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Current Research

Human Factors and Engineering Design: A Study of Professional Practices amongst Ergonomists and Engineers

This study explores the tools and practices employed in workplace design in an effort to lay the groundwork for improved integration of human factors within the engineering process.

Specifically, we are interested in how and why various tools are used; the impact of those tools on decision making; the flow of information in an organization; and, the factors that influence knowledge exchange. This phase of the study, based in Canada, builds on pilot work already conducted in Sweden at the National Institute for Working Life.

We are looking for active ergonomists, currently engaged in workplace design. Participation involves completing a short questionnaire and engaging in a semi-structured telephone interview.

One participant described it as 'totally painless'; but, we think you might even have fun!

Here are some important details:

  • Participation: Your involvement in the study is entirely voluntary. You may stop the telephone interview at any time or choose to not answer specific questions. Material from the interview will be reported anonymously.
  • Duration: The questionnaire will take a few minutes to complete; the interview, itself, will last approximately 45-60 minutes.

Participant information is detailed in the  (PDF file) Overview, but for more detailed information, please see the  (PDF file) Project Description.

As an entry point into this study, we have compiled an inventory of 82 ergonomic evaluation tools and methods currently available. The  (PDF file) Tool Inventory v1 is an evolving, freely distributed list. Please feel free to browse through the list and adopt any of the tools you think might be helpful in your work. Once the study is complete, one of the research outcomes will be a significantly expanded 'toolbox' to support various aspects of workplace design and evaluation.

Overview of the Human Factors Engineering Lab

The Human Factors Engineering Lab focuses on the integration of human factors into engineering design for improved system performance and human wellbeing. 

To this end, we develop methods and strategies to help organizations capture the best performance from their employees without causing undue stress or injury risk.

A variety of projects are currently underway, in support of our research interests, which range from 'HF and corporate strategy' to 'simulation and innovation in work system design'.

The lab actively pursues national and international collaborations and is currently working with researchers from Chalmers University in Sweden, Erasmus Business School in the Netherlands, and the University of Waterloo in Canada .

For more information, please visit the Human Factors Engineering Lab.