Annual Dieter W. Jahns Student Practitioner AwardThe Foundation for Professional Ergonomics (FPE) initiated the Dieter W. Jahns Student Practitioner Award in 2010. The award, named in memory of Dieter W. Jahns, a life-long advocate of the practice of Ergonomics and a leader in Ergonomics Certification, is an annual award and is given to the student (or group of students) for an Ergonomics project that demonstrates the major practice areas of Ergonomics: Analysis, Design, and Evaluation (see past winners). The purpose of the award is to advance professionalism in Ergonomics by recognizing educational activities that demonstrate how professional ergonomists serve to make our lives at work and at home healthier, safer, more productive, and more satisfying. This award is open to students (M.S. or Ph.D.) in Ergonomics and Ergonomics-related programs. Students who have completed their graduate degrees in the past year are also eligible.

    Download the complete details on criteria and submission format.

    Important Dates for the Next Award
    Submission Deadline: May 31, 2017  
    Notification: July 31, 2017
    Award Presentation: October 10, 2017

    The Award and cash prize of $1,000 (US) will be presented at the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE) Reception during the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, October 9-13, 2017, at the J W Marriott in Austin, Texas USA. The winner does NOT have to travel to Austin to accept the award.


    As this is a practitioner award, the student (or students) should describe and document a research or intervention project that exhibits:

    • the major practice areas of Ergonomics: Analysis, Design, and Evaluation
    • direct, practical application
    • final design recommendations or a description of how the resulting information can be applied to design

    Entries will be judged by the Board of Directors of the FPE.

    Submissions can be made individually or as a group. They should provide adequate descriptions, illustrations or photos, and details that address the judging criteria.


    Submissions can be made individually or as a group.

    1. Submissions should provide adequate descriptions, illustrations or photos, and details that address the judging criteria.
    2. Read the complete details for submission criteria and format
    3. Submission should be sent electronically to:

    Robert J. Smillie, PhD, CPE
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    A world in which ergonomics knowledge and resources are accessible for all developing populations to live and work safely, efficiently and sustainably.


    Ergonomists are naturally concerned for others’ well-being and look to improve quality of life. Ergonomists Without Borders, a project of the Foundation for Professional Ergonomics, strives to do so globally in agriculturally and industrially developing communities.

    Dr. Andy Imada of California, president of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, called Ergonomists Without Borders, “a chance to give back to the world community,” noting that the impact from even modest ergonomic support would be highest in industrially developing communities.

    Organizations in agriculturally and industrially developing communities can contact Ergonomists Without Borders to locate individuals qualified to provide expertise services as well as to give workshops in person or by virtual means. The organization also offers professional ergonomics assistance. These services are provided at no cost to the recipients other than coverage of expenses. Minnesota-based ergonomics consultant Dr. Nancy Larson, a member of Ergonomists Without Borders, said the group is leveraging technology to keep costs down. The committee also intends to fundraise to reduce costs to recipients.

    The group began in 2007 and attracted much interest on ErgoWeb. It is revived with a new organizational committee, which includes members in Mexico and Colombia. The group’s mission is “to improve quality of life by providing ergonomics expertise and resources to agriculturally and industrially developing communities, globally.” The committee is expanding its network to connect with colleagues and learn what training, resources or collaboration is of interest to those in the target communities. Larson underlined the importance of this networking and listening stage.

    Dr. Carlos Espejo Guasco, a founder of the Society of Ergonomists of Mexico (known as SEMAC, for its Spanish acronym), as well as the Central American and Caribbean Occupational Health Federation (FECACSO) and a member of Ergonomists Without Borders, has long been passionate about sharing knowledge across borders. He has traveled extensively to give workshops and spearhead the creation of professional societies. Dr. Espejo Guasco has encountered enthusiastic response from ergonomists and many others who want to apply ergonomics to their professions. He said what is needed most is simply the will to share time and expertise.

    Dr. Robert Smillie of California, president of the Foundation for Professional Ergonomics, believes that willingness is there. “A lot of professionals are certainly willing to lend their expertise,” he said, “They just need to be made aware there is a relationship like this and try to pick out a project.”

