Friday, 21 August 2009

Driving Ergonomics Special Interest Group

Yesterday I went to the inaugural meeting of the Ergonomics Society’s newest Special Interest Group (SIG) – the Driving Ergonomics SIG. This was hosted at Cranfield University, though the SIG has been set up and chaired by Nick Gkikas of Loughborough University.

There’s currently some 20-odd members in the SIG, and more than half of those turned up yesterday. It’s a really good mix of academic and industrial members too, with representatives from the likes of Jaguar, Nissan, and TRL.

The meeting had a speed-dating feel to it, with rapid fire presentations from a selection of attendees – Steve Summerskill from Loughborough, Chris Day from Nissan, me, and Nick Reed from TRL – all in less than an hour! But this was quite nice to get a sampler of the backgrounds of members. And whether by accident or design, there was good balance between physical ergonomics (Steve and Chris) and the more cognitive side (Nick and me).

It already promises to be a highly active SIG, with much discussion (at the time and afterwards via the new LinkedIn group) about the objectives of the SIG and what various members want to get out of it. We’re planning to meet quarterly, and longer-term ambitions are to have some outputs – maybe a conference session, for instance. I certainly think it’s a Good Thing, and with such an enthusiastic membership it has a lot of momentum behind it.

I’m only sorry I couldn’t get to the pub for more discussion afterwards – but then I was driving home, so couldn’t have sampled the local’s finest anyway…

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