2018 September

2018 September

SEPTEMBER 27, 2018


Submit 2019 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care Lecture and Panel Proposals by October 8, Posters by October 15


An Update on HFES Headquarters Transition
By Kermit G. Davis, President-Elect

House and Senate Negotiators Release FAA Reauthorization Agreement, Support HFES’s Priorities on Aviation Policy
By Lewis-Burke Associates LLC

SEPTEMBER 20, 2018


Check Out the Employers That Will Be Interviewing at the On-Site Career Center


International HF/E News Update
By David Rempel, IEA Representatives Committee

SEPTEMBER 13, 2018


In-Vehicle Systems Special Human Factors Issue Papers Due November 15


Senate Commerce Committee Favorably Reports Droegemeier and Morhard Nominations
By Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC

International HF/E News Update
By David Rempel, IEA Representatives Committee

Birds of a Feather Session on HFES Accreditation

Student Lounge Activities at HFES 2018

Attention Early-Career Professionals!
By Tyler Shaw and Stephen Bao, Chairs, ECP Committee



Senate Passes Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bills
By Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC

Call for Papers for Special Human Factors Issue on User-Centered Design for Exoskeleton and Exosuit Use

HFE WOMAN Luncheon
By Beth Blickensderfer, Women's Lunch Committee

Special Session on Women and Power

Entries Invited for 2019 Mobile Health Application Student Design Competition

An Update on HFES Headquarters Transition

By Kermit G. Davis, President-Elect

I look forward to seeing many of you next week at HFES 2018 International Annual Meeting. As we prepare to arrive in Philadelphia, I wanted to provide the membership with an update on the Society’s upcoming move to SmithBucklin. Since the selection of SmithBucklin was announced in July, the Transition Task Force, made up of myself, Chris Reid, and Susan Hallbeck, have been working closely with Interim Executive Director Julie Freeman and SmithBucklin’s Transition Director, Janet Rapp, to ensure a seamless delivery of services.

The SmithBucklin team has been in touch with staff in Santa Monica to transfer HFES knowledge related to our conferences, audience, and annual offerings. Both the SmithBucklin team and our current HFES staff will be in Philadelphia. The incoming HFES staff members are excited to meet many of our members in person, observe the event, and gain more insights into our mission, culture, and priorities.

In addition, Janet and the SmithBucklin leadership will be attending the Executive Council meeting on September 28 and September 29 to learn more about our strategic initiatives and discuss next steps for our organization.

As of November 1, the HFES office will be located in Washington, D.C. SmithBucklin will assume all staff functions and business operations, including financial operations; committee, technical group, and chapter support; program management; as well as our sales, marketing, and communication efforts.

We are excited to consider fresh perspectives on association management and innovative ideas for our organization. With our new headquarters model, HFES will benefit from collaboration and idea sharing between associations across many different industries. With our headquarters office in Washington, D.C, HFES will be able to collaborate with other scientific societies and strengthen our government relations activities.

As we currently enjoy, our SmithBucklin team will be focused on HFES and will strive to provide the highest quality of service. There may be times when the new staff have to research the answer to a question; but know that they are committed to responding in a timely manner. Dedicated phone lines, a fax number, and e-mail domains are being created; staff will carry HFES business cards and represent themselves as HFES team members in communications with members and vendors.

Upon selection of SmithBucklin as its management partner, a search to identify candidates for the Executive Director position was launched, based on the criteria that HFES outlined in our RFP. The Transition Task Force has completed an interview process and will make a recommendation to the Executive Council at its September 30 meeting. I look forward to sharing an update on this search in the coming weeks.

Finally, HFES would not be in the position it is today to make this forward-thinking, strategic move without the dedication of our current HFES staff in Santa Monica. On behalf of the Executive Council, I want to thank them for their hard work and dedication to our organization and our members.

Thank you, members, for your support of HFES and your commitment to our organization and the HF/E community. Should you have any questions on the transition, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at Kermit.davis@uc.edu.

House and Senate Negotiators Release FAA Reauthorization Agreement, Support HFES’s Priorities on Aviation Policy

By Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC

On September 22, House and Senate negotiators released a bipartisan agreement on the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, after the Senate passed its version of the bill on September 6 and the House passed its version in JanuaryThe bill reauthorizes the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for five years through fiscal year (FY) 2023. The FAA’s authorization is set to expire at the end of the fiscal year on October 1. The agreement also includes a three-year reauthorization of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and a four-year reauthorization of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), among other provisions.

