HFES' Europe Chapter Celebrates Silver Anniversary

The keynote speaker at the 25th anniversary meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society's Europe Chapter will be Elizabeth "Liz" Carver of BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre (Bristol, UK). Her keynote speech on the first afternoon of the Oct. 15-17 event is titled "Human Factors in emergency response and management," a topic appropriate for the meeting's theme of Safety & Security.

Carver may not dwell on the historical significance of the setting -- the Evenementencentrum Casino in Soesterberg, which is located in the heart of The Netherlands, between Amersfoort and Utrecht -- but some attendees will recall that city as the starting point for the chapter. Its founding meeting took place Jan. 24-25, 1983, in Soesterberg, with chapter bylaws approved by the original 17 members about five months later. Chapter accreditation was approved on July 8, 1983, by HFES, and the Europe Chapter's first business meeting took place Sept. 14, 1983, the chapter's first president, Jan Moraal, recalled in a short history penned for the chapter's first 2008 newsletter. Last year's conference, held Oct. 24-26 in Braunschweig, Germany, attracted 86 presenters, Moraal noted, adding that members now come from Scandinavia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States, Estonia, Greece, Belgium, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.

The chapter's geographic diversity is borne out by the meeting's program, which includes presenters from all over Europe, including Turkey, and from Israel and Japan. Topic areas are training, transportation, crisis management, automation, aviation, public surveillance, workload, and miscellaneous. Sessions will be presented on new approaches for simulator training of train drivers in Europe, enhanced information design for high-speed trains, teamwork during flooding and other emergencies, in-vehicle information systems and driver distractions, menu interaction in heads-up displays, overtrust in automation, workflow support and human factors feedback in aviation maintenance work, staffing patterns in operating rooms, and bus drivers' attitudes toward technology integrated into their dashboards, and several other subjects.

Keynoter Carver has nearly 30 years of research experience to her credit, according to a newsletter interview of her by Stefan Rottger, who is the chapter's newsletter editor. Carver is particularly interested in collaboration within extended networks and across organizational boundaries; her current involvement with the CEC project OASIS has her working on "interoperability, display technology for first responders, and situational awareness in crisis management systems," he wrote. When Rottger asked Carver about important issues in the future, she listed four:

* Critical thinking in light of more and more autonomous systems
* Understanding and dealing with complexity
* The role of time
* Don't let us forget to talk -- and don't let us be controlled by e-mail!

Registration fees include attendance for the three-day program, a copy of the proceedings, refreshments and lunches, bus travel between the Amersfoort center and hotels, and an Oct. 16 dinner excursion. Visit www.hfes-europe.org/ for more information on the annual meeting and chapter activities.

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