Faculty Directory

Vaughn-Cooke, Monifa

Vaughn-Cooke, Monifa

Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering
Maryland Applied Graduate Engineering
Center for Risk and Reliability
0151E Glenn L. Martin Bldg



  • 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




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. 

Dr. Vaughn-Cooke’s interdisciplinary research synthesizes cognitive 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-centered products and systems. This involves: 1) Behavioral modeling of human error in hybrid systems (human-hardware-software); 2) Empirical data collection of human response (neurophysiological and subjective feedback) in 2D and 3D simulation environments and physical device prototypes; and 3) Descriptive and predictive modeling to identify and mitigate design-related sources of human error. Dr. Vaughn-Cooke’s research has been primarily applied to safety-critical technology applications in healthcare, such as patient self-management devices and hospital monitoring systems. Other recent applications include nuclear power plant and Unmanned Aerial System control rooms.



Human reliability Assessment, Human factors, Empirical Human Performance Modeling,  Experimental Design, Healthcare system and medical device design,  Design decision making, Psychometric tool development,  Bio-behavioral risk assessment.

ENRE 645/ ENSE 698G / ENME 489: Human Reliability Analysis

Methods of solving practical human reliability problems, cognitive and behavioral modeling, task analysis, performance shaping factors, error classification, distribution of human performance and uncertainty bounds, sources of human error probability data, human error risk mitigation, examples and case studies.


ENME 472: Integrated Product and Process Development

Integration of product development with the development process. design strategies. Product architecture. Design for manufacturing. Selection of materials. Design for assembly.

  • Selected Publications
  • Knisely, B., Joyner, J., Vaughn-Cooke, M. “Human Performance Assessment of Sensory Cueing in a Control Room Environment,” MethodsX (invited paper), (2021). HDC
  • Knisely, B., *Vaughn-Cooke, M., Virtual Modeling of User Populations and Formative Design Parameters, Systems, Special Issue: Human Factors in Systems Engineering, (2020), 8 (4), 35. HDC.
  • Cage, K., Vaughn-Cooke, M., Fuge, M. Design Validation of a Method to Characterize Human Interaction Variability, Systems, Special Issue: Human Factors in Systems Engineering, (2020), 8(3), 32, HDC.
  • Knisely, B., Levine, C., Kharod, K., & Vaughn-Cooke, M., An Analysis of FDA Adverse Event Reporting Data for Trends in Medical Device Use Error. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care, (2020), virtual.
  • Knisely, B., Joyner, J., Rutkowski, A., Kharod, K., Vaughn-Cooke, M., A Cognitive Decomposition to Empirically Study Human Performance in Control Room Environments, International Journal of Human Computer Studies, (2020), 141. 2.006 Impact Factor, HDC.
  • McLaughlin, A.C., DeLucia, P.R., Drews, F.A., Vaughn-Cooke, M., Kumar, A., Nesbitt, R., R., Cluff, K. “Evaluating Medical Devices Remotely: Current Methods and Potential Innovations,” Human Factors, (2020), 62(7), 1041-1060. 2.371 Impact Factor.
  • Doerfler, R., Diamantidis, C., Wagner, L.A., Scism, B., Vaughn-Cooke, M., Fink, W., Blakeman, T., Fink., J.C., “Usability Testing of a Sick-Day Protocol in Chronic Kidney Disease,” Kidney International, Official Journal of the International Society of Nephrology, (2019), 14 (4). 8.8 Impact Factor, HDC.
  • Vaughn-Cooke, M., Knisely, B., #Joyner, J., Human Performance in Control Room Environments, Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (2019), Charleston, SC.
  • Cage, K., Vaughn-Cooke, M., Fuge, M.,  Lucero, B., Spernjak, D., Bernardin, J., Thermal Design and Testing of a Passive Helmet Heat Exchanger with Additively Manufactured Components, AME 2019 13th International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, (2018), Pittsburg, PA.
  • Strater, L.,  Frederick, C.M.,  Vaughn-Cooke, M., Bliss, J.,  Shah, S., Me and My Virtual Environment, Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 60th Annual Meeting, (2016), Washington, DC.
  • Kim, B., Schwartz, W., Catacora, D., #Vaughn-Cooke, M. Virtual Reality Behavioral Therapy, Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 60th Annual Meeting, (2016), Washington, DC.
  • Vaughn-Cooke, M., Nembhard, H.B., Ulbrecht, J., and Gabbay, R., "Informing Patient Self-Management Technology Design Using a Patient Adherence Error Classification", Engineering Management Journal, (2015), 27(3), 124-130. 0.33 Impact Factor, HDC.
  • Ndu, Obi., Vaughn-Cooke, M., Human Reliability in Spacecraft Development Assessing and Mitigating Human Error in Electronics Fabrication, Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference, (2014), Honolulu, HI.
  • Montague, E., Valdez, R. Burns, M., Barnes, L., Vaughn-Cooke, M., Considering Culture in the Design and Evaluation of Health IT for Patients: Lessons Learned and Experiences, Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 58th Annual Meeting, (2013), Chicago, IL.
  • Kohani, M., Berman, J., Catacora, D., #Kim, B., *Vaughn-Cooke, M., Evaluating Operator Performance for Patient Telemetry Monitoring Stations Using Virtual Reality, Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 58th Annual Meeting, (2013), Chicago, IL.
  • Santos, L., Olumese, O., Vaughn-Cooke, M., Glucometer Design for Patients with Vision and Mobility Impairments, Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 58th Annual Meeting, (2013), Chicago, IL
  • Rahimi, M., and Vaughn-Cooke, M., "Information Architecture for an Alzheimer’s Communication and Monitoring System", Gerontechnology, (2007), 6(1), 42-55. 4.015 Impact Factor, HDC.

Empowering Experience and Innovation

Working together, the University of Maryland and IBM encourage students and faculty to think big and leverage technology.

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.

BioE Capstone 2016: New Projects Focus on Improved Healthcare for Underserved Communities, Pediatric Patients, and More

Affordable RT-PCR for clinical diagnostics, fear mitigation device for pediatric MRIs tie for first place.

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.

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.