Dr. John Reising passed away on October 6, 2022. Dr. Reising worked at the Air Force Research Laboratory until his retirement in 2006–after earning a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology from Southern Illinois University in 1969. At AFRL, his work was concentrated on the development of advanced cockpits, taking them from the “knob and dial” era into the electronic crew stations we have today. That work was recognized via numerous awards including the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Medal (1987), German Air Force Special Recognition (1988), as well as the prestigious Harold Brown award in 1997–for outstanding research contributions to the United States Air Force. Dr. Reising was a Fellow of the Wright Laboratory (precursor to AFRL) and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. He has authored more than 100 technical publications in the area of advanced crew station development and evaluation. During his government career, he worked closely with the Naval Air Development Center. He also served on committees for the FAA and NASA, and chaired a NATO working group on advanced cockpits with member nations from the United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Canada, Sweden and Germany. Dr. Reising was an adjunct professor at both Wright State University and the University of Dayton.
Dr. Joseph Birt, born December 20, 1934, age 87, died peacefully at his home in Jensen Beach, Florida, on October 8, 2022.
The son of an engineer, Joe was born to fly. He became a pilot in high school, and after graduating from Penn State University in psychology in 1958, he joined the US Air Force as an officer. After logging over 2,000 hours flying as a transport pilot, he was taken off flight duty and “flew a desk” into the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In between plane and desk flying, Joe earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Human Factors / Industrial Psychology from Purdue University. As a human factors specialist in Air Force systems engineering organizations, he served as the Technical Director of the Aerospace Medical R&D division and of the Human Factors Division of the Air Force Human Resources Laboratory. But don’t ask the details. They’re classified. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and National Defense Service Medal along with numerous accolades throughout his long career.
In 1984 after 25 years of service, Joe retired from the Air Force to work as a research scientist, project manager, and Senior Systems and Human Factors engineer. He worked on projects as varied as assessing the Three Mile Island incident, developing human – computer interfaces, human factors training for the F-16, and multiple projects improving safety for the FAA. He was the organizer and second Chairperson of the DoD Human Factors Engineering Advisory Group and a long-time contributing member of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.
Dr. Richard Lee "Dick" Horst passed away on April 10, 2022 at Gilchrist Hospice Center, Columbia, MD, after a brief illness. After graduating from Chambersburg Area Senior High School in 1967, Dick earned a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Bucknell University, followed by an M.S. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Carnegie-Mellon University. He also earned a Certificate in Professional Ergonomics from the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics.
After his doctoral work and a series of positions related to research in applied behavioral psychology, Dick founded and served as president of UserWorks, Inc., a usability and human factors engineering consultancy, beginning in 1989 and continuing up to the present. As a pioneer in his field, Dick has contributed to its advancement in a variety of ways, including numerous published essays, presentations at professional conferences, and service positions in professional societies. Throughout his 33 years at the helm of UserWorks, Dick frequently served as guest lecturer for local university classes and hired and mentored numerous individuals just entering the field. In 2019, Dick was honored by the User Experience Professionals Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Back to News Feed