Dr. Erica Ryherd

Dr. Erica Ryherd


Associate Professor
Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction
University of Nebraska Lincoln

I have a passion for engineering built environments to improve societal health. Broad areas of focus currently include healthcare settings, age-friendly communities and buildings, and childcare settings. I first became interested in healthcare settings as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Occupational & Environmental Medicine at the Gothenburg University Sahlgrenska Academy of Medicine in Sweden. I am actively engaged in research linking environmental systems and sensing (e.g., sound, light, air quality, and layout) with care processes, technology, and occupant health. Over my career, I have worked in more than 70 units at 20 hospitals including a broad range of unit types (intensive care, emergency, operating, inpatient, others), a broad range of patients (neonatal, pediatrics, adults, and aging populations), and in both civilian and military settings. I am a firm believer in the power of interdisciplinary collaborations and knowledge transfer to the broader community, and as such I have published and presented widely to engineering, architecture, and medical audiences. This includes serving as a 2014 Center for Health DesignIcons and Innovators and 2018 AIA Academy of Architecture for Health Masters Studio Webinar Speaker, in addition to having my work featured in popular media outlets around the world including US News & World Reports, CNN, Daily Mail UK, and others. Finally, I am interested in exploring ways in which designing for societal health can be more meaningfully embedded into engineering curricula, such as through simulation, visualization, and experiential learning.

Current Research Interest:
Engineering built environments to promote healthy occupant outcomes, including healthcare facilities, age-friendly communities and buildings, and childcare settings. Sensing, simulation, visualization, and experiential learning in engineering design and education.

Key Manuscripts:
Y. Hasegawa, E. Ryherd, C.S. Ryan, A. Darcy Mahoney (2020) Examining the utility of perceptual noise categorization in pediatric and neonatal hospital units, Health Environments Research and Design J. Online First Print.

Y. Hasegawa and E. Ryherd (2020) Clustering acoustical measurement data in pediatric hospital units, J. Acoustical Society of America 148(1), 265-277

J. Bliefnick, E. Ryherd, and R. Jackson (2019) Evaluating hospital soundscapes to improve patient experience,J. Acoustical Society of America 145(2), 1117-1128.

L. MacAllister, C. Zimring, and E. Ryherd (2019) Exploring the relationships between patient room layout and patient satisfaction, Health Environments Research and Design J. 12(1), 91-107.

K. Hadi, J. DuBose, and E. Ryherd (2016) Lighting and nurses at medical-surgical units: Impact of lighting conditions on nurses performance and satisfaction, Health Environments Research and Design J. 9(3), 17-30.

Erica Ryherd