Joel S. Warm
It is our sad duty to report to our membership the death of Professor Joel Seymour Warm. He was truly one of the all-time leaders of our field and one of its most prolific scientists. Already the news and the accolades have flashed across the Twitter-sphere, but here we want to do more than simply provide a litany of his academic achievements; Joel was so much more than that.
Relatively few, for example, will know that Joel had multiple tryouts with the New York Yankees. At the last of those tryouts, a pitching coach stood on the mound, with Joel at the plate, and threw a fastball. Joel knocked it into the stands. A home run in Yankee Stadium! The coach looked back toward where Joel's ball landed, and then looked back at Joel, assessing him for just a moment. The coach then threw several more pitches. Joel couldn't hit a single one. When they were through, the coach said, "Well, son, what are you going to do now?" "Go to college, sir," Joel replied. "Good man!" the coach responded. We should all be very grateful to that pitching coach, because a couple of more hits and a couple more percentage points in batting and Joel may have been racking up stats in the baseball world as opposed to that of applied psychological research! We are very grateful for those few extra strikeouts, for without them, what a contribution we would we have missed!
Joel's academic antecedents are well known: a doctoral product of the University of Alabama under George E. Passey, Joel then came under the postdoctoral tutelage of a former president of HFES, Earl Alluisi, and was strongly influenced by him as a mentor. In the very best sense of the term, Joel was "Old School." He trained around the time when empirical experimentation was king, and he followed that same path throughout his career; his allegiance to such a reality was untrammeled throughout his lifetime.
To Joel, data were sacred. For anyone who had more than a couple of minutes' conversation with Joel (and everyone had more than a couple of minutes' conversation with Joel), his latest findings always resonated vibrantly in his mind. He never lost his wonder in research and never lost the ability to communicate this excitement to others. He was the only individual we knew who could make a five-way interaction intelligible over the phone.
Joel did not suffer fools especially gladly. Always generous and kind in his way, he nevertheless had the innate recognition that time is a limited gift and that dilettantes, dabblers, and the uncommitted should be released to go their own way. In short, he was demanding especially of his own students. But for those whose love of knowledge is pure, he was simply a joy. He was a professor at the University of Cincinnati for an age, where he collaborated for several decades with William Dember on many projects and programs. Joel built the human factors program there, and along, with orbiting colleagues, he made it a center of activity that eventually attracted the likes of Gerry Matthews and others well known in our community. He made Cincinnati a name and a powerhouse in our science. But what science?
It is fair to say Joel was the "grand old man of vigilance." He was perhaps the last of the generation of researchers who first looked to wrestle sense from Norman Mackworth's discovery of this vital human capacity (or lack thereof). His work on vigilance and sustained attention extended well back into the 1960s and continued, essentially to the day he died. Here is not the place to go into the historical antecedents of the vigilance question. For, indeed, Warm's own writings do this in the most accomplished manner (see Warm, 1984, for an example). Suffice it to say that with the ongoing growth of automation and autonomy in our world, vigilance and sustained attention, remain central to our contemporary HF/E enterprise. No one knew more about the topic than Joel. He was a living library of knowledge, and one could rely on him to recall arcane details about experiments conducted six decades ago, reported in an obscure journal and in a foreign language!
But before we attribute implicit constraint to the man's science, let us note immediately that he also made profound contributions to time perception. He was one of the motivating forces behind neuroergonomics; he was an accomplished and consistent contributor to issues in basic perception, such as subjective contours; and he established unique research dimensions such as olfactory vigilance. Although these are the works that will persist in the literatures, Joel's living legacy surely lies in the students he taught, the doctoral candidates he produced, and the many scientists whom he mentored from both near and far.
Latterly, this role had extended to the research laboratories at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, whose leadership, with traditional and characteristic acumen, had noted Joel's departure from Cincinnati and by snatching him up, had benefited accordingly. He held a position there as senior scientist for a number of years, during which he continued to pursue the mysteries of vigilance, especially exploring its neurophysiological dimensions via a number of innovative assessment methods such as transcranial Doppler sonography. These investigations continued to produce a rich harvest of understanding. Most recently, we had collaborated on a special issue of Human Factors memorializing Raja Parasuraman. It is a source of deepened sadness that now we are performing the same office in recognition of Joel (see the call for special issue papers in tribute to Joel).
