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Oct. 17, 2022

HFES President Trio | #HFES2022 | Bonus Episode

On this bonus conference coverage episode of Human Factors Cast we interviewed Carolyn Sommerich about her plans as President of HFES, Susan about becoming the incoming President-elect, and Chris Reid about his time as President over the past year.


Recorded in front of a LIVE studio audience on October 11th, 2022, in Atlanta Georgia. Hosted by Nick Roome and Barry Kirby with guests Carolyn Sommerich, Susan Kotowski, and Chris Reid.

On this bonus conference coverage episode of Human Factors Cast we interviewed Carolyn Sommerich about her plans as President of HFES, Susan about becoming the incoming President-elect, and Chris Reid about his time as President over the past year.

This episode is part of our #HFES2022 live coverage. The other episodes as well as the full live stream can be found here:

 

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Transcript

 

Welcome to Human Factors cast your weekly podcast for human Factors psychology and design.

 

 

All right, I'm so sorry to interrupt here, but look who we have in studio with us. Whoa. Hey, Caroline, great to see you. How are you? I'm well. How are you today? Yeah, welcome to the show. Carolyn, summary. So you are incoming president and we have some questions for you. We would love to hear a little bit more about sort of what your goal for HFP as president or what your goal as HFP as president this year is going to be. Well, that's

 

 

I really want to continue to increase the value of membership for people. I want to encourage that we figure out new ways of retaining our transition members. So when a student graduates, we want to retain that person as an early career professional. And so we need to kind of solve that issue. And so that means providing more value, more opportunities for these folks to continue their involvement. They're so involved when they're students. We want to keep that level of interest. But of course, that means that we have to have an offering for them that's attractive, that HFPS continues to be a resource for them. And so that's a naughty problem and we haven't figured that out yet. We also want to continue all of our good advocacy work on behalf of Human Factors and ergonomics. So that means continuing to with our public relations and our government relations work to let more of the public. More industry. More government. Understand the value and the benefit of Human Factors in that way that benefits the public. But it also benefits our members in terms of job demand and career opportunities for them. Yeah. Barry, did you have something? Yeah. Carolyn, firstly, great to meet you and congratulations on picking up the presidency to get a bit of understanding around, I guess, your own personal drivers behind that. Why did you decide to step up in the first place? What was your driving passion about wanting to become president? So I think that's really an important question, and I mentioned that a little bit in my short introduction speech this morning. Somebody tapped me on the shoulder and said, hey, we think you'd be good for this. And I think that that's really an important thing. Sometimes there's this perception that men step up to things and women wait to be invited. And I don't necessarily believe that it's quite that dividing line. But I do believe that some people. If you just give them that little bit of a nudge. A little bit of that encouragement to say. Hey. You really do have the background. The experience. The drive to do this thing or that thing. And so we want to invite you to participate in our committee. Or. We think that you would actually be great as the chair of this committee. Or whatever that is. And so it was truly that is that some people talk to me not just about this position, but also for Secretary Treasurer when I was considering that people had nominated me. So that makes you think, okay, well, some people think I could do this, and really, is there a reason why I couldn't do this? Is this time, given all of my experience, that I should step up and do this? Because it's about service and it does take time. And so it really isn't well for me, it's not about me wanting to be this so much as there's a need. And I think I have a fair amount of experience now and perspective on the society. So it's time to step up. If you look at how the elections process works and nominations process, we tend to have a fair number of people who nominate at the executive council member at large level, much fewer number of people for Secretary Treasurer and even fewer for President. And yet we have a lot of people who have the experience to do this. And so you really need to think about, is it time for me to step up and offer myself to take on this responsibility? Yeah. Carolyn, a couple of comments, I guess, from Chat here. First one curious pearl on Twitch. It definitely can make a difference to get that nudge to know someone believes you would rock a position. I think that's absolutely right. And then over here on LinkedIn, good points. Also important to invite talented people from marginalized groups into leadership. So I agree with both those points. And I want to bring up something. So I guess the next question I have for you is this is the first time we've really talked outside of a town hall, which welcome to the show officially. So Chris, as a town hall, always presents sort of this big roadmap of where HFPS is going. Can you talk a little bit about what that roadmap looks like with you as president and what you're hoping to accomplish within that roadmap? So we're continuing on with the roadmap, and there are a number of things that did get accomplished, for sure those are in place or they're starting out. There are some things that we haven't got initiated yet, and so we still work on those. And then there are some that are sort of in the middle. So if you see the roadmap, you can see kind of where we are, and we're not stopping our efforts on any of those. One of the things that we're just getting started is this industry advisory board. And Chris has been pushing for that for a while. I know I'm in an academic department. We have an industry advisory board, and they provide us with a lot of good perspective and thought in terms of how are we preparing our students for careers. And so I think this having HFS have an industry advisory board is going to be good for us in terms of. Again. Thinking about what are the needs of industry. But also how do we help our students. Help our young professionals. How do we prepare them. What do we give them that maybe in addition to what they're getting in their academic programs that will help them be ready for working in industry. Which is what most people do. They don't go into academia, so we need to prepare them for those careers. Certainly we want to keep up supporting our efforts in diversity, equity and inclusion. Little tiny thing is updating the website. We've done so much in this area and about Dei is still statements that we wrote two or three years ago. And it's almost like we're so busy that we haven't had enough time to just update people and tell them what we're doing. And we have been doing a lot. Gwen Malone has agreed to co chair the Diversity and Inclusion Committee along with Abby Woodridge, and I'm really happy to have Gwen on that.

