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Drexel Students Launch Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Chapter

October 6, 2016

A student chapter focusing on the interaction between humans and machines was recently made official by Drexel University’s Office of Campus Activities.

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Student Chapter launched this fall under the guidance of CCI faculty members Michelle Rogers, PhD and Ellen Bass, PhD

HFES is defined as “the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data, and other methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.”
“This is a field of science that studies human cognition and behavior to improve systems of all kinds and, while this definition sounds a little vague, it also emphasizes how diverse HFES is,” said student chapter president and undergraduate biomedical engineering student Emily Du. 

“For example, have your ever walked towards a building and tried to pull the door open only to find out that you’ve tried to pull open a push door?  Most likely, you decided to pull the door because there was a handle, not a push bar, and you didn’t do this because you don’t know how doors work! As human factors researchers and practitioners, we look for these kinds of problems everywhere machines and humans interact, aiming for solutions that make things easier and safer.”

Founded in 1957, HFES is the world’s largest interdisciplinary community of human factors students and professions with over 4,500 members. For many years, Drexel students and faculty have held individual affiliations with the society; now with a new student chapter, students and faculty will be better able to engage with HFES activities right on campus. 

“Considering Drexel’s interdisciplinary spirit, we think our goals as an institution and curricula in different colleges align with those of HFES,” Du said. “Professionally, and academically, an HFES student chapter allows us to share with the rest of the University how HFES could be applied in different areas through invited talks and workshops.”

The chapter recently collaborated with the HFES Delaware Valley Chapter, and attended the Society’s International Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C. last month. The chapter plans to host several meet and greets during the coming months.

Any Drexel student who is interested in joining is encouraged to reach out to chapter members via Dragonlink or their Facebook group.