Anyone who ever met him can confirm that Joel Warm was a dynamo. He would work until late into the evening, discussing, reviewing, writing, with occasional glances at his watch and the lamentation, "my wife is going to kill me!" He had more stamina than many less than half his age. Listening to him review and summarize a problem was a lesson in scientific thinking. His energy and his capacity to sustain attention for hours on issues related to research was amazing to behold if, at times, difficult to endure. In all senses of the term, Joel was a vigilance superstar, in both theory and practice.
Joel was a scholar in the finest sense of the word. His skillful writing, which reflected clear thinking; his love of books; his limitless energy for scholarship and scientific discovery; and the breadth of his knowledge, which extended to several areas of psychology as well as subjects beyond, such as the history of the American Civil War – all stand as evidence of his intellectual prowess. Although he might not want us to share this, Joel's knowledge of psychology even extended to the clinical domain; he earned a master's degree in clinical psychology and, for much of his career, held a clinical license in the state of Ohio.
Readers will perhaps allow each of us one personal story to capture the essence of the man. I (PAH) first met Joel at the 21st Conference of the Psychonomic Society in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1980. I was talking to another Englishman and stalwart of the behavioral realm, Dennis Holding, when Joel (then editing a book in Holding' s Human Performance Series) rushed up. "Someone's let me down for a chapter! You know which one! It's going to hold up the whole book!" Joel was perturbed. With a flick of his pipe, Holding changed my life.
"Hancock here is an expert in that area," he lied with breathtaking equanimity. Joel looked at me, certainly not convinced – perhaps he was being suckered? However, straws are straws, especially to a drowning editor! "How soon can you get it to me?" he wanted to know. "What was the topic?" I thought (but only to myself). Taking my cue from Holding, I ventured "four months?" Joel gave me a look that was redolent of disbelief but, with some reluctance, agreed to proceed. Joel had no idea I was then a graduate student. Had he known, there would have been no agreement, of that I am quite sure (Joel was Old School).
But sometimes ignorance is not necessarily a bad thing. And when the topic – the effects of environmental stress on vigilance – was declared, I knew I had an ace in the hole. This was in the form of access to Professor Jack Adams and his encyclopedic library concerning such research. Four months proved an optimistic estimate, as the book eventually emerged only in 1984. But I must, in fairness to myself, note that I was not the last to deliver (and see Warm, 1984). During the course of writing and rewriting, I visited Cincinnati on a number of occasions, and Joel's sure hand helped me tremendously in creating, constructing, and completing the chapter.
I was invited to the Warm household and on the first occasion met the then rather young but now eminent Professor Eric Warm MD, Joel's son. I was invited to kick his football, and as I had a strong rugby background, I gave it quite a ride. Joel was staggered, and as the ball disappeared far down Finney Trail, he gave me a renewed appraising stare; perhaps he had not been suckered after all. He would always recount this story to strangers we met at conferences with the odd addendum that the kick increased by approximately 2.3 yards per year (I once did the regression!). It was the typifying generosity of the man, and I will not see his like again.
I (JLS) first met Joel in 1994 when I was a student in his winter research methods course. This was Warm's infamous "381 Course," which struck fear into students' hearts. I was somewhat less intimidated than most, as I had endured the slings and arrows of courses in inorganic and physical chemistry. However, the sheer volume of material, a result of Warm's thoroughness in teaching that matched his meticulous attention to detail in research, made the course very demanding. (This may be an understatement.) The workload and stress were magnified by the way in which we were evaluated: The grade in this course was determined by a single, comprehensive final exam, the weight of one's entire grade being dependent on the single score. It was the Sword of Damocles hanging above all of us. I was fortunate to perform well and, as a result, Joel recruited me to join his laboratory, first as a research assistant and then, later, as his graduate student in what was then the applied experimental/human factors program. His mentoring extended beyond our time as his students. Joel took the notion of academic "family" very seriously; he offered his sage advice to former students and advocated strongly for them whenever it was needed. In my own case, I obtained a postdoctoral position with my present coauthor based largely on Joel's enthusiastic recommendation. (As PAH noted, "Joel gave you the thumbs up, and that was enough for me.")