 

 

I'm looking forward to having that committee be even more active this year. And Gwen's got some really great ideas. She got the IPOC affinity group up and running and it's really going well now, and so she's handing off the reins to that. And so now she's going to be transitioning to chairing the Diversity Inclusion Committee and I think it'll be really exciting to have her on there. Yeah, so, just to put you on the spot a bit Carolyn perspective, I'm currently the President, Elector, the Chatting Institute of Human Factors here in the UK, and in April I become President. What can we do on an international, I guess, collaborative basis? What can we do internationally better for the benefit of the HF community? Well, I think that really poses a lot of interesting opportunity and I'm actually looking forward to going to the IEA meeting, which is at the end of this month. Are you going to that? I'm not going to this one because we can't make it, but a couple of our representatives are definitely going to be there. Excellent. So I think that's going to present us with some opportunities for formal discussions, but also very informal discussions as well. I think something is as simple as some joint conversations, right? Joint webinars that are at a time when people from both of our organizations could actually participate. I know sometimes we have to think about winter town halls and sometimes later in the afternoon, which isn't great for people in the UK or certainly not for people in Australia, but we do have some folks still listening in. And it always amazes me because I'm thinking, what time is it for these people? So even just little things like that, like scheduling things at different times from when we might normally think is a convenient time to give people the opportunity to participate in real time and have conversations and ask questions. I think doing some meetings where we have some breakout sessions where people can meet each other and exchange ideas. I think those would be really low stakes, but potentially high benefit starting point. I think there's quite a lot of value there in just having the conversations, which is possibly something we haven't done as much of before, but yet now we have the means to do. So make a hand over to you. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to seeing what that collaboration looks like across the sea, so to speak. So my final question for you today, thinking about your time as president, it's the last day you're handing over the reins to Susan. What do you want your legacy to be?

 

 

Well. It really would be about membership and having more young people feel that this is a society that they want to be connected with for the foreseeable future in their careers. That this really feels like a home for them. That practitioners feel like this is a home for them and that. You know. People have you know. We've been working hard on our code of conduct. Code of ethics. Because it matters how people act and how they treat each other. And so we want people to have a very good experience in any activity that they're involved with, whether it's the meeting here or whether it's a webinar or whether it's a review of your manuscript. We want all of that to be good and to be productive and to be learning opportunities and to have them feel like they're growth opportunities and not anything in the negative at all. So I hope people just feel more connected to HFPS than they have. That's a great goal to have. Well, Carolyn, thank you so much for coming on and talking to us. We're going to take a quick break and we'll be back with our next guest right after this. Human Factors Cast brings you the best in Human Factors news interviews, conference coverage, and overall fun conversations into each and every episode we produce. But we can't do it without you. The human factors. Cast Network is 100% listenersupported. All the funds that go into running the show come from our listeners. Our patrons are our priority, and we want to ensure we're giving back to you for supporting us. Pledges start at just $1 per month and include rewards like access to our weekly Q and A's with the hosts personalized to, professional reviews, and Human Factors Minute, a Patreon only weekly podcast where the hosts breakdown unique, obscure and interesting humanfactors topics in just 1 minute. Patreon rewards are always evolving, so stop by Patreon.com Humanfactorscast to see what support level may be right for you. Thank you. And remember, it depends. I am sitting here with Susan Katowski, incoming presidentelect of HFPS. Welcome to the show. It's a pleasure to have you. Thanks so much inviting me. We love to have you. And we always call it part of our President trio. We do the sort of President, presidentelect and then immediate past President as sort of the package deal. Love getting sort of the various perspectives and love sort of the handoff process, but I want to sort of start high level. Let's just talk about you. Who are you, what's your background? Let the people get to know you a little bit. I am an associate professor at the University of Cincinnati goberjet at college Allied Health Sciences. I teach primarily in an undergraduate program, health science, very large undergraduate health science program for students who want to go into fields like medicine and therapy and things like that. I also research as well in various areas, primarily healthcare. My background is in mechanical and industrial engineering. I like to say now I engineer people. I have a dad who's an engineer, a mom to a nurse and I really wanted the two to intersect and I think Human Factors and Ergonomics does that perfectly. So that's where I landed. That's how I landed here. Yeah. That's really great to meet you, Susan, and thank you so much for giving up the time which everybody we spoke to has been saying about just how great it is to see people again, interact with people, and that's really valuable. So I guess just get to the integrity of the presidency side of it first. Was it that made you seek election to the presidency? Because you don't just wake up in the morning and go,

