting, and numerous organizations in fundraising. With an educational background in business and culture, Carrie assists the research teams at Design Science by recruiting medical facilities and participants that best serve the client’s needs.
Senior Human Factors Engineer
Chad holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University and an MS in Industrial Engineering (concentration in Human Factors) from North Carolina State University. He has managed and conducted numerous usability, contextual inquiry, and heuristic analysis projects, ranging from physical to digital products and healthcare to consumer-related products. His expertise spans all dimensions of human factors research, from assessing client needs and designing study programs, to executing usability testing and developing regulatory submissions. Recent project work involves web-based portals, syringe and injection systems, and industrial machinery graphical user interfaces.
Christina graduated from the University of the Arts with a BS in Industrial Design. She is particularly skilled at guiding the presentation of study data, developing creative solutions and designing for clarity. Her chief responsibility is to advocate for the design perspective in ethnographic research and human factors usability studies. She also contributes to the development of research deliverables, creates instructions for use, and supports data analysis. As a certified EMT, Christina is able to provide expert input for projects that involve emergency medicine.
Human Factors Engineer
David is a biomedical engineer and PhD candidate in Medical Sciences from the University of Münster, Germany. During his studies as a biomedical engineer, he gained experience in human factors engineering and usability at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation in Toronto, Canada, as well as at GE Healthcare in China. Alongside his PhD, he worked as a Scientific Assistant at the Center for Medical Engineering and Usability & Ergonomics at the University of Applied Sciences in Münster, Germany, where he led human factors studies and development projects for medical devices. David is being hosted by Design Science for one year as a trainee sponsored by the German-American Chamber of Commerce. At Design Science, he combines his technical expertise as an engineer with his skills and experience in usability and human factors. David is fluent in German.
Emma M. Levitt
Emma holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Human Factors from Tufts University. She utilizes her technical engineering skills and human factors training to evaluate and enhance user-centered design solutions. Prior to joining Design Science, Emma worked in several internship positions, ranging from digital user interface design for mobile applications to flight simulated pilot communication data research for the Department of Transportation. Emma also previously worked in engineering education, where she developed skills in animation, LEGO Mindstorms Robotics, laser cutting, and 3D printing technology. At Design Science, she contributes to all aspects of Human Factors projects, including study preparation, protocol writing, moderating, and data analysis. Recent projects include usability and force analyses for injection devices.
Joshua holds an A.O.S. in Video Production from Ai NYC. During his time in New York, he won Best Director twice, Best in Show, and one of his short films won Best Cinematography. In addition, Joshua also released a music video that he directed at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square. This experience led him to volunteering as a Student Ambassador with Bullying… We’re Kickin’ It, an anti-bullying organization. Joshua has filmed in many fields of production, including shorts, documentaries, music videos and, most recently, marketing. As a videographer for Design Science, he collects data through offsite videography, aids in media processing, and establishes and implements processes to streamline video editing and storage. Joshua is also involved in file management, as well as compiling resources for the company’s media department.
Madeleine L. Friel
Madeleine graduated from the University of Delaware with a BS in Cognitive Science and Computational Neuroscience. Prior to joining Design Science, she completed academic research internships in a variety of disciplines, including technological usability, MRI-based research on eating disorders, and linguistic development in infants. At Design Science, Madeleine contributes to all aspects of usability research, including protocol creation, study moderation, data analysis, and report writing. She also participates in ethnographic research, supporting data analysis and deliverable creation. Recent project work involves surgical sealant processes, injection devices, infusion systems, nasal inhalation devices, and web-portal design.
Margo received a BS in Graphic Design Communication from Philadelphia University. Before joining the Design Science team, she gained substantial experience in both print- and web-design. Her specialties include vector and hand-drawn illustration. In addition to working as part of marketing teams, Margo has worked directly with clients of her own. As a Graphic Designer, she is responsible for visual data interpretation and organization.
Megan holds a BS in Human Kinetics and Ergonomics from Rhodes University and a M.Phil in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Prior to joining Design Science, Megan completed her masters on designing a modular, 3D printed ptosis crutch for Myasthenia Gravis patients. She has also worked on research investigating the cognitive representation of laparoscopic work. Megan has experience in applying the holistic science of human factors to the product development and design validation processes. Megan is being hosted by Design Science as a trainee for six months.
