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HFES Bulletin

Table of Contents

June 9, 2017

Inside HFES

Nominations Close Today

Invitation to Serve on the Alphonse Chapanis Student Paper Award Selection Committee
By Haydee M. Cuevas, Committee Chair

National Ergonomics Month Best Action Plans Invited
By Elizabeth Phillips, Cochair, NEM Subcommittee

Public Policy Matters

Updates by Lewis-Burke Associates LLC

FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Signed Into Law

Trump Administration Releases Full FY 2018 Budget Proposal

HFES Signs on to Friends of NIOSH Letter in Support of FY 2018 Funding

Annual Meeting

New This Year: Plenaries and Revised Session Schedule

Request Space for Special Meetings at the Annual Meeting

Human Factors and Ergonomics Women's Organization for Mentoring and Networking (WOMAN) 2017 Lunch
By Ashley M. Hughes

Plan to Attend Student Career and Professional Development Day
By Linsey Steege, Student Affairs Committee Chair

Promote the Work of Your University Lab at HFES 2017

Other News

Limited-Time Offer: 50% Off BCPE Exam Fee for HFES Members!
By Rachel R. Michael, President, BCPE

Faded Glory: Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, 1954–2017
By Jia-Hua Lin, SHARP, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries; Ram Maikala, Providence Regional Medical Center; and Manuel Cifuentes, Regis College



Inside HFES

Nominations Close Today

HFES full voting Members are encouraged to participate in this year's process for nominating HFES officers, which is essential for the vitality of HFES. Nominations for the following positions are due today, June 9, by 12:00 PM Pacific time.

Two Council members-at-large

A ballot and instructions can be downloaded here.



Inside HFES

Invitation to Serve on the Alphonse Chapanis Student Paper Award Selection Committee

By Haydee M. Cuevas, Committee Chair

The Alphonse Chapanis Student Paper Award, established in 1969, is awarded to the outstanding paper presented at the Annual Meeting by a student registered at an accredited college or university.

Students submit their applications by the due date for proceedings papers (June 26 this year). The selection committee reviews the papers during the summer.

The authors of the top three papers are invited to present their work on Monday of the HFES Annual Meeting. The selection committee attends the finalist presentations and collectively makes a decision about the top paper. The award recipient is announced during the opening plenary session on Tuesday morning.

If you are interested in serving on the selection committee, please contact me at for additional information.



Inside HFES

National Ergonomics Month Best Action Plans Invited

By Elizabeth Phillips, Cochair, NEM Subcommittee

It's time again to enter the Best Action Plan Competition for National Ergonomics Month! We welcome individual and group submissions for the BAP competition.

Your Action Plan should describe activities that support human factors/ergonomics outreach in the community at large.

Plans can consist of any outreach activities, including workshops, volunteer work, community service, educational modules, community events such as scavenger hunts, or materials that aid in informing lay audiences – young and old – about the HF/E field and its contributions to the general public. We've had some excellent submissions over the years.

Tapping into some of the 14 Grand Challenges – which Past President Bill Marras categorized into "buckets" he called Sustainability, Human Health, Vulnerability, and Joy of Living, the NEM Subcommittee plans to incorporate the topic of sustainability in 2017, with a focus on other challenges in subsequent years.

Why Sustainability?
We believe that it's time for those of us in HF/E science and practice to focus on sustainability because we can offer practical solutions to environmental problems by addressing the design dimensions that shape the interaction between humans and their environments.

What You Can Do
The NEM Subcommittee invites your NEM Action Plans with activities that overlap with the larger theme of sustainability. Here are just a few examples:

Host a logo design/redesign competition. Consider selecting a logo that communicates some sustainable initiative (e.g., LEED building certification, Certified Organic, sustainably managed forestry).

Tackle transportation. How about a bike-to-work/school event? Along the way you could talk about all of the relevant HF/E work that went into the signage along your commute. Is biking hard in your area? Perhaps you could brainstorm about ways in which HF/E could make commuting by bike better for everyone. Then propose those ideas to your local leaders.

Do an ergonomics analysis of the workplace. Include in your report information concerning the benefit of greenery for improving working conditions and air quality.

Although plans that incorporate the sustainability theme are encouraged, all plans are welcomed and will be considered. The action plans will be evaluated, and the top plans will be awarded Gold, Silver, or Bronze designations.