    Ergonomists Without Borders recently sent ergonomics textbooks to the Ergonomics Society of Nigeria. The group provides free access to papers and other written materials on its website, Dr. Yordán Rodríguez Ruíz, professor at the National College of Public Health of the University of Antioquia, in Medellín, Colombia, is a member of Ergonomists Without Borders. He said among other things, he envisions the group creating a space to communicate in Spanish about ergonomics in Latin America, and to present information about the region for a global audience.

    Dr. Rodríguez Ruíz and Dr. Espejo Guasco both noted businesses and governments in Latin America are increasingly concerned about ergonomics. Dr. Rodríguez Ruíz said he feels this presents an important opportunity to demonstrate the value of ergonomics to those who are encountering the field for the first time, and to expand their interest to more systematic approaches, as well as non-physical ergonomics.

    Ergonomists Without Borders member Dr. Nancy Theberge, a sociologist who is Professor Emerita in the Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo in Ontario, agreed careful relations and cultural understanding would be part of that process, a lesson she has learned even in North American domestic practice. “Successful implementation of ergonomics involves crucial consideration of things that don’t have much to do with technical aspects of ergonomics,” she said, such as social and cultural climates in organizations and even broader political contexts.

    With increased collaboration among colleagues around the world, Ergonomists Without Borders supports the profession in agriculturally and industrially developing communities, where workers and consumers, like those anywhere in the world, are grateful for safer, more comfortable conditions.

    Ergonomists Without Borders Members led an Ergonomics Training Course in the Dominican Republic in December 1-3, 2015. Committee members Dr. Carlos Espejo Guasco and Dr. Tom Albin presented an applied ergonomics course in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The worshop was sponsored by the Administradora de Riesgos Laborales Salud Segura (Administration for Occupational Hazards and Health Insurance), an agency of the Government of the Dominican Republic, and by Sociedad Dominicana de Ergonomía, La Sociedad de Ergonomistas de Mexico and Caribbean, and the International Ergonomics Association.

    Ergonomists Without Borders currently has two projects: one with the Institute for Work and Health in Ontario to translate an on line office ergonomics training course into Spanish and English; and a second with MobilityBuilders, a non-profit group that builds and supplies custom fitted pediatric wheelchairs in Peru.

    erofound staff
    Ergonomics training course in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic attendees.

    If you are intersted in learning more about either of these projects, or are just interested in learning more about Ergonomists Without Borders, contact us at to seek resources and assistance, volunteer expertise or materials, or make a financial donation to support future projects.


    Each year a BCPE preparatory class is offered at the Applied Ergonomics Conference. The small size of the review class makes it possible to target the class to the audience's needs by answering specific questions and practicing human factors problem solving scenarios. Attendees of past prep classes have included individuals with educational backgrounds in occupational and physical therapy, safety, and human factors engineering. The diverse backgrounds of attendees demonstrate that the profession remains one in which some individuals enter via higher education in human factors, while others enter from other professions. The FPE and BCPE acknowledge the board members of the Applied Ergonomics Conference (AEC) for choosing to offer the class despite its small number of attendees, recognizing that this is the only preparation class offered. The AEC board members feel that it is important to encourage professionalism through the credentialing process, as do the board members of the Foundation for Professional Ergonomics. Please check the web for the latest AEC dates and location.

    FPE facilitates mentoring of students and early career professionals in the practice of Ergonomics. Although university degree programs provide the basic knowledge and skills of any profession, practice skills and standards of professional conduct are best learned "on the job." Unfortunately, most choosing to enter the field do not have the opportunity to participate in the relatively few formal internship programs that might be available. Mentoring through FPE is a more informal process by which individuals are paired with established professionals for the specific purposes and needs of the mentee. This is typically accomplished remotely, even internationally, through various electronic media and technology. Examples include: pairing on shared research interests and/or projects, serving ad hoc on thesis and dissertation committees, practicum/temporary/entry level employment...the mentoring opportunities available through FPE are limitless.

    Anyone interested in becoming involved with the student mentoring program should contact Bob Smillie, PhD, CPE at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or H. Harvey Cohen, PhD, CPE at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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