The human element in systems design is critical to ensuring optimal performance (both for the human and the system).  Whether the human is the primary operator (such as an assembly worker in a manufacturing facility) or a monitor (such as an operator within a power systems control room), evaluation of human capabilities and performance capacities and understanding of how these limits may be affected by other factors necessary in the design of workplaces, products, tools, and even information.


The Human Systems Engineering Laboratory (HSEL) conducts theoretical and applied ergonomics and human factors research that addresses the human element in any type of system.  Broad research areas include occupational ergonomics and biomechanics, work physiology, human information processing, and usability.  Researchers in the HSEL use and develop techniques and methodologies for performing workplace and user assessments,performance assessments, and intervention design.  Application areas include serviceindustries, construction, and manufacturing, among others.

The HSEL consists of faculty and students with interests in all areas of human factors and ergonomics.  Students with various backgrounds (engineering, psychology, medicine, computer science, and others) combine to create a diverse collaborative research environment.  The student body consists of both graduate (on campus and distance) and undergraduate students that work together and independently on a number of funded and departmental research topics.

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