University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Student Chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society receives Gold Outstanding Chapter Award

September 19, 2022

William Gillespie

Congratulations to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Student Chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, recipient of the Gold Outstanding Chapter Award.

The HFES Student Chapter was founded last year and has enjoyed many successes in its inaugural year.

Activities include:

  • Recruiting student members from disciplines university-wide, including appealing to over 1000 students at Quad Day
  • Primary faculty advisor Dr. Abigail Wooldridge was invited to speak at the Health Technology Program Speaker Series. Her research presentation, titled “Designing Sociotechnical Systems to Support Teams in Health Care and Health-Related Contexts” was used as a recruitment tool for students interested in the HF/E domain.
  • On October 29, 2021, Dr. Richard Holden visited (virtually) Illinois. In the morning, he presented his research titled “Engineering Public Health: Better Health, by Design” at the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department graduate student seminar. Later that day, Dr. Holden met with members of the Illinois HFES Student Chapter for a question-and-answer session. 

  • On November 17, 2021, Dr. Shannon Mejia, faculty in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, met with the Illinois HFES Student Chapter. During this one-hour event, Dr. Mejia presented her research titled “Older Adults’ Perspectives of Feedback on Balance and Fall Risks” and held a question-and-answer session.

  • On December 3, 2021, Dr. Brandon Pitts (virtually) visited Illinois. In the morning, he presented his research titled “Increasing Levels of Vehicle Automation: Age Differences in Semi- Autonomous Driving Behavior and Performance” at the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department graduate student seminar. Later that day, Dr. Pitts met with members of the Illinois HFES Student Chapter for a question-and-answer session.

  • On April 8, 2022, Dr. Barrett Caldwell (virtually) visited Illinois. In the morning, he presented his research titled “System Dynamics and Engineering Systems: A Sociotechnical Journey” at the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department graduate student seminar. Later that day, Dr. Caldwell met with members of the Illinois HFES Student Chapter for a question-and- answer session. Since the topic of Dr. Caldwell’s research aligned with the material in the IE 340 – Human Factors course, they invited undergraduate students from that course to attend this event.

  • On February 16, 2022, members of the Illinois HFES Student Chapter received a tour of the McKechnie Family LIFE Home research center at Illinois. This research center is focused on innovative interventions in the home environment. Students toured the state-of-the-art facility and learned about the ongoing research projects.

  • On April 6, 2022, members of the Illinois HFES Student Chapter received a tour of the Jump Simulation Center at Illinois. The Jump Simulation Center is a simulation and education center managed in partnership by the Order of St. Francis (OSF) Healthcare and the Illinois College of Engineering at Urbana-Champaign. During the tour, members learned and interacted with the various simulation equipment and technologies used to train student doctors at Illinois. This event was open to undergraduate students from the IE 340 – Human Factors course. 

  • The Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) program hosts three summer camps for high school-aged persons interested in science and engineering. For the Summer 2022 camps, members from the Illinois HFES Student Chapter served on the planning committee for the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering camps.

  • One Illinois HFES Student Chapter Member, Maurita Harris, volunteers with the Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the Black, Indigenous, People of Color Affinity Group. She supports the development of programming and other activities. Additionally, as a member of the DEI Committee, Maurita Harris is developing a white paper focused on diversity in different sectors of the HF/E domain.

  • On November 9, 2021, members of the Illinois HFES Student Chapter executive council held a human factors skills workshop. The purpose of this workshop was to practice HF/E skills by evaluating and redesigning two mobile applications used by students at Illinois: Safer Illinois and Active Illini. Together, we evaluated the apps and discussed improvements to increase usability. 

  • On April 13, 2022, the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health and the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering hosted the Chittenden Symposium. The symposium was titled “Human Factors for Health Technology.” Many members from the Illinois HFES Student Chapter attended and both faculty advisors, Dr. Abigail Woolridge and Dr. Wendy Rogers, were invited to present their research at the symposium. 

  • Social events, including “Study with a Buddy” event.

  • Members of the Illinois HFES Student Chapter who attended the 65th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland presented a poster about the student chapter. Information on the poster included HF/E-related research laboratories across the different departments at Illinois and information about our current members. 

  • On March 2, 2022, members of the student chapter hosted an interactive workshop with presentations from the Illinois Graduate College. The topics covered include: “Getting the Mentoring You Need as a Mentee” and “Building Strong Mentoring Relationships as a Mentor.” At the end of the workshop, Illinois HFES Student Chapter members socialized over pizza.

These activities are just a sample of the industriousness of the HFES student group in their first year. Students interested in joining may join here.

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