To participate in the 2017 contest, please include the following information in a Microsoft Word document and e-mail it as an attachment to me at by August 15:

  • Title of the action plan.
  • Proposer name(s), address, e-mail address, and daytime phone number.
  • Names of other professionals and/or students participating in organizing or implementing the action plan.
  • Indication of whether the entry is on behalf of an HFES local or student chapter and the chapter name.
  • Brief description of the action plan. What activities are planned?
  • Timeline for the action plan. When will it be implemented?
  • Goal(s) of the action plan. What does it seek to accomplish?
  • Target audiences. What audience(s) does the action plan target (e.g., community, students, corporations, government)?
Best Action Plan winners are invited to present their outcomes at the NEM Expo, which takes place on Monday, October 9, from 4:45 to 6:15 p.m.

Visit the NEM Web page for some background:



Public Policy Matters

FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Signed into Law

By Lewis-Burke Associates LLC

On May 1, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees concluded negotiations on an omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 244) to fund federal government agencies for the remaining five months of fiscal year (FY) 2017. President Trump signed the bill into law on May 5. Despite the cuts proposed by the Trump Administration, the final bill provides increases to federal investments in many of the research, education, and health-care programs that are important to research universities and nonprofit research institutions.

The delayed conclusion of the FY 2017 appropriations process seven months into the fiscal year was brought about by the Trump Administration's insistence on putting its stamp on federal spending. In the end, however, the Administration relented on its top priorities, such as money for a border wall and increased defense spending, to avoid a government shutdown.

The bill includes funding for 11 of 12 annual appropriations bills (the bill funding the Department of Veterans Affairs and military construction projects for FY 2017 passed in December) and upholds the overall discretionary $1.07 trillion spending cap for FY 2017 agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 for both defense and nondefense spending. The bill also provides $93.5 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funding for global combat operations and improved military readiness, and $8.2 billion in disaster funding to address recovery efforts from fires, floods, and other extreme weather events. This funding is not subject to the spending caps and allows Congress to fund increases in defense and emergency disaster spending without making cuts to nondefense programs.

Even with only a $3 billion increase in total discretionary funding for FY 2017 compared with FY 2016, many research and education agencies that enjoy bipartisan support have increases in funding:

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would receive $34 billion, an increase of $2 billion, or 6.2%, above the FY 2016 enacted level.
  • The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science would receive $5.39 billion, an increase of $42 million, or 0.7%, above the FY 2016 enacted level.
  • The DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) would receive $306 million, an increase of $15 million, or 5.1%, above the FY 2016 enacted level.
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) would receive $7.472 billion, an increase of $9 million, or 0.1%, above the FY 2016 enacted level.
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would receive $19.7 billion, an increase of $368 million, or 1.9%, above the FY 2016 enacted level, including an increase of $176 million for science programs.
  • Although Department of Defense (DOD) basic research would receive $2.3 billion, or a 1.4% decrease over last year, applied research and advanced technology development would be increased by 5.4% and 8.4%, respectively.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) would receive $1.36 billion, an increase of approximately 2.72% above the FY 2016 level. Within NIFA, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) would receive $375 million, an increase of $25 million above the current enacted level.
  • The Department of Transportation (DOT) would receive a top line funding increase of $1.3 billion, or 1.6% above the FY 2016 enacted level. Key modal administrations within DOT, including the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), would also receive modest increases.
This spending bill provides certainty for federal agencies ahead of what is likely to be a protracted legislative process to decide FY 2018 funding priorities. In contrast to the increases that are provided under the FY 2017 omnibus, the Trump Administration FY 2018 budget blueprint, released in March, and the president's budget request, released on May 23, proposed cutting nondefense programs by $54 billion to pay for $54 billion in defense increases. (See the next article.) These cuts include reductions to or eliminations of research and higher education priorities such as the National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, National Endowment for the Humanities, environmental agencies, and federal student aid. With this uncertainty ahead for FY 2018 funding and the potential for an extended continuing resolution, Congress has sought to provide strong FY 2017 funding with the omnibus bill to meet agency needs.

Sources and additional information:


Trump Administration Releases Full FY 2018 Budget Proposal

By Lewis-Burke Associates LLC

On May 23, President Trump released his first complete budget request to Congress, which reinforced messaging from his earlier budget blueprint for FY 2018. Both proposals prioritize defense spending and strengthening national security while proposing significant cuts to climate science programs and an array of government-sponsored research across federal agencies. In both its conflicts with the recently enacted FY 2017 omnibus and targeting of many programs with bipartisan support, this budget proposal is considered "dead on arrival" and is already facing significant opposition from members of both parties in Congress.