Through HFES’s successful advocacy efforts, the bill includes a number of provisions that support human factors as well as the priorities of the Society pertaining to aviation policy issues. Of interest to HFES members, provisions in the bill would do the following:

  • Direct the FAA administrator to incorporate human factors into the early design phases of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) program, the FAA’s initiative to modernize the U.S. air transportation system, and ensure that a human factors specialist is directly involved in the approval process. The administrator is required to report on the progress of this effort to Congress a year after the law is enacted.

  • Direct the administrator to issue regulations that establish minimum dimensions for passenger seats on aircrafts operated in interstate or intrastate air transportation.

  • Authorize the Secretary of Transportation to establish a pilot program to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) into the National Airspace System. The program would be required to focus on human factors, among other issues, when working to accelerate the integration of UAS technologies.

  • Direct the Transportation Security Administration administrator to establish an innovation task force to support innovations in transportation security, including new approaches, technologies, improvements to current security operations, and collaborations with industry to better understand and refine human factors issues. The task force members, appointed by the administrator, will be composed of members of relevant government agencies and industry representatives.

HFES, through its advocacy efforts, also publicly opposed changes to modify the current flight-hour requirement for commercial pilots. The modification to the rule would have allowed academic knowledge related to aviation to satisfy flight-hour requirements for pilots. HFES expressed concerns that the changes may jeopardize the safety and security of airline pilots, crew, and passengers. HF/E research is clear that the majority of airline accidents involve poor situation awareness, which is gained through experience training in a wide variety of situations. After HFES expressed its concerns to, and working with, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the provision was not included in the final bill.

These provisions represent an increased understanding by Congress of the importance of the HF/E discipline in aviation policy. The bill currently has bipartisan support, and the House and Senate are expected to vote on it this week in order to pass the reauthorization before the end of the fiscal year.

Sources and additional information:

  • The full text of the bill is available here.

  • The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s summary of the bill is available here.

  • HFES’s letter to the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on the pilot flight-hour requirement is available here.

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, a leading Washington, DC-based government relations and consulting firm, represents the public policy interests of scientific societies and institutions of higher education. Lewis-Burke's staff of about 20 government relations professionals works to promote the federal research and policy goals of HFES and the HF/E community.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2018

International HF/E News Update

By David Rempel, IEA Representatives Committee

At the 2018 IEA Congress, the contributions of several HFES members were acknowledged with awards:

  • The KU Smith Award, for best student research and presentation, went to Adam Schwartz and Thomas J. Albin for the paper “Intra-Rater and Inter-Rater Reliability of the Rapid Entire Body Assessment (REBA).”

  • The IEA Outstanding Educator Award was awarded to Peter A. Hancock (well deserved!).

  • The 2018 IEA/Liberty Mutual Medal in Occupational Safety and Ergonomics Award went to Patrck G Dempsey, Jonisha Pollard, William L. Porter, Alan Mayton, John R. Heberger, Sean Gallagher, Leana Reardon, and Colin G. Drury for their study “Development of ergonomics audits for bagging, haul truck and maintenance and repair operations in mining." Ergonomics 2017; 60:1739-1753.

  • Nancy Cooke and David Rempel were IEA Fellow Awardees.

A complete list of past awardees is at https://www.iea.cc/award/triennial.html. Think about nominating someone for the next Congress. Fellow nominations are accepted every year.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

Senate Commerce Committee Favorably Reports Droegemeier and Morhard Nominations

By Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC

On September 5, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation favorably reported the nominations of Kelvin Droegemeier and James Morhard to be director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and deputy administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), respectively. Droegemeier is an extreme weather expert who was most recently vice president for research at the University of Oklahoma and previously served as vice chairman of the National Science Board. Morhard is a former staff director of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and served as clerk of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. The votes were unanimously supportive of both nominees.

