Led by Public Outreach Committee Chair Gary Orr, the team offered engaging demonstrations and fun giveaways to schoolchildren and their parents. In one demo, about 400 kids were challenged to follow instructions to fill three types of medication cases of varying complexity using Skittles as the pills. (See the videofeaturing Bridget Lewis explaining the pill box to some visitors, as well as booth volunteer staff members Molly Kluck and Mark Call). In another, 300 children attempted to build a toy spaceship using either simple or complex instructions. Examples of good and bad designs were displayed, and QR codes for the HFES Web site were distributed.
HFES is grateful to the Foundation for Professional Ergonomics and the Potomac Chapter for providing sponsorship support.
From left: Topher Marshall and Matthew Witbeck (seated)
The Society also thanks the organizing team for making this event such a success: Gary Orr, Spencer Kohn, Andy Dattel, Gretchen Macht, Elizabeth Lazzarra, Bridget Lewis, and Karen Jacobs. The demo development team, led by Spencer Kohn, included Mark Call, Andy Stets, Molly Kluck, Jimmy Gaudaen, Patrick Weis, Aziz Abubshait, Christopher Marshall, and Matt Witbeck. Additional on-site volunteers were Andy Stets, Patrick Weis, Aziz Abubshait, and Spencer Kohn.
NSF Workshop on Effect of Autonomous Truck on the U.S. Economy Call for Participation
With funding from the National Science Foundation, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is leading a workshop that aims to bring together a diverse group of participants engaged in Human-Technology Frontier (HTF) projects to share their experiences on to the Effect of Autonomous Trucks on the U.S. Economy. The goal of this workshop is to identify multidiscipline collaboration through which the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other stakeholders can identify inputs for future program solicitations. This workshop will identify the most critical unanswered questions as well as potential solutions related to the effects autonomous trucks will have on the U.S. economy and, more specifically, how autonomous trucks will affect the current and future truck workforce.
The workshop will be held on Thursday, June 28, and Friday, June 29, 2018 at NSF headquarters in Arlington, VA. Attendees will include a combination of invited participants and a diverse range of academics and stakeholders who will be selected based upon Position Statements (described below). Some participants will be offered a stipend to offset travel and lodging expenses, but this will be minimal (e.g., $500–$700). Position Statements with multiple authors are welcome, especially those representing a multidisciplinary, collaborative team, but the number of invited participants and travel support may be limited based on space and available funds.
Participants will be drawn primarily from the following disciplines: engineers, computer scientists, regulators, truck drivers, truck management, economists, educators, lawyers, insurers, psychologists, and sociologists. Those who have unique perspectives on the unanswered questions or data needed to support future models are encouraged to submit a Position Statement, including engineering challenges in developing automated trucks and associated infrastructure; licensure and regulations; liability, privacy, and cyber security; education and training; and economics.
Position Statement: To be considered for participation, please submit a 1-page statement, 1-inch margins, 12-point font, single spaced that is responsive to the goal of the workshop. Position Statements should convey prior experience and/or future plans for HTF research collaborations with autonomous truck stakeholders—specifically, dimensions of successful partnerships, potential or perceived impediments to success, and any generalizable best practices based upon your experiences. Position statements should focus on models for collaboration and/or research descriptions.
Participants may be selected based on their Position Statements, considering their unique perspectives or experiences that would benefit deliberations during the workshop, as well as their representation within HTF stakeholder groups mentioned above. Previous experience with autonomous trucks is not required in order to submit a Position Statement. Additionally, prior NSF support is not required. Early stage researchers and individuals from underrepresented groups are encouraged to submit.
Please send your Positions Statement as a PDF attachment via e-mail to Jeff Hickman (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please include Convergence HTF Autonomous Trucks Workshop: Position Statement in the subject line. To be fully considered, position statements are due by May 7, 2018, with notification by May 13, 2018.
For more information, visit https://www.vtti.vt.edu/atw or contact Jeff Hickman.
Students and Professors! Don't Miss out on Award and Cash Prizes
By Robert J. Smillie, President, Foundation for Professional Ergonomics
The deadline to apply for the Dieter W. Jahns Student Practitioner Award has been extended to June 30, 2018. This annual award is given to the student (or group of students) for an ergonomics project that demonstrates the major practice areas of ergonomics: analysis, design, validation, and implementation. The award is open to MS and PhD students worldwide who are in ergonomics and ergonomics-related programs. Students who have completed their graduate degrees in the past year are also eligible.
In addition to the award, there is a $1,000 prize, both of which will be presented during the HFES Annual Meeting, October 1–5, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The winner does not have to attend the meeting to receive the award. In addition, a certificate and $1,000 will be awarded to the professor who served as the mentor for the student project. The cash award is made to the university department or lab for the professor’s discretionary use to advance education in the practice of ergonomics and human factors. The student(s), professor, and university will be recognized on the Foundation for Professional Ergonomics Web site as recipients of the award, and a summary of the student project will be posted. Go to www.ergofoundation.org for complete details on criteria and format. Submissions should be sent electronically to Dr. Robert J. Smillie (email@example.com).