 

 

michael, but are you just fancy the ego bit or was there a driving force behind why you wanted to do it? It wasn't about me at all. I've been in the society since a grad student, so by now that's been a while and just kind of seeing where we've been and there's just, I think, some places we need to go and I was ready to jump in and make that happen. So, yeah, it's actually been about a year long process of a decision to finally jump in. I was Secretary Treasure. Elect. I helped us get through COVID we're in a good spot, which was definitely a challenge. And then so now all in right now. So you say you want to get in, get stuff done. What is it that you want to get done? What do you want to change? What's sort of your personal mission within HFPS? A couple of different things. One is when I started, I was in a very active technical group and I really want to reinvigorate technical groups. We have, I mean, thousands of people with a tremendous amount of knowledge and I think we have so much more we can do with that, both internally and externally. So I really want to utilize that knowledge to get us out there into the world of really human factors is in your life every day, everywhere, everybody. But I don't think everybody knows that. They know they have issues, they know there are problems. They don't realize that there are human factors and economics issues. So a lot of education, like I said, we just have so much to give in terms of knowledge and help and so forth. So that's one really big area that I want to focus on. That's fantastic here, because you're right, it seems to be, as I've been doing, HF, it's the idea that most people don't get that we can solve, not necessarily solve everything, but actually contribute to an awful lot of understanding that we possibly don't get stuck into. It's so easy to focus on the abdomen. We're going into those domains that we don't necessarily know that we can make a difference. Just to take another step back, we've talked to myself and a couple of others already who have been taking his presidency steps. What is that process for election into HFS? Well, if you suddenly wake up and go, I want to do this, what is doing it? Yeah, it's definitely a process. So we start earlier in the summer with a call for nominations. So you have to go out and depends which position you want. Our Secretary, Treasurer Elect and our President elect, you have to go out and get at least five people to nominate you to get on the ballot. But you really need more than that. So your goal is to get as many people to just nominate you to get you on the ballot as possible. And then that time period closes. The top, the people with the most of our nominations get on the ballot for President, secretary, Treasure Electric and also Executive Counsel. And then there's a time period of months where the ballot is actually open. So that's kind of campaign number two is to then actually go and get everybody to vote for you. So it is definitely a process. Yeah. So a lot of people I want to jump into a little bit about the state of the society right now. Right. A lot of people look to these professional organizations like HFPS for personal professional growth, that type of thing. The question of what's in it for me, there's no secret that membership is declining. Do you think about the value of membership right now? Do you think it's enough? Do you think we should be doing more? If you think we should be doing more, where do you think the society can provide more value to those folks that would say those things? I do think we can do more. I think it's definitely an area where we can grow. I think one is and we're working on this, and some of our past presidents and our current, new current president plan to continue this, building bridges through memory and understanding with different other organizations where we certainly can have an impact and we have we can have a good relationship. It makes sense to work with them. I think there are some others that I will work towards, people with more boots on the ground, the actual organizations towards the workers themselves, the people who are experiencing these issues but probably don't know that it's a human factors and ergonomics related issue. Let's get to those people and not only work top down, but work bottom up as well. Get them educated, get them wanting to know more, get them wanting to be involved as well. Connection, other people. I think that's great connections for students mid career, just all of our different levels. Again, we have so much internal expertise and experience. I think a lot is just