Although it is highly unlikely that Trump's FY 2018 budget request will be enacted, it provides valuable insight into the Administration's priorities. In the Department of Transportation (DOT), funding for key surface transportation research programs within the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) would remain flat, as they receive mandatory funding through the Highway Trust Fund established in the FAST Act. As expected, no federal funds were requested for the unfunded Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers or the Automated Vehicle Proving Grounds awarded last year, though automation and infrastructure modernization remain a key part of the transportation dialogue.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requested $9 million for the previously unfunded Enterprise, Concept Development, Human Factors, and Demonstrations Portfolio, which would apply HF/E to assess the "interaction of proposed NextGen tools and procedures and evaluate human performance in the operational environment." Fifteen million dollars, a decrease of $5.035 million from the funding levels in the FY 2017 omnibus spending package, was requested for the NextGen Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) program; and the NextGen Air/Ground Integration Human Factors program within the FAA Research, Engineering, and Development (RE/D) account was requested at a level of $6.757 million, a $1.818 million cut from the FY 2017 omnibus levels. It is also worth noting that the FY 2018 request would shift control of air traffic control (ATC) services to a private, nonprofit organization. This has been the topic of recurring debate in Congress, but members have yet to reach consensus on how to move forward.

As expected, the president's budget request would increase funding for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) programs across DOD, with the Air Force, Army, and Navy receiving proposed increases of 25.6%, 13.1%, and 2.7%, respectively. However, although the department would receive a $52 billion increase, most DOD science and technology accounts would see reductions in FY 2018, emphasizing DOD priorities to modernize and enhance readiness.

Within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office for the National Coordinator for Health IT received a proposed cut of $22 million, a 36.6% decrease from the FY 2017 omnibus levels, which is consistent with the requested reductions across the rest of the agency.

President Trump's FY 2018 budget request has been a source of concern because so many federal agencies would receive widespread reductions or eliminations, but there is still much work to be done before any final funding decisions are made. Members of Congress, including Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO), have noted the budget request is simply the first step in the FY 2018 appropriations process.

Source and additional information:


HFES Signs on to Friends of NIOSH Letter in Support of FY 2018 Funding

By Lewis-Burke Associates LLC

In June, HFES joined a coalition of industrial, academic, and scientific partners on a letter in support of the Friends of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) advocating for a discretionary funding level of $339.121 million in FY 2018. The letter was sent to leaders on both the House and Senate Labor, Health & Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittees in support of funding for key occupational health and safety programs in the FY 2018 appropriations process.

The letter was drafted and sent prior to the release of the Administration's FY 2018 budget request, which proposed a cut of $138.5 million across federal occupational safety and health programs and the elimination of the Education and Research Centers (ERC) program. As a result of the Administration's FY 2018 proposal, the government would no longer provide funding to state and academic partners for "conducting, translating, or evaluating research."

NIOSH programs play a critical role in ensuring that workers receive the proper health and safety education programs, can work in acceptable conditions, and can avoid illness or workplace injury. As outlined in this letter, Friends of NIOSH are concerned with decreasing and preventing work-related injury and illness.

Sources and additional information:

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, a leading Washington, D.C.-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.



Annual Meeting

New This Year: Plenaries and Revised Session Schedule

Enhancing the breadth of topical coverage at the 2017 Annual Meeting are four plenary sessions. All attendees have the opportunity to hear expert speakers in dedicated sessions the morning of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Details about the plenaries will appear in future issues of the HFES Bulletin.

To accommodate these dedicated sessions, HFES has modified the schedule of technical sessions and breaks on Wednesday through Friday. View the Tentative Session Schedule for details about each day's schedule.

Stay tuned for updates about the plenary sessions and other Annual Meeting events.



Annual Meeting

Request Space for Special Meetings at the Annual Meeting

Groups that wish to conduct special meetings at the 2017 Annual Meeting are invited to submit requests for meeting space. Generally, meetings will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis; however, priority is given to meetings that are open to all interested attendees. Meetings that are open to all members and attendees will be listed in the final program, which is distributed at the meeting.

To request a meeting time and space, contact HFES Executive Director Lynn Strother (



Annual Meeting

Human Factors and Ergonomics Women's Organization for Mentoring and Networking (WOMAN) 2017 Lunch

By Ashley M. Hughes

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, 12:00–1:15 p.m. We expect a mix of HF/E professionals who work in academia, industry, and government, as well as students from PhD and master's programs. A short program during the lunch will engage attendees in roundtable discussions, highlight some recent accomplishments of women in HFES, and provide a special welcome from our guest speaker.

The location of the event will be determined, but it will be less than one mile from conference hotel. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. Watch the HFES Bulletin for details about making a reservation.