HFES Awards Submission Deadline Extended to April 30
Although a number of nominations for HFES awards have been received, the Society invites Full Members, Fellows, and Emeritus Fellows to nominate worthy candidates for any of the following awards, in particular those in bold type. Further details about each award may be found on the Awards Web page.
Hal W. Hendrick Distinguished International Colleague Award recognizes a non-U.S. citizen who has made outstanding contributions to the human factors/ergonomics field.
Jack A. Kraft Innovator Award honors a person for significant efforts to extend or diversify the application of HF/E principles and methods to new areas of endeavor.
Paul M. Fitts Education Award recognizes a person who has made exceptional contributions to the education and training of HF/E specialists.
R. Lauer Safety Award recognizes a person for outstanding contributions to human factors aspects in the broad area of safety.
Alexander C. Williams, Jr., Design Award recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to the conception or design of any product, service, or system that has had a significant impact on users and exemplifies the excellent use of empirical human factors/ergonomics design principles.
Oliver Keith Hansen Outreach Award recognizes members and nonmembers who engage in significant activities that broaden awareness of the existence of the human factors/ergonomics profession and the benefits it brings to humankind.
The William C. Howell Young Investigator Award recognizes a person for demonstrating outstanding contributions to HFES through professional scientific contributions as a young investigator.
The Bentzi Karsh Early-Career Service Award recognizes a person for demonstrating outstanding contributions to HFES through professional service and outreach activities as a student and early-career professional.
Candidates, who need not be HFES members, may self-nominate or ask colleagues to submit nominations on their behalf.
To submit a nomination for one of the awards, please provide, in a single PDF file,
the candidate's résumé or curriculum vitae,
a nominating letter, and
at least two and not more than three letters of support from individuals who know the candidate well enough to assess his or her candidacy in terms of the award's criteria.
Send the PDF file to Interim Executive Julie Freeman by April 30.
DOT Hosts Public Meetings on Autonomous Vehicles
By Lewis-Burke Associates, LLC
During the month of March, the Department of Transportation (DOT) held multiple public meetings to address issues pertaining to autonomous vehicles (AVs), as the government has taken an increasing interest in planning for the integration and ensuring the safety of AV technology. These meetings follow DOT Secretary Elaine Chao’s January announcement of opportunities for stakeholders to submit comments on Automated Vehicles 3.0 (AV 3.0), the newest iteration of the regulatory framework guiding the testing, integration, and oversight of AVs. During this announcement, requests for comments (RFCs) were released by multiple agencies within DOT on a variety of issues pertaining to automated vehicles.
On March 1, DOT held a public session to solicit input regarding AV 3.0. Secretary Chao discussed DOT’s ongoing efforts in automation as well as the opportunities for AV technologies to increase mobility and mitigate fatalities caused by human error. The public session also included three panels: one of industry experts, one of state-level officials, and one of leaders from each of the DOT modal agencies.
The panels involved discussions on key, cross-cutting AV issues such as emerging opportunities, how to improve consumer acceptance and trust in AV technology, the need for continued research and development, and the burden that regulations may pose for innovation in this area.
On March 6, DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hosted a public meeting to address current regulatory barriers to AV testing and deployment. The discussion focused on the federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) in the context of AVs and how they might be updated to address emerging technologies. Many of the existing standards assume that a human driver is operating the vehicle and that vehicle architectures (steering wheel, forward-facing seats, side and rearview mirrors) will remain the same. The ongoing question for stakeholders has been how to update guidance for the testing, evaluation, and integration of AVs on public roads without sacrificing safety in the process.
Human factors research and engagement with HF experts was specifically noted in the conversation about vehicle architectures, with a particular emphasis on seat configuration. As the test dummies currently being used are designed for forward-facing seating, additional research and engagement with the HF community would be required for testing in the future. The public is encouraged to submit input, which will be considered as the agency continues to formulate an AV research and evaluation strategy.
Sources and additional information:
Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, a leading Washington, DC-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.
Save the Date! Find the Right Match at the On-Site Career Center
Employers and job seekers can benefit from participating in the HFES On-Site Career Center to meet informally and in prearranged interviews during the 2018 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The On-Site Career Center will be open at the following times:
Monday, October 1, 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday and Wednesday, October 2–3, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 4, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Organizations with an active job posting in the Online Career Center during the Annual Meeting may reserve interview booths, tables, or both at the On-Site Career Center. Download a reservation form or contact us at 310/394-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Employers are encouraged to post job openings in the Online Career Center before the start of the Annual Meeting so the posting is current during the On-Site Career Center interview times. This will provide candidates time to search the database and give employers time to review résumés and schedule meetings with potential candidates. HFES assists with the scheduling of interviews at the On-Site Career Center, but final scheduling remains the sole responsibility of the prospective employer.