It was our privilege, pleasure, and honor to have known Joel Warm. He acted in the capacity of scientific "father" to so many (including ourselves) that our community feels his loss most especially. We think the measure of a man's life is in the love, the affection, and the loyalty that the individual leaves behind. Joel Warm left a mountain. He was one of the greats of HF/E. He was our colleague, our mentor, but above all, our friend. We miss him and shall always do so in the years that are left to us. Sic Transit Gloria Vigilensis.
For Further Reading
For a full listing of Joel Warm's traditional academic merits, please see Robert Hoffman's excellent summary of Joel's contributions in: Hoffman, R. R., Hancock, P. A., Parasuraman, R., Szalma, J. L., & Scerbo, M. (2015). (Eds.). Handbook of applied perception research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This latter text was dedicated as a Festschrift of his life and work.
See also COMMUNIQUÉ: Newsletter of the Southern Ohio Chapter, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 45, (3), Supplemental August 10 2017.
And further see Joel's Fellow profile.
Warm, J. S. (Ed.). Sustained attention in human performance. New York: Wiley.
Papers Invited for Human Factors Memorial to the Life and Contributions of Joel S. Warm
Following the sad news of his recent demise, HFES announces a special issue of Human Factors in memory of Joel Warm, senior scientist at the U.S. Air Force and professor emeritus at the Department of Psychology, University of Cincinnati. The special issue is tentatively titled "Applied Perception and Human Performance." The special issue will be edited by James Szalma and Peter Hancock, University of Central Florida.
Submissions will be entertained in all of the realms of applied behavioral psychology to which Professor Warm made so many important contributions. These include, but are not necessarily limited to,
Vigilance and sustained attention
Basic human perceptual processes
Tactile stimulation and tactile display systems
Visual displays and their interpretation
The perception of time
If you have a potential contribution that you are unsure fits within the theme of the special issue, please contact the editors at Psychology Department, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando, FL 32816-1390, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The deadline to subit special issue papers has been extended to March 9, 2018. Submit your manuscript at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/humanfactors.
HFES to Welcome Julie Freeman as Interim Executive Director in October
By Nancy J. Cooke, HFES President
Julie Freeman will join HFES on October 2 and officially serve as Interim Executive Director upon the October 27 retirement of Lynn Strother, HFES Executive Director of nearly 28 years. Ms. Freeman has a bachelor of science in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from the College of William and Mary. She has expertise in strategic planning, change management, operations management, financial management, association management, member communication, and board governance, putting her in an excellent position to assist HFES through its transition between executive directors. Ms. Freeman most recently served as interim executive director for the California Society of Anesthesiologists, and before that, she was president of the International Association of Business Communicators for 10 years.
During her interim year with HFES, Ms. Freeman will be assessing HFES operations and governance, stabilizing and maintaining operations, working to implement Executive Council-approved recommendations, maintaining member relations, consulting with the executive search firm, and working with the Executive Council and staff to effect a smooth and seamless transition to a new executive director.
Thanks to the Executive Director Search Task Force led by Deborah A. Boehm-Davis for identifying Ms. Freeman as a candidate; the Operations Transition Task Force, led by Camille Peres, for providing guidance; and the Executive Council for their evaluation and approval of Ms. Freeman's contract. We will miss Lynn greatly, but we will be in good hands with Julie Freeman as our Interim Executive Director.
Submit to Present at the 2018 HFES Health-Care Symposium
The Call for Proposals for the 2018 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care is now open. The deadlines for submitting lecture, panel, and poster presentations are as follows:
Lectures and Panels: Monday, October 2, 2017
Posters: Monday, October 23, 2017
Decisions will be sent in mid-November.
Topics of Interest
Proposals may address any topic that fits into one of the four subject-matter tracks listed below. Read more about the tracks and specific topics of interest on the Program Tracks and Committees page.