Annual Meeting

Plan to Attend Student Career and Professional Development Day

By Linsey Steege, Student Affairs Committee Chair

Monday, October 9, will be packed with helpful information targeted at today's students and tomorrow's HF/E professionals. Student Career and Professional Development Day at the HFES Annual Meeting provides an opportunity for students to focus on career preparation. The themes of this year's Career Day are how to identify opportunities and navigate the transition from student to your next career.

As of this date, the schedule for the 2017 Student Career Day is as follows:

10:30–11:45 a.m. – Session 1: Transitioning from Student to Industry Professional
Chair: Andrea Crosser, University of Houston–Clear Lake
Finding internships and making the transition from student to industry professional can be difficult. The panelists will help ease the stress involved in this process! Each of the hiring professionals from different areas of the human factors industry and students with recent experience in the interview/transition process will provide suggestions and helpful hints and tips.

1:30–2:45 p.m. – Session 2: Human Factors Career Trends: Present, Past, and Future
Chair: Farzan Sasangohar, Texas A&M University
This session will focus on understanding the range of possibilities for a career in human factors. Speakers from multiple industries and career types (e.g., software, process control, aerospace, transportation, health care, academia) will discuss their career paths and their views on current and future career opportunities for new human factors professionals.

3:30–5:00 p.m. – Session 3: Building a Better Network through Speed Networking
Cochairs: Carolina Rodriguez-Paras and Jukrin Moon, Texas A&M University
Speed networking has become a popular way to enhance the networking experience at professional events. Whether you have a position to fill, are trying to find a job, are looking to collaborate, or just want to meet new people in the HF/E community, speed networking is a fun and simple way increase your professional network. Our inaugural speed-networking session during the 2016 Student Career and Professional Development Day was a success, so we are offering it again with some improvements for 2017. During this active session we will share tips for successful networking and participate in an interactive speed-networking activity.

New this year is a special mentoring program and complimentary lunch only for Career Day attendees, organized and facilitated by Haydee Cuevas. The session will begin with a brief introduction on mentoring, including its benefits and types of mentoring relationships. Then the fun begins! The session will follow the format of The Dating Game, which aired during the 1960s and 1970s. A mentee will present mentoring-related questions to three prospective mentors, who are hidden from view. At the end of the questioning period, the mentee will choose one of the three mentors. Each mentor-mentee pair will receive a gift card to a local restaurant to continue their dialogue during the meeting week. Participants will be recruited prior to the Annual Meeting, so stay tuned for further information.



Annual Meeting

Promote the Work of Your University Lab at HFES 2017

HFES invites posters from university laboratories that are conducting work in HF/E research and application. The aim of this showcase is to demonstrate the variety of HF/E educational and research programs, not to describe specific research projects.

One side of each poster board may be reserved for a single institution. (Multiple labs from the same school should combine their materials to fit on one side of a board.) Each board measures 4 feet high by 8 feet wide; posters must not exceed those dimensions.

Lab posters will be on display in the registration area on the following days:

Wednesday, October 11
Session 1: setup at 7:45 a.m., on display 9:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m., lab representative(s) available 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 12
Session 2: setup at 7:45 a.m., on display 9:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m., lab representative(s) available 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Session 3: setup at 1:45, on display 2:00–5:15 p.m., lab representative(s) available 2:00-3:00 p.m.

To reserve space to display your university's HF/E lab, send a request to Susan Marschner ( at the HFES central office by September 1 and include the following information:

  • Date and time (session) requested
  • Name of lab and university
  • Name, phone number, and e-mail address of person responsible for the poster
  • Brief description of the lab
Space will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Confirmation and instructions for displaying your lab poster will be sent via e-mail.



Other News

Limited-Time Offer: 50% Off BCPE Exam Fee for HFES Members!

By Rachel R. Michael, President, BCPE

BCPE is offering HFES members a one-time discount of 50% on the BCPE certification exam fee (a $175 savings) in honor of the 20+ years of BCPE's valued relationship with HFES.

BCPE ( provides the gold standard of HF/E certification, recognized nationally and internationally.

If you're interested in differentiating yourself as a certified professional, now is the time! The new exam is electronically administered and can be taken at convenient sites around the world.

Terms: This one-time offer is good for all approved certification applications from HFES members (or student members) in good standing, received by November 30, 2017, and applies to exams taken in the spring or fall of 2018. To qualify for this offer, please include "HFES 2018" in the Professional Organizations field on your application. Contact Paul Green if you need more information.



