Return to Faculty Directory

Vaughn-Cooke, Monifa

Monifa Vaughn-Cooke
Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
0151E Glenn L. Martin Bldg
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Research Interests 

Director, Hybrid-System Integration and Simulation Lab

  • Human reliability assessment
  • Human factors
  • Systems engineering
  • Healthcare system and medical device design
  • Design decision making
  • Psychometric tool development
  • Bio-behavioral risk assessment
  • Decision support systems


Monifa Vaughn-Cooke joined the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012. Her M.S. degree focused on human factors and medical device design and her Ph.D. focused on the application of human reliability tools to the healthcare system. Dr. Vaughn-Cooke’s interdisciplinary research synthesizes sociology, psychology, systems engineering and risk assessment. Her research aims to identify the behavioral mechanisms associated with system risk propagation to inform the design of user-centric products and systems, with the ultimate goal of improving productivity and safety.


  • Ph.D. (Industrial Engineering), The Pennsylvania State University, 2012
  • M.S. (Industrial and Systems Engineering), The University of Southern California, 2006
  • B.S. (Biomedical Engineering), The University of Southern California, 2004

Honors and Awards 

  • Alfred P. Sloan Doctoral Scholarship (2010)
  • Bunton Waller Graduate Award (2007)
  • GE First Year Faculty for the Future Fellowship (2007)

Professional Memberships and Service 

  • Journal reviewer for the Institute of Industrial Engineers Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering
  • Session chair for the 2010 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference
  • Member of the American Society for Quality
  • Member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
  • Student organizer for the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 52nd Annual Meeting

Selected Publications 


  • Vaughn-Cooke., M., Kremer, G.K. “Empirical Pilot Study Variable Selection Using Value Tree Analysis,” Industrial Engineering Research Conference Proceedings, Reno, NV, May 2011.


  • Vaughn-Cooke, M., Nembhard, H.B., and Ulbrecht, J. “Reformulating Human Reliability in Healthcare,” Industrial Engineering Research Conference Proceedings, Cancun, Mexico, May 2010.


  • Vaughn-Cooke, M. “Development of an Integrated Model for Predicting Patient Compliance,” Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 53rd Annual Meeting, San Antonio Texas, Oct. 2009.
  • Rahimi, M., and Vaughn-Cooke, M. “Information Architecture for an Alzheimer’s Communication and Monitoring System.” Gerontechnology, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 42-55, Jan. 2009.

Related News 

Empowering Experience and Innovation
Working together, the University of Maryland and IBM encourage students and faculty to think big and leverage technology. June 1, 2018

ME Professors Featured on IBM Business of Government Podcast
Assistant Professors Fuge, Hahn, and Vaughn-Cooke featured on podcast to discuss new research in their fields. November 9, 2017

Spotlight on NAVAIR-Funded Research at Maryland
Cooperative agreement between UMD and NAWCAD helps support research projects in Mechanical Engineering. March 16, 2017

Vaughn-Cooke Participates as Panelist at Virtual Reality Meets Capitol Hill Event
Assistant Professor Monifa Vaughn-Cooke participates in panel, students demo evolving medical applications of VR simulations. August 3, 2016

ISR welcomes five new affiliate faculty
Joining ISR: Ken Wood, Bill Fagan, Daniel Butts, Monifa Vaughn-Cooke, Ilya Ryzhov. July 5, 2016

Engineering systems for mental health work by Espy-Wilson, Resnik, Vaughn-Cooke featured in Newsweek
Research on quantifiable indicators could result in mental health tracking app. November 13, 2014

Droguett Joins Mechanical Engineering as Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering welcomes alumni Enrique López Droguett back to the University of Maryland as associate professor. October 7, 2014

UMD Team Wins 2013 American Public Health Association's Affordable Care Act Codeathon
Terrapin Health Transformers & Friends team creates winning solution with ACA Benefits Buddy. November 11, 2013

Dr. Monifa Vaughn-Cooke Appointed as ME Assistant Professor
Professor brings interdisciplinary emphasis to Maryland faculty. January 27, 2012