getting that packaged up and pushed out there. I think we can do that better and we're already seeing some of it with the new PR campaign that we're doing has already been incredibly effective in the last several weeks since we started. So super exciting there and looking for lots more. So it sounds like there's going to be on your drive, a whole lot of networking going on, lots of networking. And if I can chime in one more, we have a goal to reimagine what the 2024 meeting looks like. It's still very much in the works. You still do that last night and I was like, I don't know how I want to ask about this. And so I was just like, waiting for somebody to bring it up. I have a list of 20 something things already that we're going to give a go, we're going to look at different things, just a new look, a more energized feel, really. Ideas of how can we continue to give science driven, we will never let that go science driven information, but can we do it in some other ways other than just super traditional 1 hour sessions and so forth? And there are lots of opportunities. I actually think we'll be able to fit in more content in a reimagined look, but they're very excited for that. That will be 2024 in Phoenix. So, yeah, really looking forward to that one. That does beg the question then you've also got some ideas about what you could do differently. Can you share with us some of them, some of them thoughts on the things that you think we could do differently? Yeah. So when we talk about a lot about academic and practitioner engagement and one of them kind of a bring your problem, let's give you some solutions. So whether it be an academic who says, I think I have this thing I want to look at as from a practitioner, what do you think? Or as a practitioner, here's what I'm facing. In whatever scenario, I need you guys to tell me how to fix it. But some quick pitches, some group problem solving, just really dialogue oriented, but some free opportunity to get a lot of heads together in a short amount of time and give you a number of solutions that you can probably look into. So it's a super way to get a lot of practitioner and academic engagement. There some other things, some competition. Students, practitioners, academics, teams of people, you know, I don't know, ideal, maybe. Every day we have some little focus where in the next hour find a solution to this problem, come up with what would an app look like that would focus on this, something like that. So some fun little ways to engage more and convey that knowledge. So lots of ideas. Lots of ideas I want to talk about. So Chris always shows this big road map of things at the town halls, and I hope to see you at the next one. I'm looking forward to that. What does your roadmap look like for your tenure? It's still in the works because I just technically became official this morning. This morning. But, no, there's definitely thought, honestly, it will not look, I think, as broad in so many areas. I think I'm working towards a fewer number of areas going deeper than wide, but with the goal, because we have started in on so many things to continue to support them and move them forward. So probably fewer areas, but a much deeper dive into them while continuing to move those other areas forward. Right. So from a selfish perspective, I'm from the UK, and I'm the President lecture at the Charter Institute of Economics and Human Factors, going on to be president next year. One of the things I really want to do is really look at explore international collaboration also why we're doing things like this. I really enjoy the collaboration I've got with Nick around how we do these sort of discussions. What is it, do you think? And really put you on the spot. So, apologies for that. Between HFS and CIHF and other international organizations, what can we do at an international level to either collaborate better or just generally push that HF message better as a cohesive community? What do you think? I'd love to see you guys more involved, even in our meeting, and even vice versa. I get the whole travel is very difficult still, but we certainly, obviously have technology to do that. And I think we can very much center some things around that. But I'd love to see some workshops, webinars, specifically oriented at things like this because there are many opportunities to work with you guys and there's a lot there. I agree. So I want to jump forward, I guess, what, three years from now, three years from yesterday. It's your last day as immediate past president. What do you want your legacy to be? She wasn't afraid to try new things and

 

 

