Elizabeth L. Murnane

Charles H. Gaut & Charles A. Norberg Assistant Professor of Engineering


Professor Murnane specializes in human-centered design (HCD) and human-computer interaction (HCI). Her research focuses on the design, engineering, and evaluation of technologies aimed at promoting both human wellbeing and the welfare of the natural environment on which all life depends. At Thayer, Elizabeth directs the Empower Lab, which develops interactive, data-driven tools that empower people to individually and collaboratively collect, make sense of, and act upon information, with an emphasis on societally impactful applications in health, education, civics, and sustainability.

Before joining the Dartmouth faculty, Elizabeth was a postdoctoral scholar in computer science at Stanford University and received her PhD in information science from Cornell University. After completing her undergraduate degree at MIT, Elizabeth also spent 4 years as the lead engineer and head of experimental features of a CSAIL startup that built interactive visualization tools to help software developers make sense of complex codebases. Elizabeth's work continues to emphasize translational approaches that seek opportunities to meaningfully engage with and positively shape industry practices, local communities, and policy-making. Additional research materials, details about current projects, and ways to get involved are available from her website.

Research Interests

Human-centered design, human-computer interaction, ubiquitous computing, personal informatics, social computing


  • SB, Mathematics with Computer Science, MIT 2007
  • PhD, Information Science, Cornell University 2017
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Computer Science, Stanford University 2020

Research Projects

  • Interactive technology for health monitoring and behavioral intervention

    Interactive technology for health monitoring and behavioral intervention

    The Empower Lab creates digital therapeutics and intervention technologies, with an emphasis on inclusive design, patient experience, and health equity.

    We seek students to contribute to the design, development, and evaluation of our interactive tools, which aim to positively shape behaviors and health outcomes through an empowerment approach. Our work employs human-centered methods and explores a variety of form factors and interaction paradigms (e.g., AR/VR/XR, games, toys, tangibles, musical interfaces, narratives, psychotherapeutic visualization, socially assistive robots, and more).

    We work closely with stakeholder populations on a range of health topics; key areas of focus include mental health, women’s health, physical mobility/pain, aging-in-place, and pediatrics/childhood development. More details about our lab and its active projects, including specific recruiting opportunities, can be found here: empowerlab.dartmouth.edu/projects

    Generally speaking, our collaborative research style integrates interdisciplinary skills from both computing and engineering as well as the social sciences and humanities. Students typically focus on contributing to one or two aspects of a project’s research activities, which include iterative design (UX, prototyping), implementation (software programming, physical fabrication), data analysis (quantitative/statistical or qualitative), stakeholder engagement (conducting interviews, observational or ethnographic work), and running studies (user testing, lab experiments, online or survey studies, or field trials).

    If interested in getting involved, you can fill out our application form dartgo.org/empowerlab-apply or email the lab director, Prof. Liz Murnane (emurnane@dartmouth.edu) to share your resume, relevant interests and background, and any questions you might have. We look forward to hearing from you!


  • ENGS 21: Introduction to Engineering
  • ENGM 191: Product Design and Development