IT Support Technician
Mike holds a BA in Mass Communications with a focus on Television Production from the University of South Florida. Prior to joining Design Science, Mike gained experience with camera operation, lighting, audio production, graphic design, animation, and producing. After 10 years in video production, he decided to pursue a career in information technology, and has since received several industry-standard certifications in networking, diagnostics, and security. At Design Science, Mike provides technological support and consults on cutting-edge industry solutions.
Michael J. Harkisheimer
Michael graduated from Eastern University with a BS in Biochemistry, where he optimized a large-scale expression and purification strategy for recombinant Orf12, a putative virulence factor protein from Erwinia amylovora. Prior to joining Design Science, he conducted structural and molecular biology research on telomerase reverse transcriptase at the Wistar Institute, contributing to 3 publications in four and a half years. Michael provides support for data entry, data analysis, and report writing. Michael has worked on projects studying the usability of injection devices, in addition to conducting analysis for ethnographic research.
Neil holds a BA in Psychology from Swarthmore College, where he conducted research on human perception and tool use. He has expertise in experimental design and has utilized a range of methodologies, including direct observation, in-depth interviews, and questionnaires. Neil contributes to all aspects of usability studies, including protocol creation, study moderation, data analysis, and report writing. He also contributes to the analysis and synthesis of ethnographic data. Recent project work involves injection devices, glucose monitoring systems, and infusion systems.
Robin holds a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering and an MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering (concentration in Human Factors and Ergonomics) from Virginia Tech, as well as an Associate Ergonomics Professional certification. She has managed and conducted numerous usability projects, on topics ranging from diabetes devices and infusion systems to injection devices and ergonomics training materials. Robin has experience with heuristic analyses, human factors expert reviews, and the creation of risk assessment documentation. She also contributes to ethnographic research and data analysis. She has completed extensive research on injury risk assessment and mitigation, and has expertise in the application of motion capture and imaging technology.
Simona holds a BA in Biological Basis of Behavior from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Design Science, Simona conducted clinical research on kidney transplantation, studying adherence to immunosuppression drugs, nutritional and financial incentives for maintaining target phosphorus levels, and psychological outcomes of live kidney donation. At Design Science, Simona contributes to all aspects of Human Factors projects, including study preparation, protocol creation, data analysis, and report writing. She also contributes to the analysis and synthesis of ethnographic data. Recent project work involves intramuscular injection devices and robotic surgical systems.
Susanne holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan and has over 12 years of experience conducting qualitative research. A specialist in culture, communication, and international research, Susanne strives to bring patient and physician perspectives to light and ground innovation in a thorough understanding of real-world medical environments. Before joining Design Science, Susanne taught courses in anthropology and communication at several universities, including the University of Chicago and Temple University. She conducted extensive ethnographic research on work, management, and technology in Russia, served on the Executive Board of the Society for the Anthropology of Work, and published several studies in leading professional journals. In addition, Susanne has significant experience in health and medical editing, and, prior to her graduate training, earned a B.A. in Biological Sciences and English Literature from Columbia University.
Teagan holds an A.A.S. in Business Management Technologies and a PA Cosmetology license. She is the assistant to Principal Stephen Wilcox and oversees day-to-day operations in the office. Teagan enjoys using her organizational skills and event planning experience to keep the office running smoothly. Teagan has years of experience working in various customer service positions, most recently in a Philadelphia salon. She enjoys personally interacting with clients and research participants on a regular basis.
Yeri holds a BA in Urban Planning from UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design and a dual-degree MBA/MA in Design Leadership from Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Yeri’s expertise lies in uncovering and understanding user and business needs in order to support human-centered design and useful design innovation. Prior to joining Design Science, Yeri held design research and strategy internship positions with a Department of Defense Contractor and the Johns Hopkins University Visual Thinking Lab. At Design Science, she conducts ethnographic research, translates research into deliverables, and develops instructions for use.
Zaheer (Ziggy) holds a BS in Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive and Evolutionary Neuroscience from Drexel University, where he employed electroencephalography to investigate the neural underpinnings of consciousness and transliminality. Ziggy subsequently completed training in product design, with an emphasis on identifying user needs, as well as design experimentation and prototype development. At Design Science, Ziggy works on both human factors and ethnography projects, where he contributes to all aspects of usability studies—including protocol creation, study moderation, data analysis, and report writing.