A team from the Urban Collaboratory has partnered with the Jamaican Ministry of Health to enhance public health in Sandy Bay.
Sandy Bay is a small beach community in the Hanover Parish in Northwestern Jamaica.
Known for its sandy beaches, rainforests, and reggae music, Jamaica is among the larger of the Caribbean Islands. The country of Jamaica is reliant on tourism revenue and remittances which together comprise about 34% of its GDP.
Faculty from University of Michigan have collaborated with the Jamaican Ministry of Health and other partners to enhance public health through prototype health clinics.
Associate Professor of Architecture
Associate Dean for Creative Practice
Geoffrey Thün is Associate Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan where he teaches design studios, courses in urban systems, site operations and material systems. He is a founding partner in the research-based practice RVTR. He holds an M.UD from the University of Toronto, and a Professional BArch and BES from the University of Waterloo.
Thün’s work ranges in scale from that of the regional territory and the city, to high performance buildings, to full-scale prototype-based work exploring responsive and kinetic envelopes that mediate energy, atmosphere, and social space. These operational scales are tied together through a methodology that entails a complex systems approach; one that assembles around each project a multiplicity of agents, forces and contexts and leverages these multivalent and sometimes contradictory agents towards integrated and synthetic design work. His academic research has attracted external funding from the U.S. Department of Energy / National Renewable Energy Laboratory (DOE/NREL), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Research Council of Canada (NRCan), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and Ford Motor Company. Geoffrey is also a co-founder of the Urban Collaboratory.
Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice
Kathy Velikov is Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Creative Practice at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. She is a licensed Architect and founding partner of the research-based practice rvtr (www.rvtr.com), and the Vice President of ACADIA (Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture). Her work investigates and experiments with the intertwinements across architecture, the environment, technology, and sociopolitics through design methods that mobilize systems-based approaches and computational design. Her work ranges from material prototypes that explore environment-aware behavioral building skin assemblies, to high-performance building design, to research on urbanism, infrastructure, and territorial practices explored through techniques of mapping and analysis, speculative design propositions, installations, and writing. Most recent work has focused on material ecologies and on social infrastructure and environmental justice in multiscalar urban design. Her academic research has been funded by U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Research Council of Canada, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Ontario Power Authority, the AIA Upjohn Research Initiative, Guardian Industries, and Ford Motor Company.
She is co-editor of Ambiguous Territory: Architecture, Landscape, and the Postnatural (Actar, 2021) and co-author of Infra Eco Logi Urbanism (Park Books, 2015). Both projects have been developed as traveling exhibitions co-curated and co-produced by Velikov and exhibited in galleries in New York City, Ithaca, Charlottesville, Toronto, Montreal, New Haven, Knoxville, and Ann arbor. Her work and writing has been published in numerous journals and book chapters. Honors include the ACSA/AIA Housing Design Education Award (2020), the Technology + Architecture Design (TAD) Journal Research Contribution Award (2020), two R&D Awards from Architecture Magazine (2010, 2016), a Journal of Architectural Education Best Design as Research Article (2013), the Architizer A+ Award Program’s Architecture + Sound Jury Award (2013), the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Faculty Design Award (2012, 2014), a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation in the Practice of Architecture (2011), the Canadian Professional Prix de Rome (2009), the Architectural League of New York’s Young Architect’s Forum Award (2008), and the Oberdick Fellowship at Taubman College (2006-07)
At Taubman College, Kathy teaches Architecture design studio, thesis, ecology and technology seminars, and in the Master of Science in Digital and Material Technologies.
Professor of Human Genetics
Interim Chair of Human Genetics
Dr. David Burke is a faculty member in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. His work has focused on interdisciplinary research that integrates mammalian and human genetics with advances in engineering. Recently, this effort is attempting to bring low cost health technologies to clinics and clinical researchers, with a focus is on developing technologies that are readily manufactured, robust, and can be distributed to underserved populations. He currently serves as Interim Chair of the Department.
Assistant Professor of Ophthamology and Vistual Sciences
Dr. Newman-Casey is a clinical ophthalmologist who specializes in the medical and surgical management of glaucoma. She is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. She completed medical school (2007), residency (2011) and fellowship (2013) at the University of Michigan. She holds a master’s degree in Health Services Research (University of Michigan, 2012). Her current research on developing and testing technology based behavioral interventions to improve glaucoma self-management support. She is also interested in how operations engineering techniques can be used to improve patient’s experience in clinic and identify ways to integrate more education into patients’ clinical encounters. Her research is funded by a K23 Career Development Award from the National Eye Institute and a Research to Prevent Blindness Career Development Award.
Executive Director of MCubed and Research Innovation
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Prof. Mark A. Burns is the Executive Director of Mcubed and Research Innovation in the Office of the Vice President for Research and the T. C. Chang Professor of Engineering. He joined the University of Michigan in 1990 after teaching at the University of Massachusetts for 4 years. He obtained his MS and PhD degrees in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and his BS degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Prof. Burns has over 300 publications, patents, and presentations. He is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He has won numerous awards including the Food, Pharmaceutical, and Bioengineering Division Award from AIChE, and both a Research Excellence Award and a Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan. He was the founding director of an Institutional Training Grant from the National Institutes of Health on Microfluidics in Biomedical Sciences, a program that involves over 40 faculty from 14 different departments from across the University and is the only one of its kind in the country. Prof. Burns is also the Executive Director and one of the co-founders of the innovative seed-funding program at Michigan called Mcubed. The program has funded over 450 faculty and student teams, and results from these teams has generated over $100M of external research funding.
Dr. Joseph Myers is a Windsor, Ontario native and Canadian resident who crosses an international border daily for his work and research pursuits in Ann Arbor, MI, USA. He has been practicing Optometry at the University of Michigan for 30 years. He graduated with MCO from Ferris State University College of Optometry in 1988. He is presently part of the University’s “Third Century Initiative,” researching and providing advanced health care to underserved populations around the world. In this capacity, he serves as an investigator for the Common Health Plus, Container-to-Clinic pilot project. Dr. Myers was a co-founder (with Dr. Richard Cross) of the Eye Health Institute which has served the eye care needs of the residents in Hanover Parish, Jamaica. He is married to Lilly Perdomo and has 3 children.
Assistant Professor of Ophthamology and Vistual Sciences
Dr. Maria Woodward is a physician-scientist focused on healthcare delivery specifically for the anterior segment of the eye. Her career goal is to dramatically extend high-quality, affordable eye care to underserved and under-represented communities nationally and globally. Funded by a National Eye Institute K23 grant, much of Dr. Woodward’s research focuses on novel ophthalmic technologies and eHealth clinical programs – particularly disease-monitoring tools with low acquisition and delivery costs. Her research goal is to personalize treatments much earlier and more accurately in order to improve outcomes. Additionally, Dr. Woodward is the co-director of the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center eHealth at and the director of Telemedicine and Clinical Programs. She serves on the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Research, Regulatory & External Scientific Relations Committee and American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Telemedicine Task Force. She collaborates with national and international leaders in telemedicine, cornea, health sciences, and engineering, including close collaboration with Aravind Eye Hospitals in India.