she was willing to reimagine and push us forward and see how far we can go. I think that's really what I would want. Yeah. It's a great message. I love that's. Good. So we're going to be here in three years time, and we'll hold you to that. We pull up this record. We'll pull it up. That's all right. Nothing in this for me, it's just all about everybody. It's just time, it just needs to happen. There's too much here to not share. That's a really good shout. We're still kind of in the first main day. What's been your impression so far at the conference? So far? I think it's been good. We had a great opening reception last night, lots of fun, some fun entertainment in there, good food, great networking, and moving our awards and things into that, I think was a super nice change to be able to pull that in there. So just things like that. We are moving forward, but I want to accelerate that a little bit more. But yeah, I got to one session today so far, that's one more than me and it was really nice to see. It was in healthcare, it was in something I'm interested in and passionate about and seeing that passion among people there too, and where do we need to go, how do we get there? And things like that. So continuing to look forward to those, tonight is a huge networking night for us. I need to be cloned about three times to make it all happen, but I'm going to be doing a lot of running, lots of steps tonight, but opportunities like that. But again, there's so many things going on tonight, it's not possible to get to them. So it's another thing, how can we all want to network, but how can we do that more effectively? Do we look, instead of individual siloed events, do we look at maybe something else bigger where we can all be together yet also have our own little spots? So promote engagement together that way? So just some things to allow people to engage better? Yeah. So the slate of changes that were announced, can we expect some more, I guess, micro level changes? Kind of like moving the award ceremony to the opening reception? Or we expect more changes like that? Or are they going to be bigger, more broadly? I think it's going to be a good mix. We know some things work well and so we are going to leave some of those and next year, even seeing some progression, maybe a test running a couple of these new little changes. What happens if we throw a lightning presentation session in for people? So not a traditional 30 minutes presentation with Q and A at the end, but a five minute, I'm going to present something and then I'm going to engage with you for ten more minutes in dialogue. We'll tweak a couple of things between now and then. Can I make a proposal? Absolutely. You put a human factors podcast on a stage with seats and then you just work on the schedule ahead of time. We get everybody lined up and then people can come and see and chat. It's like a day long discussion panel where instead of this where there's. But I mean, we could be up on stage, people actually could hear the conversations that we're having instead of having, we can still do this thing. But anyway, some people promotion, then, well done, you've achieved the mission. Thank you. All right, I'll add you. You're number 22 in my life. Just to dive back, I guess, into your specific interest in human factors, and you sort of highlighted that you're really interested in the medical side of things. But how did you go from what was that expression between going from the industry side of things, which is very hard steel, that sort of design all the way through to medical? What inspired that change of focus? I love working with people. I originally thought when I was in engineering, mechanical engineering, I would actually get into the medical side of things through biomedical engineering, but I kind of quickly realized you're working on things for people, you're not necessarily working with people. And I wanted the actual live engagement with a person. So I kind of realized biomedical, wasn't it? It's super cool when I do get an opportunity to work on things, but I really wanted that part of working with people. And again, having a mum who's a nurse and seeing these now retired, but now seeing these long term implications of what have ergonomic issues over a 40 year career done. I can fix it from an engineering perspective. It engages the healthcare side of things. It was just that perfect merger. Yup. Yeah, I guess you kind of answered a little bit already. How did you get into it? Actually, so my parents yeah, my last semester of undergraduate in mechanical engineering, I took a Human Factors class and it was kind of my, AHA, moment of, this is what I've been looking for and what I want to do, and I'm a twin. So they had two of us in college at the same time, and their question was, are you going to graduate on time? So I said yes. And then finding a graduate program at that point, it actually kind of happened to work out incredibly smooth. So I went on to do a Masters and then a second Masters, actually, before my doctorate. But, yeah, it was that one class I needed an elective. I honestly didn't even know what Human Factors and Ergonomics was until that point, which we need to fix that branding brand. Yes. Last semester, senior year undergraduate was when I had my moment. Yeah, that raises a really good point. It's an international problem, I think, more than anything else, because we've got exactly the same issue that most people don't find HF, find human factors. Nobody grows up wanting to go to primary school or infant school, wanting to be an organist. Right? Yeah. You want to be an astronaut or a firefighter or a doctor or a nurse or something. How do we solve that problem? How do we get people, my kids, how do they. Grow up wanting to be an Ergonomous. What can we do about that? So I have at least tried to push it back into our first year students get when we have