The Industrial Engineering department at Clemson University is very proud to announce that Kylie Gomes has been selected to receive a National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowship for the 2017 Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Gomes, a second year graduate student from Summerville, SC, is the first Clemson IE graduate student selected to receive this prestigious fellowship. She was one of only nine industrial engineering and operations research students selected to receive the fellowship in 2017.
The GRFP is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind with alumni of the program going on to become Nobel Prize winners, renowned scientists, successful entrepreneurs, and government leaders. The NSF sponsored fellowship identifies and invests in researchers who demonstrate a strong potential to become leading researchers and professionals in their chosen fields. As an award winner, Gomes will receive a generous annual stipend for each of the next three years.
Gomes, who received her BS in Industrial Engineering at Clemson, has been progressively drawn towards becoming a researcher in cognitive ergonomics in healthcare, i.e., understanding the cognitive and perceptual requirements of individuals in healthcare. Her initial research experience as an undergraduate researcher was on a Creative Inquiry team led by Dr. Sara Riggs. It helped her discover the available research opportunities and potential impacts that she could have in the field. Recently, during preliminary research for her dissertation, Gomes spent time observing in the Tele-Intensive Care Unit at a major hospital in South Carolina. This experience gave her the chance to observe tasks and sparked a question about electronic medical records, which led her to independently design and conduct an experiment to investigate this research question. Gomes has submitted her findings for review and hopes to present them at the annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) meeting in the fall. This sequence of events helped confirm her passion for research in healthcare and validated her success as a researcher.
The GRFP stipend will allow Gomes more autonomy to pursue her research aspirations. She plans to continue to investigate how findings from human factors research in healthcare can transfer to other complex domains such as driving and aviation. Her research will also apply industrial engineering concepts to the design and evaluation of technology in healthcare, specifically multimodal displays (which incorporate vision, audition, and touch) and adaptive displays. Her long-term career goals include pursuing a faculty position where she can continue to conduct human factors research in the healthcare domain, improving the healthcare system and supporting healthcare professionals and patients within the system. In addition to continuing this research, Gomes hopes to be able to continue mentoring students to help build up future generations of engineers and researchers.