The University of Tennessee

Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy 

1640 Cumberland Ave.

Knoxville, TN 37996

Phone: (865) 974-3841 (o)

              (865) 719-8923 (c)






Current Research

During Dr. Stainback’s tenure at the University of Tennessee, his active research awards and assignments involve a variety of federal agencies (Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State) relating to global security.  He regularly participates as a lecturer and an advisement role on security related topics for various international academic institutions across the globe.  Dr. Stainback’s focused research interests include Human Reliability (Trustworthiness) enhancements within high consequence (Nuclear – Biological – Chemical) environments preventing aberrant behaviors such as Work Place Violence (WPV), Espionage, Sabotage, Petty Crime, Insider Threats, Malicious Mischief and Unethical Behavior, to name a few   This research includes the causes and predictability of certain behaviors, weaknesses and disruptors in the physical, mental, and social well-being of the human state within the organizational construct.  Dr. Stainback is currently working with various biosensors and wearables to supplement his research.  He is developing a methodology called mTRAITS (Mobile Technology Recognizing Attributes In Tasks Score) to provide workers the ability to “own” their physical and psychological well-being in the workplace while providing the organization a holistic state-of-health status.  Dr. Stainback works extensively with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex. 

Dr. Stainback has also established a human reliability and credibility laboratory to support student and faculty research endeavors.   Information relative to the Human Reliability and Credibility Laboratory (HRCL) can be found here.  



The University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN 37996 ● (865) 974-1000  ● Contact UT

Dr. Joseph R. Stainback IV

Research Associate Professor

Dr. Stainback is a full time research professor within the University of Tennessee’s Tickle College of Engineering as well as a Baker Research Fellow at UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.  Dr. Stainback performs basic and applied research in Global Security Applications while leveraging extensive industrial experience from private (corporate) and government settings.   Dr. Stainback has extensive leadership and technical experience acquired over 33 years of industrial and academic engineering assignments. Dr. Stainback’s broad industrial experience includes program, project management and a wide-range of supervisory leadership roles responsible for multi-million dollar programs, projects and complex components within major energy corporations. In addition to his core operations experience, Dr. Stainback has gained unique expertise from very diverse assignments over his long career including highly competitive professional sports, land surveying, construction and physical security (weaponry) responsibilities. His current education and research portfolio includes broad categories of global security; public policy; ethics; worker maintainability and risk management; ethical decision making; prevention of aberrant behaviors - human reliability; Industrial-Organizational (I-O) psychology; and human factors engineering. Dr. Stainback has been fortunate to work alongside many levels of personnel including hourly, technical, middle management, senior executive and academia over the course of his career. All of these experiences have provided him a unique and well-rounded leadership acumen with the ability to “connect-dots”, make-things-happen, and solve problems with proficiency.