Clinical and Consumer Health-Care IT
Medical and Drug-Delivery Devices
Patient Safety Research and Initiatives
Topic examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
emergency room management
home health care
electronic health records
health-care information systems
medical information technology
design of medicine/drug delivery devices
standards and guidelines
human factors/user-centered design processes
formative and summative usability testing
Information to Include
In addition to full contact information for all coauthors, please be prepared to provide the following details with your proposal, as noted in the Call for Proposals:
presentation format (individual presentation or full 60- or 90-minute session, such as a panel or debate)
presentation type (e.g., case history, regulatory guidance, methods/techniques, best practices)
primary target audience (designers, government agencies, manufacturers, etc.)
presentation summary (up to 2,000 words)
knowledge advancement (up to 500 words)
value and uniqueness (up to 500 words)
Register to Ensure Your Presentation Is Included
Decision letters will be sent in mid-November. Online registration opens in early November. Authors of accepted abstracts are required to pay the registration fee by February 9, 2018, in order for their presentations to remain in the program.
Please contact Lois Smith if you have any questions.
Vote for HFES Officers by August 18
The HFES election of officers closes on August 18 at noon PDT. Voting is open to all HFES full Members and Fellows in good standing. (If you are an affiliate, transitional associate, or student member, you are not eligible to vote.) For those voting members who have not opted out of voting online and for whom we have valid e-mail addresses, a link for voting was sent on Tuesday, July 18. For all others, ballots were sent via the U.S. Postal Service. If you did not receive a link to the voting site or a printed ballot, please call the HFES office at 310/394-1811 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Barclay Wins 2017 "Mobile Health Applications for Consumers" Design Competition
Paul Barclay, a human factors psychology doctoral student at the University of Central Florida, was recognized for his prototype video game–based app for children with chronic diseases, and for their caregivers, to ensure adherence to medication regimens. The award was presented during the 2017 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care.
Although basic smartphone applications are a popular intervention for improving medication practices among adults, none is geared toward the younger market despite the fact that 75% of children report that they regularly use smartphones to surf the Internet or play games. Barclay's app adopts an engaging game-based format to help children learn, retain, and recall the health information provided to them. Caregivers set up the medication schedule, and both parties receive reminders and alerts if doses are missed.
Richard Holden, chair of the 2017 competition, noted, "The student design competition is an annual highlight. It combines innovative solutions to important problems with the human factors methods needed to make these solutions effective and usable."
Barclay's was one of 15 entries; he and two other finalist teams presented their work at the health-care symposium before the judges. The other finalist teams were Nadejda Doutcheva, Michelle Tong, Thomas Martell, and Ashish Vishwanath V. Shenoy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for "Health Links: A Mobile Application for Low-Socioeconomic Position Patients in Madison, Wisconsin Seeking Information About Community Resources"; and Meng Li and Xi Zheng, University at Buffalo, SUNY, for "Claim Pro: An Integrated Health Insurance Management App for Managing Medical Claims From Multiple Insurance Plans and Finding Healthcare Providers."
The design competition showcased application of human factors/ergonomics methods and principles in the concept and design of useful and usable smartphone health apps for consumers or their nonprofessional support network. The 2018 student app design competition is now open (see the following article), with the winner presenting at next year's symposium, to be held March 26–28, 2018, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts.
Entries Invited for 2018 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 2018 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care. The symposium will take place March 26–28, 2018, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts.
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.
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. View the complete details.
The first stage for entries is submission of a notice of intent to participate, which is due September 29, 2017. 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 8, 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 26, 2018. The winning individual or team will be announced at the poster reception on March 26 and will receive an additional $500 prize.
Inquiries may be addressed to Richard Holden at email@example.com.
HFES 2017 Early Registration Ends on August 28
Regular HFES members who register for the full Annual Meeting by August 28 save $100. One-day registration is discounted $25. For a complete list of other savings, please see the registration page.
User Experience Day to Feature PechaKucha-Style Session
By Vickie Nguyen, UX Day Alternative Session Chair
In line with this year's HFES 2017 theme, "Making Research and Application a Partnership in Progress," the User Experience (UX) Day Executive Team will be hosting a PechaKucha-style session for their sixth annual UX Day Challenge on Wednesday, October 11, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The challenge will include eight presenters, followed by a corresponding brainstorming and discussion session with the audience on ways to spark or promote innovation in human factors.
