About Us

The University of Arizona Institute on Place and Wellbeing (IPW) leverages knowledge and evidence through research and design to achieve tangible results optimizing and maximizing people's productivity, creativity, and wellbeing from employer and consumer perspectives.

The IPW is a unique partnership at the University of Arizona between the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, the College of Medicine – Tucson, and the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, actualizing the university's commitment to a vision of human health that fully encompasses the role of the built and natural environment in health, wellbeing and healing. We focus, to this end, on research, education, practice, and policy change.

The IPW's multi-disciplinary team carries out research to quantify stress, health, and wellbeing outcomes in real-time and real place, in built environments including office spaces and healthcare facilities. State-of-the-art technologies such as non-invasive micro-devices and analytic algorithms developed at UA collect data used to help occupants and employers maximize health and wellbeing, creativity, and productivity in optimized work environments.

Supporting improvement through economic analyses, we then help organizations calculate return on investment of interventions that support sustainable human health and wellbeing.

Consulting and training

The Institute's thought leader teams offer consulting services and training opportunities to partner with organizations seeking to create an atmosphere of wellbeing for their employees, clients, and visitors. Applying the concepts developed through research and curricula, the Institute's teams work with individual organizations to discern their specific needs, and to tailor design and health and wellbeing solutions to fit their requirements, optimizing worker wellness and satisfaction. The IPW teams work with practitioners, community, corporations, and government agencies to implement these principles in the design of the built and natural environment. Services available include:

  • Design guidance for the objective of wellbeing.
  • Studies in pre- and/or post-occupancy outcome measures and biometrics of human health and wellbeing in office spaces, schools, residential, healthcare and other environments.
  • Integrative clinic design and consultation for the development of sustainable integrative clinic business models.
  • Return on investment analyses of sustainable design for wellbeing.
  • Training of executives, human resources professionals and other personnel in employee wellbeing.
  • Nutrition consultation and training to use nutrient-dense, delicious food for prevention and treatment of specific health concerns, and for overall health and wellness.
  • Integrative medicine training options, to include preventive and lifestyle medicine, for individuals within an organization, as well as health care and human resources professionals.

Contact Us


UAIPW Leadership and Core Faculty


Esther M. Sternberg MD,
Director Institute on Place & Wellbeing
Research Director, AzCIM

Research Faculty

Altaf Engineer, Ph.D., NCARB, LEED AP BD+C
Assistant Professor, UAIPW | School of Architecture, CAPLA

Omar Youssef
Research Associate, UAIPW | Lecturer, School of Architecture, CAPLA

Casey M. Lindberg, Ph.D., M.Arch.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, UAIPW

Aletheia Ida, Ph.D., Architect
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture, CAPLA

UA College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture

Robert Miller, AIA, Director, Architecture
Brooks Jeffery, MS, Professor

Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine:

Perry Skeath, PhD, Assistant Director of Research

UA Department of Psychology, College of Science

Matthias Mehl, Ph.D., Professor, Director, Naturalistic Observation of Social Interaction Laboratory
Allison Tackman, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate

UAIPW Affiliates

Data7, Data Science Institute:
Nirav Merchant, Director, Information Technology – Arizona Research Labs Co-PI, CyVerse Image Informatics (Interim)
Susan Miller, Deputy Director for Research Cyberinfrastructure - Data7

Center for Biomedical Informatics & Biostatistics:
Dean Billheimer, Ph.D., Director, Statistics Consulting Laboratory (StatLab), Biostatistics Professor, Arizona Health Sciences Center (AHSC)

Sudha Ram, PhD, Director
Faiz Currim, PhD, Researcher
Karthik Srinivasan, MS

iCAMP Baylor College of Medicine (Interdisciplinary Consortium on Advanced Motion Performance):
Bijan Najafi, PhD, Director
Javad Razjouyan, PhD, M.BME, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Hung Nguyen, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate