Carla VandeWeerd, Ph.D, Assistant Professor

Dr. VandeWeerd is an Associate Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida and serves as the Director of Research for a large, technology-enhanced healthcare practice in which more than 60 physician's and 100 support personnel provide primary and specialty care to a practice of more than 35,000 patients. Dr. VandeWeerd's research interest focus on the intersection of data, technology and health and she maintains an active research portfolio with more than a million dollars in funded projects from agencies such as Florida's High Tech Corridor and The National Science Foundation. Dr. VandeWeerd is a highly skilled mixed-methods researcher and her work exploring health and healthcare in a community of older adults in central Florida resulted in successful collection of interview, focus group and survey data from more than 30,000 older adults and was awarded the Erickson Award for Excellence in Aging Research by The American Public Health Association. In addition to the conduct of translation-focused data collection and analysis of health outcomes data in hospital, primary-care, and community practice settings, Dr. VandeWeerd's research includes work as a principal investigator in the development of a home-based sensor system that uses passive sensing (i.e. pressure, contact, and motion sensors) to monitor health the health and wellness of older adults. Commercial applications of this technology are currently being explored as part of the National Science Foundation I-Corp Program. In conjunction with development and healthcare partners, Dr. VandeWeerd is also leading a clinical trial exploring the use of BNA (functional EEG) technology as a tool to identify healthy and at-risk brains in late life in support of early-detection of cognitive or mental health impairments. Dr. VandeWeerd's teaching portfolio includes teaching courses on grant writing, applied research, social determinants of health and analytics at the graduate level, and the research lab she leads with her colleague and research partner Ali Yalcin, PhD, actively employs and mentors 20 students from a range of interdisciplinary backgrounds (i.e public health, engineering, aging, computer science, mental health counselling, and biomedical sciences) at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels. Dr. VandeWeerd has served as a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Value Driven Health Care for the Clinical Effectiveness Research Innovation Collaborative (CERIC), National Academy of Sciences, and she has provided service to her profession as a reviewer for the National Institute of Health (NIH) Community Influences on Behavior Section. Additionally, Dr. VandeWeerd provides service to her professional through work as an active reviewer for 10 journals including The American Journal of Public Health. For fun she scuba dives and rides a Harley Davidson.


Ali Yalcin,PhD, Associate Professor

Ali Yalcin, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Industrial and Management Systems in the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida. His research interests include health care systems, modeling, analysis, and control of discrete event systems, information systems, data analysis and knowledge discovery, and engineering education. He has taught courses in the areas of systems modeling and analysis, information systems design, and development, systems dynamics and systems simulation. He also co-authored a seminal text, Design of Industrial Information Systems, by Elsevier named the Joint Publishers textbook of the year. His research has been funded by federal agencies and private industry.


José L. Zayas-Castro, PhD, Professor

José L. Zayas-Castro, PhD, is a Professor of Industrial and Management Systems in the College of Engineering at the University of South Florida. His research interests include health care systems, including modeling, analysis, data analysis, economic analysis,  and process improvement. In addition he works at the intersection of engineering entrepreneurship and innovation, the integration of research and engineering education, and diversity and inclusion. Through his career he has taught  courses in the areas of statistical data analysis, information systems, cost and economic analysis, project-based/capstone.  He has supervised multiple graduate and undergraduate students. His work has been funded by federal and state agencies, and private industry.