To participate in this year's challenge, please complete this form by September 1. Presenters must talk about their use of UX in its related work domains. The format of the presentation must have 20 images without text. Presenters will spend 20 seconds presenting each image, for a total presentation time of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. The UX Day Executive Team will contact the eight presenters selected to participate in the challenge.
Sign up to participate in this fun and informative session! A compilation of the presentations and brainstorming discussion will be available to all HFES attendees through the UX Day Web site. Please contact Vickie Nguyen (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions.
RSVP for the Women's Organization for Mentoring and Networking Lunch
By Ashley Hughes, University of Illinois at Chicago, and Beth Blickensderfer, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Are you interested in expanding your network of women colleagues? Do you enjoy trading career stories, learning from other women, and making new friends? If so, please join us for the HFES Women's Professional Networking lunch on Thursday, October 12, 12:30–1:45 p.m. at Max's Wine Dive, which is near the HFES Annual Meeting hotel. We expect a mix of HF/E professionals who work in academia, industry, and government, as well as HF/E students from PhD and master's programs. A short program during the lunch will engage attendees in discussions, highlight the importance of mentorship, and provide a special welcome from Carol Stuart-Buttle!
Reserve your spot by clicking this link by September 27. The cost is estimated to be $15 per person. We have worked with HFES to offer a reduced-rate lunch for those who RSVP. Please read the event details and respond so that we can include you at the reduced rate. We will confirm your reservation by e-mail and look forward to seeing you there!
Join the Discussion on Cyber Human Research
"Cyber Human Research from the Cyber Operator's View," a panel chaired by Robert Pastel on Tuesday, October 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., will offer a unique opportunity to meet with cyber security operators and discuss their challenges.
Despite the obvious necessity of protecting our cyber infrastructure, cyber security operators are overwhelmed by their work. Understaffed and overtasked, they attempt to defend our cyber infrastructure from an adversary that is continuously probing and changing strategies. In this high-stress environment, cyber security operators must quickly identify real threats from streams of automated alerts that typically are only 1% correct, using hundreds of different tools – most of which have not been designed with the user in mind or tested for effectiveness on critical human performance metrics.
Human research in cyber security research, as a growing area, remains sparse in part because of lack of access to the operators themselves and sensitive technologies and data. Consequently, what research exists typically observes untrained participants for only a short duration using simplified tools and data. Many with expertise in the cyber domain recognize this limitation and would like the community to refocus on problems closer to the operational environment and user groups. This panel therefore offers a rare opportunity to hear directly from practicing cyber security operators about their work environment, discuss approaches to connect human factors researchers with cyber operators, and bring together the emerging research community of interest.
Oil and Gas Safety Plenary Highlights Opportunities for HF/E Input
Plan to attend the Thursday plenary, "Human Factors Engineering Can Prevent the Next Major Incident in the Oil and Gas Industry," at 8:00 a.m. In this panel, experts will address the challenges of ensuring safety for human operators and the opportunities for industry, academia, and the government to leverage the human factors science behind this complex human-system interaction and to implement engineering solutions to mitigate risk and improve safety and business performance.
The plenary, chaired by S. Camille Peres, Texas A&M University, features experts M. Sam Mannan, Texas A&M University System; Liz McDaniel, Hunstman Corporation; and Johan Hendrikse, Shell North America Advisor for the Americas.
M. Sam Mannan is Regents Professor in the Chemical Engineering Department at Texas A&M University and executive director of the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center at the Texas Engineering Experiment Station. His experience is wide-ranging, covering process design of chemical plants and refineries, computer simulation of engineering problems, mathematical modeling, process safety, risk assessment, inherently safer design, critical infrastructure vulnerability assessment, aerosol modeling, and reactive and energetic materials assessments. Mannan received an MS in 1983 and a PhD in 1986, both in chemical engineering, from the University of Oklahoma.
Liz McDaniel is Vice President, EHS Polyurethanes Business Partner for Huntsman. She sits on the global leadership teams for both polyurethanes and EHS. McDaniel has been working in the petrochemical industry for more than 36 years, the majority in the environmental, health, safety, process safety, and security areas. She has held numerous managerial roles; the majority of her experience has been in site-based manufacturing in high-hazard sites. McDaniel holds a degree in chemical engineering from Louisiana State University.
