(804) 337-8766 | clairebenje@gmail.com

EDUCATION

M.S., MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, DESIGN UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, BOULDER

Graduate Design Program - Design Center Colorado

Keplinger Research Group

MAY 2017

B.E., MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

Varsity Track & Field and Cross-Country Teams

S.T.O.R.M. (Science and Technology of Robots in Medicine) Lab

MAY 2015

EXPERIENCE

USER EXPERIENCE STRATEGIST | FINISH LINE

 

Building holistic UX strategies to inform cross-functional roadmaps. Developing strategic recommendations for crafting meaningful experiences on website, app, and in-store technology through planning and execution of UX research.

  • Managing and coordinating research (usability testing, in-context interviews, prototyping, A/B testing, other)

  • Planning and executing cross-functional experience design workshops to move ideas and concepts from early-stage thinking to actionable strategies and product plans. Collaborating with product team, developers, digital operations, design, store operations, and other groups.

  • Identifying opportunities to hone the collection and synthesis of qualitative and quantitative data in order to improve understanding of the user experience across physical and digital interactions with the company.

MAR 2020 - PRESENT

USER EXPERIENCE RESEARCHER | FINISH LINE

 

Managed research and testing initiatives to gain in-depth understanding of users and develop strategies for building meaningful experiences on websites, mobile apps, and in-store technology. Crafting research roadmaps aligned with the product team and conducted research utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods.

  • Led end-to-end research and testing for new omnichannel app feature to be implemented in flagship store opening 2020. Conducted competitive analysis and observational research, created initial concepts, user flows, wireframes, and prototypes, and managed user testing.

  • Managed the product side of pilot A/B testing initiative with Nike i3 and Accenture.

DEC 2018 - FEB 2020

DIGITAL EXPERIENCE INTERN | FINISH LINE

 

Identified opportunities, developed concepts, and defined improvements for digital products, as well as the digital product team’s processes, based on user research and testing findings.

  • Developed a research and testing strategy for the digital product team. Analyzed current team processes and tools and conducted qualitative and quantitative research to recommend and implement improvements and fresh approaches to the team’s design strategy and workflow.

  • Co-planned customer journey-mapping workshop for in-store experience that resulted in identification of opportunities and challenges that guided the Experience team’s project roadmap for FY2020.

MAY - DEC 2018

INNOVATION RESEARCH ANALYST  |  POTINTIA

Researched methods and strategies for corporate innovation to identify best practices and create user-friendly resources to help companies bridge gaps in creative development.

  • Conducted qualitative and quantitative research and data collection, analyzed and synthesized results, and communicated findings through both technical and informal writing and visual aids.

JULY 2017 - APRIL 2018

DESIGN ENGINEER  |  CU BOULDER & MEDTRONIC SURGICAL INNOVATIONS

  • Developed an ergonomic surgical device with an intuitive surgeon-to-tool interface and a novel mechanical design to improve the user experience for surgeons and simplify the current procedure to enable a quicker, less painful recovery for patients.

  • As a member of a four-person team, observed the surgical setting and explored current solutions, generated concepts, sketches, and low-fidelity 3-D models, designed an experimental set-up, iteratively prototyped and tested functional designs, and conducted trials.

  • Final deliverable was manufacture and assembly of a final prototype and presentation to stakeholders with various backgrounds and technical knowledge. Patent pending.

AUG 2016 - MAY 2017

GRADUATE RESEARCH ASSISTANT  |  KEPLINGER RESEARCH GROUP

  • Explored the design and fabrication of soft machines (moving systems constructed of highly compliant materials) for high-energy density artificial muscles, energy generation, and precision sensing

  • Designed and built hardware set-up and software program for a self-sensing system for artificial muscles and used data from system to inform new designs for the muscles.

    • Co-authored paper published in Science in January 2018 (Vol. 359, Issue 6371).

AUG 2015 - MAY 2017

INNOVATION CENTER INTERN / RISE PRO SCHOLAR  |  BÜRKERT GLOBAL​​, GERMANY

  • Awarded a professional fellowship by the DAAD (German Exchange) to join a design project at Bürkert Global Innovation Center in Karlsruhe, Germany to promote intercultural understanding and the exchange of engineering ideas and methods

  • Redesigned and enhanced an experimental set-up for the characterization of a soft actuator, performed trials, acquired and analyzed data, developed a flexible software program for analysis of current and future tests

MAY 2016 - AUG 2016

PRODUCT DESIGN RESEARCH FELLOW  |  VANDERBILT  INSTITUTE FOR SURGERY AND ENGINEERING

  • Awarded a fellowship to work on a design team to develop novel surgical devices for minimally funded or remote surgical settings​.

  • Design process included in-context observations and interviews with surgeons, rapid prototyping, testing, design of experiments, and manufacture of final minimum viable product​​.

MAY 2014 - AUG 2014

SKILLS

○  human-centered design  ○  design workshop planning and facilitation  

○  qualitative and quantitative user research  ○  rapid prototyping  ○  user interviews and insights 

○  project management  ○  journey-mapping and story-finding  ○  design of experiments 

○  technical writing  ○  data analysis  ○  creative writing  ○  Sketch  ○  InDesign  ○  Jira  ○  Solidworks 

○  mechanical design  ○  Matlab  ○  Microsoft Office  ○  drawing and sketching

LEADERSHIP AND INTERESTS

ASSISTANT TRACK & FIELD, CROSS-COUNTRY COACH | FAIRVIEW HIGH SCHOOL ​​

  • Assist with facilitating practices and meets, developing workouts, and mentoring high school track and field and cross-country athletes

DEC 2016 - PRESENT 

DI TRACK & FIELD, CROSS-COUNTRY TEAM VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

  • Elected team captain for 2014-2015 seasons

  • 2014 NCAA Cross-Country South Region Team Champion

  • NCAA Cross-Country All-South Region Individual 2013, 2014

  • SEC Academic Honor Roll

AUG 2011 - MAY 2015