Ann-Perry Witmer is a research scientist at ARI. Ann has been leading the contextual innovation and process focus at ARI since early 2020. Ann comes from a diverse educational background, including B.S. in Journalism and B.A in Art History from Boston University, and B.S. in Civil/ Environmental Engineering, M.S. in Civil Engineering, and Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from University of Illinois. Ann also has had many diverse experiences in her professional career, ranging from humanitarian engineering work to lecturing in the Grainger College of Engineering at University of Illinois.
Ann’s research area at ARI focuses on developing processes that merge people and design together. Often times, engineers are not trained to design for users of the end product. With contextual engineering, user conditions are considered and incorporated into the design process to produce a more sustainable outcome. Ann specializes in training engineers to improve and redesign systems that are human-centric. Ann believes that the greatest engineering doesn’t come from technology abundance, but from inquiry and learning from clients, so that engineers are able to provide clients with the most. At ARI, Ann has a platform to fully develop contextual engineering and applied research. Her goal is to expand the knowledge of contextual engineering to more people.
“What can we learn from the people we are working for so that we can improve the outcome of the things we make for them?”