Johan Hendrikse has 35 years' experience working as a specialist in human factors beginning in 1982 at Ergotech - Ergonomics Consultants in South Africa. He joined AMEC Paragon (Houston) in 1998, leading a newly established human factors group to provide services to the oil and gas and marine industries. Since 2005, Johan has been a member of Shell Health (Houston) as the senior regional HF adviser for the Americas. In this role he provides human factors support to business units, supporting Shell and joint venture capital projects, developing human factors standards (design and engineering practices), and delivering training on HF/E in design for Shell staff and EPC contractors in the USA, Canada, and South America. He holds MA and PhD degrees in human factors (ergonomics) and is a Certified Human Factors Professional.
Plenary on Policing in America Offered by BOHSI and SIOP
On Wednesday, October 11, at 8:00 a.m., don't miss the plenary session titled "Applying Human-Systems Integration to America's Policing System," which is organized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Board on Human Systems Integration and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
This session will explore America's policing system. Whereas the overarching mission is the same for all law enforcement agencies, there remains a great diversity of practice across a range of operational and organizational components. The application of a human-systems integration framework has merit for identifying common features, points of interaction, and key leverage points to enhance and improve police operations.
Panelists will speak to the current policing system and how human factors/ergonomics and human–systems integration can play a role in strengthening safety and performance from the officer level to the community.
The session is chaired by SIOP President Fred Oswald, Professor, Department of Psychology, Rice University. Panelists are as follows:
Ronald L. Davis, Consultant, 21st Century Policing, former executive director for President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing and director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) of the United States Department of Justice
Chief Jim Bueermann (Ret.), President, Police Foundation
Susan Ballou, Forensic Science Research Program Manager & Supervisor, Special Programs Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology
BOHSI Chair Pascale Carayon, Proctor & Gamble Bascom Professor in Total Quality, Director of the Center for Quality and Productivity Improvement, Department of Industrial and System Engineering College of Technology and Innovation, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Toby Warden, Director, Board on Human-Systems Integration, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Attend the Past President's Forum: "People Are Messy"
Immediate Past President William S. Marras will chair a session to be presented on Tuesday, October 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The idea behind this session is that people are multidimensional and complex, yet many human factors/ergonomics professionals tend to think only about what happens within their own "silos" rather than looking at how the human might be affected by interactions with factors outside those silos. In order to effectively assess and control the design of products and environments, we must look beyond our silos and understand all the various dimensions that could influence HF/E evaluations and design.
The presenters – Andrew S. Imada, Mica R. Endsley, Karen Lange Morales, and David D. Woods – have unique perspectives, rooted in different parts of HF/E science, on how people respond to the world. They speak with energy and passion and have great stories to share within and outside HFES. They will present TED-style talks that will be recorded and later shared on the HFES YouTube channel. Following the presentations, Marras will moderate a roundtable to discuss and further emphasize the overlap among the speakers' topics.
In Dublin's Fair City – Workload Is Alive, Alive-O
By P. A. Hancock, University of Central Florida, and G. M. Hancock, California State University, Long Beach
The somewhat curious combination of the secular and the religious; the H-Workload Conference was held in the Chapel
of the Grangegorman Campus of the Dublin Institute of Technology.
We have just returned from the Emerald Isle and would like to acquaint the membership with a very successful and informative new conference. H-Workload 2017 proved to be a very active gathering of researchers who met at the Dublin Institute of Technology in the environs of Dublin's fair city in June. The principal purpose of the conference was to investigate whether new and developing modeling techniques might render innovative insights into the perennial and persistent question of workload assessment. An impressive assemblage of speakers explored workload in both theory and practice. These offerings frequently addressed the importance of integration between researchers and practitioners, and this effort went beyond lip service to addressing questions and issues taxing industry at the present time.
