Sara McComb has been researching communication and cognition among team members for more than 15 years. She has garnered more than 2 million in research funding to conduct this research from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the Department of Defense. Her research in this area is published in both scholarly journals such as Human Factors, Decision Sciences and the Journal of Engineering and Technology Management as well as practitioner-focused journals including The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, Industrial Management and Organizational Dynamics. Her research has been presented at multiple conferences including ISERC, where her paper in 2012 was selected as one of the five Best Paper finalists for the Engineering Management Track.
McComb collaborates with her doctoral student Alison Schroeder to write an SEMS blog about teamwork and collaboration. She has also contributed to the broader engineering and management systems community in a number of ways including as a track chair for the IEEE International Technology Management Conference, a panelist for the National Science Foundation’s Innovation and Organization Change program, an editorial board member for the Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, and served on the international scientific committee for the Third and Fourth International Conferences on Maintenance and Facilities Management.
For more than 10 years, McComb has been using service learning in her project management classes at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In these classes, teams of students have completed projects such as collecting data from community members to inform the local library’s five-year business plan, planning and conducting an emergency operations exercise for a local federal agency, conducting fundraisers for local charities, creating processes for determining appropriate product costs for student-run businesses, and developing improved processes for patient intake.