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Greg Placencia, Ph.D

Greg Placencia is an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Southern California (USC). He specializes in human factors engineering, human-technology integration, and haptic (touch-based) interaction. Last year he co-developed / delivered a first of its kind, railroad safety course at USC, for Metrolink, designed to foster safety consciousness at all levels of operations within rail organizations. The 2-day course received much positive attention within the rail industry, after 50 senior Metrolink supervisors, operators, and experts attended. He has also taught and developed courses in human factors, stressing aviation and medical safety; lean manufacturing; the integration of work-technology-organization factors; human computer interaction; organizational management, and simulation modeling. This year, he was invited to speak at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association's (NATCA) Annual: Communicating for Safety conference in Atlanta, Georgia about organizational learning and was interviewed by Spanish television about safety concerns along the MTA's new Exposition Line in Los Angeles.

Greg is currently investigating the impacts of implementing positive train control (PTC) for the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) at the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA/Metrolink), the application of system engineering processes in health care at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and the impact of computerized patient health records in various health care settings.
Greg actively uses his experience and investigates methods of developing and sustaining organizations that continually strive toward safe, effective, and efficient operations. In 2011, he received a Mellon Grant from USC to develop a course using movies to teach engineering concepts to undergraduate students. He is a member of the Association for Computational Machinery (ACM) and the Human Factor and Ergonomics Society (HFES), and the author of two book in spirituality.
Greg received a B.S. in Computer Science (1998) at USC. He also worked towards an M.S. in Computer Science / Computational Linguistics (2000) before receiving his PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering (2009) from USC.