The first keynote was presented by one of the authors (P. A. Hancock) and emphasized some of the methodological barriers to the proximal progress in workload assessment. In particular, Hancock examined the issue of AIDS – the associations, insensitivities, and dissociations between different assessment methods. In essence, he addressed what happens when different measures of workload tell you different things. Avenues to resolve this thorny problem were offered and explored (and see Hancock, 2017). A number of sessions focused on process control, bulk power generation, and oil refining, which ranged well beyond the traditional aviation and military domains on which we have built much of our understanding.
The second keynote was given by Karel Brookhuis, who ably explained how workload had featured in his experimental work throughout his outstanding research career. It was especially interesting to hear of his early battles to make EEG a practical tool in such challenging domains as on-road driving.
During H-Workload, other well-known international research figures provided diverse and innovative lectures, each of which explored workload either in a nontraditional domain or by linking workload to other contemporary problems such as the assessment of fatigue. For us, the contributions of Guastello and the coauthored presentation by Fan and Smith proved especially instructive as they respectively addressed an innovative methodology and an important bridge to the vital issue of fatigue. The interested reader can access the full set of contributions in the archival volume (Longo & Leva, 2017).
The final keynote, presented by Christopher Wickens (Wickens, 2017), showcased his characteristic wealth of insights and ability to synthesize large swaths of knowledge. Wickens challenged the audience to consider the dimension of effort in decision making and its causal link to workload as experienced. These observations will prove to be central in the search for a solution to the riddle of workload. Much promise inheres in such an aspect of decision prediction, and we should anticipate both a lively debate and extensive experimental evaluations of the value of effort assessment in the coming years.
As may be obvious from this meeting, workload is very much alive and remains a central issue throughout the HF/E enterprise. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of H-Workload was the unique venue: the Chapel of the Grangegorman Campus of the Dublin Institute of Technology. The buildings at one time had been the site of a mental institution, and thus the step in time to the current evaluation of mental workload might not be as anachronistic as some former occupants may have supposed.
Thanks are due to the H-Workload organizers for convening and delivering a great meeting. The immediate availability of the conference proceedings was a most welcome asset. The vast consensus of those we met was expressed in the hope that H-Workload 2 may not be too far away. We very much look forward to that day.
Hancock, P. A. (2017). Whither workload? Mapping a path for its future development. In L. Longo & M. C. Leva (Eds.), Human mental workload: Models and applications (pp. 3–17). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Longo, L., & Leva, M. C. (2017) (Eds.). Human mental workload: Models and applications. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Wickens, C. D. (2017). Mental workload: Assessment, prediction and consequences. In L. Longo & M. C. Leva (Eds.), Human mental workload: Models and applications (pp. 18–29). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
IEA 2018 Call for Proposals
The 20th International Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA) 2018 will be held at Palazzo dei Congressi, Florence, Italy, August 26–30, 2018, hosted by the Italian Society of Ergonomics. Additional information, a registration link, and the call for proposals and submission site are now available at http://iea2018.org/.
The submission deadline for special sessions, symposia, workshops, and short courses is September 30, 2017. Abstracts must be submitted by November 30, 2017.
The deadline for history and stories of human factors is December 30, 2017.
The Congress represents an important opportunity for professionals from various disciplines (e.g., design, engineering, health care, psychology, aviation, sociology) to offer their contributions to making human factors and ergonomics a leading approach for improving the human condition in a variety of sectors and services.
The theme of IEA 2018 is "Creativity in Practice," which refers to the typical challenge of the Italian way toward innovation, which transforms the results of research on innovation into concrete actions that improve the quality of life and work. The Congress provides a platform for the human factors community to meet, exchange information on research projects, and generate knowledge and ideas, fostering theoretical and applied areas of human factors and ergonomics.
Follow the IEA 2018 Facebook page.
Gerry Miller Inducted Into the Offshore Energy Center's Hall of Fame
HFES member Gerry Miller has been inducted into the Offshore Energy Center's Hall of Fame for his "notable and meaningful accomplishments in the offshore oil and gas industry" via the introduction of the HF/E discipline into the design of offshore facilities starting in 1990. His induction will take place at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, Texas, at a black-tie gala on September 23, 2017.
Earlier this year, Gerry was also nominated for the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) Distinguished Achievement Award, which is awarded annually. The OTC is the largest and most comprehensive international organization dedicated to the advancement of the offshore drilling industry worldwide.