The swift approval by the committee followed a confirmation hearing the previous week, during which members were generally supportive of the nominees, with Chairman John Thune (R-SD) describing each of them as “extremely qualified.” Both Droegemeier and Morhard committed to ensuring that politics would not distort scientific inquiries or their results, though some committee Democrats expressed reservations about Morhard’s unwillingness to acknowledge that human activity was the dominant cause of climate change. However, Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) stated shortly after the committee vote that Morhard had reversed course during conversations following the original confirmation hearing, which helped justify his support for the nomination.

Droegemeier used his testimony to outline three specific objectives he would pursue as OSTP director: the coordination of a comprehensive portfolio of federal science initiatives, the development of a diverse and skilled workforce, and the acceleration of technology transfer activities through new industry-government-university partnerships. Additional priorities would include reducing administrative burden on researchers and addressing sexual assault in the scientific community. On the latter, he suggested that the model employed by the National Science Foundation could be replicated for other scientific agencies.

China’s rise as a scientific competitor to the U.S. proved to be a salient issue during the confirmation hearing. Droegemeier specifically emphasized the need to address China’s theft of intellectual property and stated that the higher-education community should acknowledge and proactively address the risks associated with employing foreign researchers. Droegemeier also noted that Aa head of OSTP, he would be able to help counter any potential threats through his seat on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Still, he was careful to recognize that collaboration with foreign scientists is an “important and robust part of our enterprise.” 

Morhard was introduced to the committee by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), with a letter of support from Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Despite the bipartisan accolades, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) raised concerns about Morhard’s lack of scientific expertise and management experience, noting that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has a limited technical resumé as well. Morhard countered that he has extensive managerial expertise and would be capable of fostering a collaborative work environment. He cited his tenure as staff director on the Senate Committee on Appropriations and as deputy sergeant at arms as examples of his leadership ability. Regarding his vision for NASA, he stated his support for research across the Science Mission Directorate and aligned himself with the administration’s strategy of using the Moon as a short-term stepping stone in meeting the long-term goal of sending humans to Mars.

Sources and additional information:

  • The full confirmation hearing, including archived webcast can be found here.

  • The White House announcement of Droegemeier’s nomination is available here.

  • The White House announcement of Morhard’s nomination is available here.

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, a leading Washington, DC-based government relations and consulting firm, represents the public policy interests of scientific societies and institutions of higher education. Lewis-Burke's staff of about 20 government relations professionals works to promote the federal research and policy goals of HFES and the HF/E community.

International HF/E News Update

By David Rempel, IEA Representatives Committee

Thanks to HFES members, the International Ergonomics Association was able to assist about 100 ergonomists and students from industrially developing countries (IDC) to attend the IEA Congress in Florence last month. 

The congress was truly international. Of the 1,012 published papers, 152 were from Latin America, 32 were from Africa, and 231 were from Asia. In addition, the congress organizers helped 446 students from around the world with reduced registration fees and housing. High student participation at the IEA Congress and HFES Annual Meeting is critical to the growth of HF/E. Every HFES member has the option of contributing to the IDC fund; contact Member Services to get more information.

For a set of well-described case studies demonstrating how HF/E can make life better, check out the recently published document, “The Human Connection II,” developed by the UK Chartered Institute here.

Birds of a Feather Session on HFES Accreditation

Do you have a question about HFES accreditation for graduate programs? HFES has accredited 20 graduate programs to date. The accreditation program aims to maintain the quality of graduate education in human factors/ergonomics and related fields by ensuring that programs appropriately prepare students for careers in the field.

Come to the Birds of a Feather “HF/E Accreditation for Graduate Programs: Q&A” session 2:00–3:00 p.m. Thursday, October 4, in Room 403 (Level 4) to learn more, or contact HFES Accreditation Chair Barbara Chaparro to set up a time to meet during the week of the Annual Meeting.


Student Lounge Activities During HFES 2018

The Drexel University HFES Student Chapter invites all Annual Meeting student attendees to attend the following daily sessions, which will take place in the Student Lounge (Room 401, Level 4).

  • Monday, 5:00–5:30 p.m. – "Welcome to Philadelphia: Things to do with your free time and how to get around."

  • Tuesday, 3:00–3:30 p.m. – "Get to Know Each Other: Platonic and ergonomic speed dating."

  • Wednesday, 3:00–3:30 p.m. – "Evaluating Your User Interface: A lecture on techniques for evaluating your user interface without your client."