Other News

Faded Glory: Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, 1954–2017

By Jia-Hua Lin, SHARP, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries; Ram Maikala, Providence Regional Medical Center; and Manuel Cifuentes, Regis College

It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety closed its doors on June 6, 2017. This unexpected news saddens many researchers and practitioners in the fields of human factors and ergonomics, occupational safety, injury epidemiology, workers' compensation, and disability.

In 1954, built in the rural area of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, a research center was born. Its parent company, Liberty Mutual Insurance, held an important role in providing workers' compensation coverage to employers across the country. During the first 40 years, three barn-style buildings – simply named A, B, and C, matching their farmland surroundings – housed a small staff of scientists. They conducted their investigations about occupational injuries arising originally from a business need: how to make workplaces safer and help injured workers return to work. This unique mission enabled scientific independence from the main profit-driven business model typical of an insurance company.

In addition, through its unparalleled mission and vision, the research center distinguished Liberty Mutual Insurance from all other insurance companies. One example of the work produced by the research center is Survival Cars I and II, which were developed in the 1950s in collaboration with Cornell University. Since those early days, features such as collapsible steering columns, armrests and headrests, air bags, and seatbelts became standard equipment in all U.S. automobiles.

A robotic arm, later called The Boston Arm, an innovation in prosthetics, was developed at the research center in collaboration with researchers from MIT, Harvard, and Massachusetts General Hospital. In the 1960s, the first Horizontal Pull Slipmeter™ was patented. Tribology knowledge that helps to prevent slips, trips, and falls and related scientific investigations flourished until today.

From the 1960s and continuing into the early 2000s, another important legacy of the research center was pioneering research in psychophysics. The guidelines for manual materials handling were developed in the center's basement laboratory, where participants carried, pushed, pulled, lifted, and lowered objects. The Liberty Mutual Tables - or, more commonly nicknamed after their legendary researchers, Snook and Ciriello Tables, which suggest maximum acceptable loads of all common work-related exertions - became the standard tool in job assessment and workplace (re)design. They have a lasting place in ergonomics and safety textbooks for students, researchers, and practitioners in relevant fields.

In the 1990s, Tom Leamon expanded the capacity of the research center and turned it into the state-of-the-art Research Institute, "Helping people live safer, more secure lives." Researchers from various disciplines from around the world were recruited to tackle occupational safety and health issues in depth. Leamon's vision was exemplary and incomparable. He coined a unique phrase, "Research to Reality," and his efforts resulted in establishing the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety as one of the most respected occupational safety and research centers in the world. Scientific inquiries became more and more vigorous, as evidenced by the growing output of peer-reviewed scientific publications, which reflected the real-world issues of occupational safety and health.

Achievements from this flourishing period are abundant. For example, the Workplace Safety Index, a summary of workplace injury burden, is still broadly cited and in use among a variety of occupational safety and health agencies and institutions by researchers and practitioners worldwide. Pioneering research on management of low-back pain and prevention of opioid misuse more than a decade ago demonstrates the critical thinking and long-term view of the Institute's scientists.

An exemplary demonstration of the Institute's international outreach was the collaboration with premiere research institutions in China and Vietnam. As a result, the Vietnamese government created a model for studying and reporting workplace injuries via community efforts, which was tailored to the country's unique cultural and social environment.

All research findings from the Research Institute were nonproprietary and were always translated, not only through the Loss Prevention staff to Liberty Mutual partners but also by the research staff through active participation in and dissemination of their findings via a number of national and international conferences, including the HFES Annual Meeting. This sharing of findings reflected the Institute's belief that scientific activities without barriers could serve better the need of all people, not just Liberty Mutual customers.

The Institute's great vision and mission were rightly appreciated, as demonstrated by the numerous prestigious awards it and its researchers received over the years. These include the President's Medal by the Ergonomics Society, UK (1994), the AIHA Edward J. Baier Technological Achievement Award (1995), the International Ergonomics Association's President's Award (1997), the HFES Jack A. Kraft Award (1997), the AIHA Alice Hamilton Award (2002), and the NORA Partnering Award from the Centers for Disease Control (2006), just to name a few.

The decision to close the highly esteemed institution is felt not only by current and former Institute staff but also by the national and international scientists, visiting scholars, collaboration partners, postdoctoral fellows, interns, and students with whom the Institute shared its findings. The influence and inspiration from the Research Institute will be with us and future generations for many years to come.

HFES 2017 Annual Meeting attendees will have the opportunity to hear more about the Institute's work in a panel session tentatively scheduled on Thursday, October 12.

Thank you, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, for your contributions to make the workplace better and safer now and in the future.

Requiescat in pace!!



Archive of HFES Bulletin issues through December 2015 (in PDF format).

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