Candidates looking for a job or seeking new career opportunities are encouraged to post their résumés and search for jobs in the Online Career Center. Résumé posting and job searching are for HFES members only.
If you plan to be available for interviews at the Annual Meeting, bring along copies of your résumé and visit the On-Site Career Center page to see a listing of employers conducting interviews during the Annual Meeting. Check back often, as this list will be updated frequently.
More Philadelphia Highlights
While you’re making plans to attend the Annual Meeting this year, take note of these featured sessions. Stay tuned in June for the specific date and time.
“Elaborating the Human Aspect of the NIST Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems” is a panel session featuring representatives from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and HFES members representing a number of TGs. NIST developed the Framework for Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), which may be used to assess how to design, build, and manage CPS. For instance, a city implementing a traffic management system that includes real-time predictive analytics and adaptation and optimization must consider all aspects of such a system of systems’ functioning and integrations with other systems. This panel aims to elaborate Human Aspect concerns of the framework, as well as constructs and relevant methods.
“Me and My VE, Part 5: Applications in Human Factors Research and Practice.” The latest offering in this series from the Virtual Environments TG aims to demonstrate some of the distinct and diverse uses of virtual environments and mixed-reality environments. The session will begin with each demonstrator providing a brief overview of the virtual environment and a description of how it has been used to address a particular problem or research need. Live demos of the VE follow.
“Mentors, Mentees, and Building a Board of Directors: The Big Questions in Personal and Career Development through Mentorship,” offered by the Education TG, will use interactive and engaging methods to discuss what effective mentor and mentee-ship looks like, how to identify potential mentors, and how to be a mentor to others.
Feedback and Next Steps for the HFE WOMAN Group
By Jamie Rodica and Ashley M. Hughes, University of Illinois at Chicago, HFE WOMAN
At the 2017 HFES Annual Meeting, 154 women met to foster professional development opportunities during the HFE Women’s Organization for Mentoring and Networking (HFE WOMAN) HFES-sponsored luncheon. (For more information about this event, please see past Bulletin posts from 2016 and 2017).
We created a survey to gather feedback from attendees regarding their level of satisfaction (from 1 = very dissatisfied to 7 = very satisfied) and relative importance of eight aspects of the lunch (from 1 = most important to 8 = least important) to identify areas of improvement for future lunches. Survey participants rated the following eight aspects of the lunch: guest speaker, food quality, venue accessibility, table size, cost to participate, size of lunch, duration of lunch, and activities that occurred during the lunch (e.g., sharing recent accomplishments). Roughly a third of the individuals (n = 50) voluntarily participated in a survey about their experience.
Overall, most respondents rated the lunch favorably (M = 6.02), and several participants rated their satisfaction as very high for the venue’s accessibility from the conference hotel (M = 6.36), cost to participate (M = 6.18), and the luncheon activity of “sharing accomplishments” (M = 6.06). The most highly ranked element (ranked = 1/8; n = 13; 26%), participation in the activity of sharing professional and personal accomplishments, was described to be inspiring for others. A few women commented that they enjoyed hearing other people’s accomplishments, which led to being able to network with others. However, others noted a lack of relatability in this activity, as sharing obstacles and failures was not a part of the conversation. In general, 38% of the respondents in the survey enjoyed attending the lunch. This was supported by appreciative comments such as “thank you” or “great idea!”
As part of this survey, we sought feedback to identify areas of improvement for future HFES-sponsored women’s group luncheons. Although average ratings of satisfaction for the lunch were high, participants rated the quality of the food (M = 5.04) and the duration of the lunch (M = 5.84) as only slightly satisfactory. In looking at the relative importance of these aspects, however, the majority of respondents rated the quality of the food (ranked = 7/8; n = 10; 20%) as less important compared with other aspects of the lunch. Duration of the lunch was ranked as very important (ranked = 3/8; n =9, 18%), meaning that future luncheons should seek to optimize the time to best accommodate attendees’ schedules.
Participants particularly focused on improving seating arrangements, with the size of the tables (M = 5.60) and number of attendees (M = 5.94) as additional aspects warranting improvement. Forty percent of survey respondents (N = 50) felt that the level of noise at the venue was an issue, making it difficult to communicate with other attendees. Some felt this may be due to the acoustics of the room (n = 6), which is disappointing given that 36% of individuals (ranked = 2/8, 3/8; n = 18) believed that the venue was very important.
Finally, one area noting improvement received mixed results from respondents: 32% rated cost as very important (ranked = 2/8, 3/8), whereas 32% rated this aspect as not or least important (rank = 7/8 or 8/8). In reflecting on this mixed response, we will consider the cost of attendance at future lunch gatherings based on student status and will seek to collect this information in future survey(s).
Almost all attendees expressed an interest in participating in the event again, demonstrating the value for continuing to offer these lunches at future HFES meetings. We thank HFES for continued support of the women’s group efforts and encourage anyone who is interested in learning more, getting involved, or sponsoring women’s group efforts to contact us directly at email@example.com.