Elaine M. Raybourn, Ph.D.

Principal Member of the Technical Staff

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Principal Member of the Technical Staff


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Professional Biography

ELAINE M. RAYBOURN, Ph.D. is a social scientist in the Statistics & Human Systems Group (Applied Cognitive Science) in the Applied Information Sciences Center at Sandia National Laboratories. She focuses on the future of remote work, virtual teams, immersive virtual environments, transmedia learning, methods for software productivity, and scientific visualization. Elaine is the Sandia National Laboratories Institutional PI for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Exascale Computing Project (ECP) Interoperable Design of Extreme-scale Application Software (IDEAS) where she leads PSIP and the ECP panel series Strategies for Working Remotely. Her research in remote work has been featured in the podcasts Science in Parallel, Let’s Talk Exascale, and at supercomputing conferences SC20 and SC21. Her research in transmedia learning, games, and immersive simulations has been featured at GDC, SXSW-EDU, UNESCO Futures Literacy Summit, and in her TEDx talk on transmedia storytelling for next generation learning ecosystems. As a Fellow of the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM), she has worked with software teams at Fraunhofer FIT in Germany, the French National Institute for Computer Science (INRIA) in France, and BT Global Research and Development in the UK. She holds a Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication with an emphasis in Human Computer Interaction from the University of New Mexico, and a Graduate Certificate in Modeling & Simulation of Behavioral Cybersecurity from the University of Central Florida. Elaine contributes to the scientific community as a reviewer and by serving on several editorial boards of international journals. She has served on advisory boards for NASA, the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Serious Games Summit, and Orlando Science Center Otronicon Interactive Technology Expo. She was the 2011 GameTech Program Chair, the 2019 International Training Technology and Education Conference (IT2EC) General Conference Chair, and the 2021 Scientific Visualization & Data Analytics Showcase Chair of The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis (SC21). Elaine is a recipient of the Department of the Army Award for Patriotic Civilian Service, awarded to her by the U.S. Army Special Forces; the 2007 New Mexico Information Technology & Software IT Excellence Award for Best Solution in Innovative Research, and has been named by Sandia Women’s Action Network (SWAN) Council (NM) and Sandia Women’s Connection (CA) as one of the Outstanding Women of Sandia National Laboratories.

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Education and Research Motivation

Image of Elaine_Raybourn-2014-Game-Developers-Conf
Panel presentation at the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Jose, CA.

Elaine has a deep interest in understanding how individuals and teams learn, extend, and blend experiences between real and virtual spaces. While at UNM she earned her doctorate with distinction. Her major professor was Dr. Everett M. Rogers (Diffusion of Innovations) and her dissertation involved designing a computer game and using mixed methods such as ethnography (qualitative), and both in-person and remote experiments (quantitative) to measure the impact of a multiplayer, social-process simulation and computer game which explored the intercultural dynamics of emergent culture, identity, and power. She later joined Sandia and led the development of an award-winning Government game, America’s Army Adaptive Thinking & Leadership, which was identified by the Defense Science Board Study on 21st Century Strategic Technology Vectors as “critical capabilities and enabling technologies for the 21st century that show promise.” Throughout her career, her research has focused on immersion, virtuality, and telepresence. Technology, culture, and communication figure prominently in her approach to studying teams of teams, the future of remote/hybrid work, and designing immersive virtual environments, serious games, and transmedia learning experiences that present opportunities to learn about oneself, hone intercultural communication competence, engender cognitive agility, and improve performance adaptability.

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Awards and Honors

  • Sandia National Laboratories Spot Award, for the Sandia Talk “Transmedia Learning” at Fall Leadership Forum, Sandia National Laboratories, November 1, 2017.
  • Best Paper, Raybourn, Elaine M., Sae Schatz, Jennifer Vogel-Walcutt, Kendy Vierling, "At the Tipping Point: Learning Science and Technology as Key Strategic Enablers for the Future of Defense and Security," Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation Education Conference I/ITSEC, Awarded by Policy, Standards, Management and Acquisition Subcommittee, July 22, 2017.
  • Best Tutorial Nominee, Raybourn, Elaine M., “Transmedia Learning in the Wild: Supporting Military Training Through Story-driven Engagement” Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), Nominated three consecutive years December 2014 – 2016.
  • Top Download Ranking, Science Direct Top 25 List of Most Downloaded Articles, Ranked 2nd on the Top 25 for Journal of Computational Science, Science Direct, January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014.
  • Best Paper Honorable Mention, Raybourn, Elaine M, Jeff Mills, Kent Weeks, "Next Generation Learner Interactions with Personal Assistants for Learning,", I/ITSEC 2013 Proceedings, Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference, December 2013.
  • Outstanding Women at Sandia National Laboratories Award, Sandia Women’s Action Network (SWAN) Council (NM) and Sandia Women’s Connection (CA), Recognition for contributions to nation, the community, or to Sandia Labs, March 1, 2012.
  • IT Excellence Award for Best Solution: Innovative Research, “Adaptive Thinking & Leadership Simulation,” New Mexico Information Technology & Software Association (NMITSA), June 1, 2007.
  • Department of the Army Patriotic Civilian Service Award for “cross-cultural understanding that provided an unparalleled insight resulting in an educational foundation for leadership development across Army Special Operations,” Department of the Army Special Forces John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (JFKSWCS) Training & Doctrine, April 14, 2005.
  • European Commission Fellowship, European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM), January 1, 2001 – October 30, 2003.

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