an Intro to Health Professions course. Here's all the things you can do. And they get an ergonomics and human factors lecture. What we talk about is you're going to be a clinician and a practitioner where Human Factors and Ergonomics fits into that, which is very much so, at least getting it to that point. But we try and do things. I even do it at a level with my littlest where we're doing demonstrations to them after school care and things like that. Super simple, but introducing the concept of biomechanics and stuff to them and then just kind of appropriately engaging them throughout. But, yeah, fun little interactions with the kids, but really getting it in early, at least a minimum in there. And seeing through middle school and high school, going out into the community and saying, here's who we are, here what we do. Like I said, a lot of people know that they have issues. They just don't know that it's a human factor's economics issue. They don't know the term. They know something bothers them or they know it's really weird to do something this way and it's awkward. They don't know that it's a human factor's issue. It's funny because I do that with my three year old. I explain when I'm frustrated because of something. I say, this is because no one took into account what Daddy would do when he wants to do things. We use software in class and I'm like, you have to do this, this and this. And they're like, well, that's goofy, right? Because the software designer didn't work with the end user. That's a human factor's issue. But they don't know that. They just know it doesn't work well, exactly. So we have a couple of minutes left. Do you have any musings that you want to let people know about? Anything about the state of the society, the conference, healthcare? Anything funny happening? No, you guys can't see it there. I should have brought a picture. Did you notice our lovely balloons? Yes, the balloons. Yes, the balloon. Can we talk about the balloons? Have you heard? I heard the balloons. Sorry. But please tell it. Please tell me. I'll try to bring up pictures here while we're talking about it. We're in a hotel, a fairly large hotel, and there are multiple conferences going on simultaneously here. And there was a pretty sweaty conference going on downstairs that had balloons and T shirts and music and we wanted to go check out who they were. What night was it? Saturday night. And so I know fear. Like I said, I'm all about it. I go down there and there's these huge balloon garlands that are really cool and yes, exactly. And I'm like, what are you guys doing? I'm like, who are you guys? And they're like, we're a teachers conference. And I'm like, Well, I'm a teacher, so we bonded there for a moment. I'm like, what are you guys doing with these? And they're like, well, we're done. We're popping them. And I'm like you're popping them. And I go, can I have them? And they're like, if you haul them away, you can have them. So I'm rounding up everybody I can find. These are huge. Like, they're literally we're taking the elevator or the escalator, and they're longer than the Escalator. So I'm bringing them up, and our executive directors walking by, and our meeting planners walking by, and they're like, what are you doing? I'm like, I just got us a bunch of free decorations. Look at how fun they are. So we acquired four of these kind of crazy, massive balloon garlands, and we use them. They're over top of our registration. They're near our boards. So, like I said, I am not afraid to mix things up and change things up. And they were thrilled that we could use them, and we had a ton of fun with them, so that is how we acquired them. Thank you for telling that story, because I heard that last night, and I was like, oh, yes. That is hilarious. Didn't even think to ask about it. Yeah, that's the story. Yes, we pilfered them. I said it's a sneak peek of 2024. That's it. That's it. So you're going on the record right now. We can expect balloons at HFPS 24. Yes. I was told that those run about $800 a pop. That's expensive, so I don't know that that'll happen. But we will have some fun and some visual appeal. How were they received? Do people like them? Everybody but one person loved them, and they thought they were frilly. Most people loved it. It was great. Well, Susan, this has been a ton of fun. Thank you so much for stopping by the booth and talking with us today about your incoming tenure as incoming president elect. Stay tuned. We'll be back right after this. Yes, and we're back with more coverage from HFS 2022. I'm sitting here with the immediate past president now. Is that how I address you as of this morning? Right, yeah. Immediate past president. Welcome back to the show, Chris. Chris Reid. It's a pleasure to have you back on the show. You've been on several times, and you and I have talked a million times between the town halls and everything. So you know what? I am going to skip some of the important stuff, and can we just talk about what everyone really wants to hear about? Yeah, okay. That suit last night? Can we just talk about that suit last night? Can I bring it up here? Yeah, let's bring out that suit from last night. That's awesome. That was like straight out of a Bond store channeling. His bond villain. Yeah, that was my alter ego. I had to pull him out for last night. As you know, that's like a totally different person. That vibe that I was giving is not my normal vibe. That's still fun. It was fun. I'm just going to open it up. I'm going completely off script here, but how's the conference been so far? It's day one for most people, but I know it's like day seven for you. How are things going? I've been here since Friday. It's been going awesome, honestly. So let's see. Yesterday we kicked off with our awards ceremony. We combined it with our traditional welcome ceremony. So traditionally, that used to be just a food and