Rafael Diaz, PhD
Research Associate Professor
Dr. Rafael Diaz
Dr. Rafael Diaz is a Research Associate Professor at VMASC. Previously, he has been an Affiliate Researcher at the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics and an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at the MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program.
Dr. Diaz is a co-director of the Advanced Analytics Lab. He has a Ph.D. degree in Modeling and Simulation Analytics focused on Operations and Supply Chains Management and an M.B.A in information technology from Old Dominion University.
Prof. Diaz’s research is in business analytics, complex supply chain management, logistics, and the intersection between operations management and Industry 4.0 technologies. He focuses on two application domains: maritime and shipbuilding and emergency management, and resilient supply chains.
Jessica Johnson, M.Ed, Ed.S, PhDc
Jessica Johnson is a Curriculum Coordinator at Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center (ODU-VMASC). She is an educational and cognitive psychologist with extensive experience in learning science, immersive learning design, user experience design (UXD), advanced learning technologies, learner analytics, and the implementation of educational and advanced technology innovations.
Mrs. Johnson is a doctoral candidate in educational psychology, studying immersive learning environments and adaptive instructional systems within K-20 education. She has served as a STEM coordinator, instructional designer, and educator designing and implementing engineering design curriculum, content, training series, professional development series, and various STEM programs at the local, state, and national levels for K-20+.
Mrs. Johnson has served on game design, social and educational sciences, national modeling and simulation organizations, conferences, and STEM workforce development committees.
Katie Smith, MS
Katherine Smith is a Research Associate in Digital Shipbuilding at Old Dominion University’s Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center.
She was previously a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics. She is an alumna of Old Dominion University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization Engineering.
Gul, who grew up in Virginia Beach, is a recent graduate of the ODU Department of Computational Modeling and Simulation Engineering, with a bachelor’s degree in Computational Modeling and Simulation Engineering.
Gul is interested in augmented and virtual reality development. She is an experienced AR developer and 3D Modeler with a demonstrated history of working in the motion pictures and film. Gul is skilled in Research and Group Management and is a strong community and social services professional.
Jennifer Renne is the Curriculum Coordinator for Digital Ship at VMASC. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Technology Education from SUNY Oswego and a Master of Arts in Education degree in Integrative STEM Education from Virginia Tech.
Jennifer was previously a Technology Education teacher with Virginia Beach City Public Schools for nine years designing curriculum in modeling and simulation courses. She has served on state curriculum committees and is a member of several state and national engineering educator associations.