Featured Speakers

Presenters with accomplished background, experience and expertise in the selected area as well as the field of ergonomics are invited by the Applied Ergonomics Conference chairs to present on a specific topic that is of interest to attendees. Featured speakers for each of the 2021 conference focus areas are highlighted in the program.

During these sessions, participants will hear about the strategies, tactics, successes, challenges and results from the speakers. No advance registration is required.

Tuesday, March 23

NeuroErgonomics: A New Frontier in the Evaluation of Work with Applications Ranging from Modern Office Solutions to Exoskeletons

Presenter: Ranjana Mehta, Texas A&M University
2:10 - 2:50 p.m. ET

Neuroergonomics has been an instrumental approach for Ergonomics and Human Factors professionals to understand, evaluate, predict, and improve elements of human performance (such as workload, training, stress, and fatigue) in several work domains. This presentation will introduce the need for such mind-body evaluations, current pros and cons of neuroergonomic evaluations in applied work settings, and discussion of emerging neuroergonomics metrics (i.e., functional connectivity, neural efficiency) to quantify human experience and performance in the design, test, and implementation processes for ergonomic products, ranging from sit-stand desks to exoskeletons. The importance of neuroergonomic evaluations in facilitating equitable ergonomic designs for different groups of workers (e.g., gender, age) will also be discussed.

Ranjana Mehta is an associate professor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University. She is also a graduate faculty with the Texas A&M Institute for Neuroscience at Texas A&M University, director of the NeuroErgonomics Laboratory, co-director of the Texas A&M Ergonomics Center, and a faculty fellow with the Center for Population Health and Aging and the Center for Remote Health Technologies and Systems. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, M.E. from University at Buffalo and B.E. from Mumbai University.

She is the recipient of the 2019 AEC Creativeness in Ergonomics Practitioner of the Year Award.

Thursday, March 25

Returning to Work with COVID-19: Lessons from the California Grocery Worker Study

Presenter: Carisa Harris Adamson, Ph.D., CPE
2:10 - 2:45 p.m. ET

Frontline workers in our grocery stores have been learning how to work with COVID-19 for the past year. The California Grocery Worker Study collected data on over 1,000 workers to determine which organizational and workplace factors were associated with anxiety and depression while working during the pandemic. This seminar will present the findings of the study and how we can apply them as we bring more of the workforce back to the worksite.

Carisa Harris Adamson, Ph.D., CPE is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). She is the deputy director of the Northern California Center of Occupational & Environmental Health at the University of California at Berkeley and the director of the UCSF/UCB Ergonomics Research & Graduate Training Program. Dr. Harris and her team performs research in a variety of areas focused on understanding and preventing work related injuries and improving human performance, productivity and health. Her epidemiological research assesses and adjusts for healthy worker survivor bias in the assessment of physical, personal and work psychosocial factors associated with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and subsequent work disability. Additionally, her team is developing and/or testing a variety of exposure assessment devices (wearables) for primary and secondary prevention purposes and performs various intervention studies on occupational tasks with high risk of musculoskeletal injuries, such as the implementation of passive exoskeletons in construction work.