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HFESA 2017 Conference Report

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA) held their “Sustainable Ergonomics” conference from November 26-29, 2017. The roster of 135 delegates included participants from Australia, South Africa, Japan, Scandinavia, and Europe. Professor Glen Salkeld welcomed the attendees, and Stephen Ward presented the Cumming Memorial Lecture. Keynote speakers Professor Andrew Thatcher, Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, and Professor Helen Hasan discussed various aspects of the “sustainable ergonomics” theme. The conference featured an excellent site visit to Sustainable House, which set the tone for the remainder of the conference.

Hands-on workshops were presented as follows:
  • Robyn Clay-Williams: Using Functional Resonance Analysis method (FRAM) to improve work process design.
  • Andrew Wright: Usability testing for ergonomists: How to conduct a usability test.
  • Wendy Elford: HFE practice for the 21st century: designing a sustainable career.
  • Steve Ward: Technical drawing--learning the language of design.
  • Robyn Coman: Whole-body mapping: potential uses for qualitative methods in HFE.
  • Alison Bell: Accessing the evidence: Tips and tricks for free-access literature searching.
  • Rodney Powell: The elephants in the room: “Addressing “non–acute risk MSD” manual task risks.
Presentations spanned all areas of ergonomics, and were “slowed down” to allow discussion and reflection by having 20-minute oral presentations followed by 10 minutes of discussion.

A social program showcased the local coastal strip, and the logo and theme set the look and feel of the conference and assisted in marketing the local identity. The location, grounds, and assistance of our Gold Sponsor, University of Wollongong, were invaluable.

Go to Twitter #HFESA2017 for a living record of the conference.

Many thanks to Katrina James, Alison Bell, Carlo Caponecchia, Melissa Baysari, Robyn Coman, Sharon Todd, and Andrew Wright for compiling the conference report.


HFESA Presidents: past and present at HFESA 2017 Gala Dinner.
Back L-R: Christine Aitken, Margaret Cook (Current HFESA president), Mike Reagan.
Front L-R: Barbara McPhee, Jenny Long, Rodney Powell, David Caple.


Conference Committee – (left to right) Alison Bell, Katrina James, Robyn Coman, Carlo Caponecchia, Andrew Wright, Melissa Baysari and Sharon Todd.