Academic impact

Academic impact
2 June 2016 frances

In academia there is a great deal of focus currently on impact – the effect that research has on real-world problems. Universities are under increasing pressure to demonstrate that the research carried out not only has benefit in terms of knowledge but also in terms of the difference it makes to people’s lives. The aim is to encourage translation and conversation between research and practice so that they inform and shape each other.

While the theories and principles of ergonomics and human factors can sometimes be difficult to communicate, as soon as the story of a piece of ergonomics or human factors research is told, the impact the discipline has on day to day life becomes immediately evident.

All that practitioners and researchers need to do is to get their stories out there – whether through social media such as LinkedIn or Twitter (where the CIEHF is pleased to now have 2000+ followers), the traditional media, publications like The Ergonomist, our collection of case studies started by former CIEHF president Sarah Sharples or through the white papers being developed by our new President, Ian Randle. Telling the story is essential to keeping the conversation between research and practice going, to encourage the constant flow of ideas.

As ever the stories in this month’s issue of The Ergonomist illustrate the impact ergonomics and human factors has on diverse areas of our lives.

Dave Sanderson describes the process of iteration by which dynamic positioning systems are honed by and for marine personnel. Andrew Healey argues that ergonomics is essential to making the future of robotics a successful one for both human and machine and Nora Balfe, David Golightly and Rebecca Charles discuss the role that simulation plays in rail signalling.

The Ergonomist is the membership magazine of the CIEHF. It is available free to members  who receive a print copy every month and can access an electronic version on the MyIEHF portal. Non-members can also subscribe or buy individual copies on the app – search ‘ergonomist’ in the app store.

If you have any ideas for feature articles on research or practice, news items, details of relevant events or suggestions for new content for The Ergonomist, please contact us.
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