UB Industrial Engineering Department Receives Two Awards from International Ergonomics Association

Release Date: October 20, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The work of the Department of Industrial Engineering in the University at Buffalo's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences was recognized with two awards at the International Ergonomics Association (IEA) Congress held recently in Seoul, South Korea.

Department Chair Colin Drury, UB Distinguished Professor, was named an IEA fellow for his outstanding contributions to the fields of ergonomics and human factors engineering. One of only 44 IEA fellows throughout the world, Drury is an expert on aircraft inspection and safety, and heads the Federal Aviation Administration research group at UB. The group is working with the FAA to improve the reliability of civil aircraft.

A resident of Williamsville, Drury also is a fellow with The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the Ergonomics Society.

Also honored at the IEA Congress was UB alumnus Seung-Kweon Hong, Ph.D. '03, who received the IEA's $3,000 student paper prize for his dissertation on optimal policies for visual inspection of aircraft. His research examined how aircraft inspectors simultaneously search for multiple defects, such as cracks and corrosion. He argued that inspectors need to know how long to inspect each piece of an aircraft's structure in order to conduct effective inspections.

UB industrial-engineering graduate students have won the student paper prize twice in a row. UB alumna Caren Wenner, B.S. '92, Ph.D., '00, won in 2000 for her dissertation on how the content of instructions affects inspection of aircraft. She found that providing instructions alerting inspectors to previous defection sites helps them find those defects, without overlooking other areas where defects are more rare.

IEA is a federation of ergonomics and human factors societies from around the world. Its congress meets every three years. The mission of IEA is to elaborate and advance ergonomics science and practice, and to improve the quality of life by expanding the scope of ergonomic application to society.

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