  • Thursday, 3:00–3:30 p.m. – "Best of Philly's Worst: The most hilariously bad designs encountered so far in Philly."

  • Friday, 10–10:30 a.m. – "Staying Connected and Getting Involved: Card exchange and overview of ways to be involved with HFES while being a student."


Attention Early-Career Professionals!

By Tyler Shaw and Stephen Bao, Chairs, ECP Committee

The Early-Career Professional (ECP) Committee is excited to announce that we will be hosting two events at the Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. As in years past, we will hold an evening reception on Wednesday, October 3, from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. The reception is designed to be an informal networking event where you can engage with other ECPs within our organization. There will be light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

The ECP Committee is also organizing a luncheon where ECPs will have the opportunity to sit with established academic, industry, and government professionals. This more intimate setting will allow more time for conversation and provide for excellent networking and information sharing. Space for the luncheon is limited and will be on a first come, first served basis. The luncheon will occur on Tuesday, October 2. 

Please reserve for either or both events by September 21, 2018, by completing this short form:


If you are interested in attending as an established professional, please contact Tyler Shaw at tshaw4@gmu.edu.


Senate Passes Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bills

By Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC

On August 23, by a vote of 85-7, the Senate passed its third fiscal year (FY) 2019 government funding package. The bill, H.R. 6157, is an $857 billion spending package that would fund the Departments of Defense, Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services (HHS). Of note, the package includes proposals that would provide a pay raise for military service members, increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and support resources to combat the opioid crisis.

The Senate has passed 9 of its 12 funding bills, which is a rare accomplishment. Although the House passed its version of the Department of Defense (DoD) FY 2019 appropriations bill in June, it is unlikely the House will pass the Labor, HHS, Education bill before the end of this fiscal year on September 30. Congress will likely pass a continuing resolution to extend funding for most federal programs until after the November election. The outcome of the election will affect whether the FY 2019 appropriations process is finalized during a lame-duck session of Congress in December or by the 116th Congress next year.

Senate leadership was able to successfully hold off several health policy riders that would have made passing the bill difficult. The bill includes a $2 billion increase for NIH, which would bring the agency to $39.1 billion in FY 2019. It is expected that the House will concede to this level, and NIH will receive its fourth consecutive increase of at least $2 billion. During the floor debate, senators on both sides of the aisle expressed strong support for NIH-funded research, citing the importance of this funding to address a number of public health challenges.

No significant changes were made to the NIH section of the bill, but the Senate did approve an amendment transferring $5 million from the NIH Office of the Director to the HHS Office of the Inspector General “for oversight of grant programs and operations of the National Institutes of Health, including agency efforts to ensure the integrity of its grant application evaluation and selection processes.”

A handful of senators objected to the bill’s proposal to include a $100 increase to the Pell Grant maximum award for the 2019-2020 academic year, but the Senate ultimately defeated efforts to remove the proposed increase from the bill. The manager’s package also included new policy language to allow the Department of Education (ED) to reimburse institutions of higher education for the cost of servicing Federal Perkins Loans. Additionally, the package would direct ED to report on the coordination of K-12 STEM programs across agencies and would fund a new $10 million pilot grant program to test partnerships between institutions of higher education and local education entities to train counselors, social workers, and other mental health professionals.

Funding for the Department of Defense was unchanged in the bill, but included is a provision that would require the Secretary of Defense to post DoD grants that are appropriate for public notice on a searchable Web site.

Sources and additional information:

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, a leading Washington, DC-based government relations and consulting firm, represents the public policy interests of scientific societies and institutions of higher education. Lewis-Burke's staff of about 20 government relations professionals works to promote the federal research and policy goals of HFES and the HF/E community.

Call for Papers for Special Human Factors Issue on User-Centered Design for Exoskeleton and Exosuit Use

Special Issue Guest Editors Christopher Reid, Kermit Davis, David Rempel, and Delia Treaster invite submissions for an upcoming special issue of Human Factors titled "User-Centered Design for Exoskeleton and Exosuit Use." The aim of this special issue is to promote awareness and visibility of research related to important human factors, ergonomics, and safety issues around the design of these systems for human users.

