News: Masterclasses debut at EHF2019


One of the co-Chairs of the CIEHF's Ergonomics & Human Factors 2019 conference, Dave Golightly of Newcastle University, talks to Lou Boulden, CIEHF's Communications Manager, about the new Masterclasses taking place on the first day of the conference on 29 April.

Why is the Institute introducing Masterclasses for the first time at EHF2019?
The purpose of the Masterclasses is to give people the chance to hear from experts in their fields about key issues and approaches relevant to ergonomics and human factors today. They'll give people longer to immerse themselves in a topics - a half day - rather than the usual shorter conference workshops and discussions, and they'll give presenters longer to work through problems or methods in depth and in an interactive manner. We've deliberately approached certain members  who are working in the latest developments to run the Masterclasses, for example 'Mobility as a Service' or the new British Standard for user-centred organisations, or in areas such as safety culture and mobile working that we know are critical in contemporary working environments.

What's been the reaction so far?
It's the first year we've run them so we're really delighted with the positive reaction we've had so far to the idea. All the presenters of our six Masterclasses are really respected in their areas and highly knowledgeable; we're really pleased that Barry Kirwan and Tom Stewart have agreed to run two of them, for example. We hope that this is something we'll be repeating at future conferences so that people over the years can build knowledge while different presenters get to showcase cutting-edge techniques and ideas to our community. We've deliberately tried to offer a range of methods – some very tactical like task analysis, while others, like the user-centred organisation standard, are much more about strategy. Also, we've tried to cover a range of domains including healthcare, aviation, accessibility and accident investigation.
What will human factors specialists gain from coming along to them?

By having longer, half day sessions, people will get the chance to learn about these topics in depth. Our presenters are also people who have generated research and technical outputs but are themselves experienced practitioners, so they know the issues and challenges people face when applying their ergonomics knowledge and skills and will be able to reflect that in their Masterclasses. We have worked with our presenters to make sure the Masterclasses are interactive, so participants will get hands-on experience of themes, such as task analysis for healthcare, and come away with a new understanding of these areas. These are superb opportunities for CPD too, where the learning outcomes will be obvious and very worthwhile.
If you could sum up in one line just why these Masterclasses are unmissable, what would that be?

You'll get the chance to take a deep dive into a key contemporary topic in ergonomics with an expert in their field.

How do people book their place on these Masterclasses?

Just go to the EHF2019 event web pages for more information. Places are limited, so don't wait too long...