Human Factors Specialist
Objective: Results-driven human factors graduate from Virginia Tech, passionate about research in design interaction and user experience for novel emerging technologies such as augmented and mixed reality. Seeking to assist innovative companies in developing user experience methods and conducting human factors user research, as well as to develop my own skills as a human factors specialist. Education M.S. Industrial and Systems Engineering, GPA 3.70/4.00 Concentration, Human Factors and Ergonomics
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
B.S. Industrial and Systems Engineering, GPA 3.24/4.00 Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
User Experience Engineering Coursework Assistant Instructor, Virginia Tech
Advised over 50 students for UX process life cycle, directed UX exercises for ideation, prototyping, error analysis, and other cycle-specific activities
Lead evaluation for all seven stage projects for six UX project teams (as my professor focused on developing lectures and coursework exercises)
Led UX exercises and provided feedback for students during project stages on life cycle improvements and errors within group specific work
Taught coursework and provided in person lectures for course as needed User Experience Designer, Virginia Tech Bookstore
Managed a five member team in redesigning interface experiences and user interactions between bookstore services and prospective customers
Led efforts to conduct semi-structured interviews to assess user needs, create personas to represent main user models, and do ideation sessions
Prototyped new interfaces for bookstore interfaces via Azure RP 9, tested prototype with representative users, and conducted error assessments
Presented redesign to Virginia Tech bookstore personnel with proposed implementation plan
Research Associate, Honda Research Institute (HRI)
Developed new original in-house software platform for immersive vehicle collision simulations via Unreal 4.18 gaming engine
Responsible for developing novel mixed-reality interfaces and user interaction approaches for driving and navigation assistance
Conducted two experimental user studies that assessed human performance and perception differences from on-road and simulated driving platforms
Furthered HRI publication goals by publishing studies via two technical conference papers in the automotive and mixed reality research fields Graduate Research Assistant, Virginia Tech Department of ISE
Designed and led user studies assessing perceptual differences between novel augmented reality and traditional vehicle displays.
Provided preliminary evaluation and video prototyping of AR graphic cues via Final Cut Studio (Apple Motion 5) video editing software.
Managed IRB approval process by writing, compiling, and revising all 2018
Human Factors Specialist
detailed procedures for experimental design and data collection.
Gained international recognition in augmented reality research community via journal publications as first author in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG, Impact factor 3.78) Other
Editor-in-Chief, Virginia Tech Engineers Forum Magazine
Managed design, copy editing, printing, and ad solicitation for quarterly issues, publishing 2000 copies per issue to the Virginia Tech student body
Led a public awareness campaign for the magazine and increased staff and writers by 200% (from 6-8 to 24 plus) during three years of management
Ensured magazine’s guaranteed continued publication by establishing
$100,000 endowment to fund printing in event of advertising revenue loss 2012-2015
SMI BeGaze and Tobii Eye Tracking Software Suites
STYSIM and Simulation Software
JMP, Minitab, SPSS Statistic Software
Axure RP 9 Prototyping Software
Apple Final Cut Pro X (Motion 5)
Virginia Tech Chapter Human Factors Society, Secretary Six Sigma Green Belt Certified
Institute of Industrial Engineers, VT and national charter member 2017-2019
Best Paper, Honorable Mention, International Symposium of Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) 2018
Best Paper, Honorable Mention, AutomotiveUI 2017
Second Place Poster, Virginia Tech Undergraduate Research Symposium 2016 George Mason University’s “Falling for the Story” Publication Award Oct 2018
Merenda, C., Kim, H., Tanous, K., Gabbard, J. L., Feichtl, B., Misu, T., & Suga, C. (2018). Augmented reality interface design approaches for goal-directed and stimulus-driven driving tasks. IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics, 24(11), 2875-2885.
Merenda, C., Smith, M., Gabbard, J., Burnett, G., & Large, D. (2020). Exploring Color Perception and Color Naming in Head-up Display Augmented Reality Graphics in Vehicles. In preparation for 2020 IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics. IEEE.
Merenda, C., Suga, C., Gabbard, J. L., & Misu, T. (2019, October). Effects of" Real-World" Visual Fidelity on AR Interface Assessment: A Case Study Using AR Head-up Display Graphics in Driving. In 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) (pp. 145-156). IEEE. Merenda, C., Kim, H., Gabbard, J. L., Leong, S., Large, D. R., & Burnett, G. (2017, September). Did You See Me?: Assessing Perceptual vs. Real Driving Gains Across Multi-Modal Pedestrian Alert Systems. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications (pp. 40-49). ACM.