Exoskeletons and exosuits are a class of wearable technology that are becoming more accessible to the public for industrial, medical, and military uses. Exoskeletons are structures that attach to parts of the body and augment joints and muscles in order to improve human functional performance and reduce injuries and fatigue. Like other types of body-worn articles, such as clothing or personal protective equipment, makers of exoskeletons will need to adopt standard design and manufacturing requirements for safe, reliable, and effective system integration with the human end user community in mind. The current state of the research is primarily geared toward technology development or physiological and biomechanical evaluation, but uniform evaluation methods and design requirements to improve user-centered design for safe and effective system application are lacking. This special issue seeks to address that gap.

Theoretical, methodological, and empirical work that addresses the issue of exoskeleton user-centered design is welcome. Relevant and informative articles from outside the human factors/ergonomics discipline are also encouraged. View the Information for Authors prior to submitting your work online. The deadline for manuscripts for the special issue is March 31, 2019.

HFE WOMAN Luncheon

By Beth Blickensderfer, Women's Lunch Committee

Join a group of HFE women from academia, industry, and government for our networking lunch and short program. The lunch will be held at the Philadelphia Hard Rock Cafe on Thursday, October 4, at 12:30–1:45 p.m. We are pleased to have Mica Endsley giving a brief welcome address. Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for professionals and can be purchased here. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and these tickets go fast! Gaby Hancock, Ashley Hughes, and the entire Women's Lunch committee hope to see you there! The committee also thanks the following sponsors for their generous support:

  • Health Informatics PhD Program, Department of Biomedical and Health Information Sciences, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Technical Groups: Aerospace, Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making

  • Nuance

  • Institute for Simulation and Training

  • University of Central Florida College of Sciences.

Special Session on Women and Power

On Thursday, October 4, from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., attend "Women and Power: Name it. Claim It. Aim It (A talk for all humans.),"a special session with Laura Steffen (Walking River Coaching). Chaired by Beth Blickensderfer (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University), the purpose of this invited address is to support the HFES strategic goal of increasing diversity across the Society, including membership, participation in conferences and publications, and leadership.

This special session is aimed at fostering awareness, increasing understanding, and sparking discussion about women and power. Many women relate to power as negative or destructive and even avoid using the word when speaking or writing. Frequently, women hide and deny their own power. Often, women and men alike unwittingly support systems that undermine equity. 

In this compelling, interactive talk, Laura will lead attendees in examining power with a sense of curiosity and offer tools to reframe our relationships to power. Attendees will explore types of power that are available to people and how they can use power to more equitably and effectively lead, influence, and do good in their work and in the world.

Questions to consider: When I am powerful, how do I feel? What are the thoughts in my head during those situations? How does my body feel in situations when I do not feel powerful? What keeps me from experiencing and expressing my power? If you would like to submit your thoughts or a question prior to the session, please take this survey.

Laura and Beth will also be attending the HFE Women’s Group Luncheon immediately following this session as well as facilitating a birds-of-a-feather session later Thursday afternoon.

Entries Invited for 2019 Mobile Health Application Student Design Competition

HFES invites all students to participate in the "Mobile Health Applications for Consumers" Design Competition in conjunction with the 2019 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care. The symposium will take place March 24–27, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois.

The goals of the competition are to showcase the application of HF/E methods and design principles to the design of a mobile health application for consumers or their nonprofessional support networks and to demonstrate how the HF/E approach to such an application can lead to a useful, usable, and satisfying user experience while simultaneously improving patient outcomes such as knowledge, safety, adherence, or health.

Any student who is enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree-granting program may enter the competition; HFES student membership is not required. All team members must be students at the time of the symposium. Entries may come from individuals or teams of no more than four students. Involvement of a faculty adviser is permitted, though only students should be named in the entry. View the complete details.

Due Dates
The first stage for entries is submission of a notice of intent to participate, which is due October 15, 2018. Download and complete the form to submit your intent to participate. Final entries, consisting of a software prototype (either static or dynamic) along with a design brief of no more than 10 pages, are due January 13, 2018.

Finalists (usually three) will be selected and awarded a certificate and $200 prize. Finalists will give a podium presentation on their design at the symposium on Monday, March 24, 2019. The winning individual or team will be announced at the poster reception on March 24 and will receive an additional $500 prize.

Inquiries may be addressed to Dr. Mike Rayo at rayo.3@osu.edu.