social event. Everybody come out, just rub elbows. We took that and hijacked it and put an award ceremony in it. So we took the awards part off the front of the Tuesday, normally embedded it into the Monday night, and there you go. We had, basically, food, drink, celebrity status, getting the chance to hear some music. We had pretty strings. Who's a local area artist come out? She's electronic violinist. That's great. And she was doing her thing, kicking off the crowd, and then we just went into party mode at that point, celebrating each of those awardees. That was fun, honestly. You saw me, started going crazy at the end. I'm like, I got a selfie, this thing. Yeah. As evidence on LinkedIn. Yeah. So I've had a whole day of just hearing what a great time you're having over there in Atlanta. Beautiful. You're not wrong. And Nick had kept it very quiet at the fact that he had some really good entertainment last night as well. You kept the electronic violins out of this, didn't you? I just didn't want you to feel bad. So, Chris, you've also talked about the way that you mixed it up a bit for this conference, and that's, I guess, a really good example of some immediate changes you made there. Do you think that's work? Do you think that's had a positive feedback already? Yeah. Honestly, the feedback that we've been getting is don't stop. It's one of those things that people have been waiting for, looking forward to some progressive change. That's entertaining. It's a combination of enlightenment, celebrity status, getting our wards, the chance to talk about themselves and how they got there and why what they did is so important, and then at the same time, just have fun, man. There's nothing like combining food and drink with just being around people. There's something close pandemic that's even more eclectic. When we were in pandemic mode, it was like, hey, I'll see you on Zoom. Like, kind of what we're doing right now. Barry. Sorry. Over here, or I go over there. Right. It's a whole different ballgame. Yes. So it was fun. I think that's well worth it. Everybody is saying we want to keep doing it, and we'll just keep ramping it up. The only thing I say that we're missing was a DJ. Yeah. I had queued some Usher music for my walk in, and they didn't get me my Usher music, so I didn't get to dance up on stage. And so, yeah, you guys will have to wait till next time. It's funny because I watched about half of it in there, and then I came back to the podcast booth just to make sure that the feed was working for this morning's plenary. And I was like, oh, I'm really glad we're not streaming this because we need copyright streaks because everyone has taken great music. Yeah. So, Chris, you have just passed over the baton to Carolyn as of this morning. Right. Okay, so how does that feel? It was really enlightening. So what you guys don't get to see is what happens behind the scenes over the weekend, during the last executive council meeting. So on Saturday, I host my last meeting, and then on Sunday, Carolyn hosts her first meeting. So actually, at the end of Saturday is the initial transition ceremony. That's the start of the process. So I give her her mouth. Well, I call it the mallet. It's her gavel. And so I hand that over to her this time. Well, it's the only time I've experienced this, but when I was doing it, my voice started cracking up. I'm giving my going away speech, essentially my swan song, my initial swan song. My voice cracks up. I'm, like, getting all emotional. I feel my hair rising off the back of my neck. I'm getting goosebumps. I'm like, man, my shoulders feel less tight. What's going on? All of a sudden I feel lighter. And I passed the gavel over and like, hey, good luck with that. Throw that thing away. Here's a cable piece. The burden of leadership is one that you take into account. I guess it's like if you guys are aware of Game of Thrones, you sit on that throne that's full of sharp objects, and that thing can catch you if you don't sit on it properly. But all leadership comes with that burden, that weight. But Carolyn, she is well versed. We had a year of shadowing, and she came in as President elect. She's ready to go and she'll kick butt and take numbers. I don't have any doubt. Carolyn, that's great to hear that level of confidence as well. If I can take you back, I guess, 18, maybe 20 odd months, but you said you're going to run for the presidency. We spoke on the twelve or two podcast around what your ambitions were and that type of thing. Can you just reflect for us what made you want to run for the presidency in the first place? What did you want to accomplish? Yeah, it was a combination of things. So I was thinking back to 2020. When I initially ran, we had a combination of events. We had George Floyd happening when we were talking about things happening for increasing in diversity, equity, inclusion. So at the time, we've never had a person of color like me on the stage as a president. So I was like, hey, what the hell, why not? So that combined with I felt the society was at a pivotal point where we needed to make some changes in order to be more inclusive. Not just from a de perspective, but also from a practitioner perspective, looking at more capability for spreading and increasing membership. So with my experiences, where I've been, the organizations I've worked for, I'm really good at solving problems. And I felt maybe now is the time to contribute back. I'm finishing my secretary treasurer position. Let me go ahead and try the presidency, see what can happen. Surround myself with the right people and try and move the Society forward, make some good changes. Do you think you did it? Do you think you moved the Society forward? I think I put a good method in place. So in my exit speech today, kind of showed two slides that had a before and after roadmap. So the before had less black dots, after had more black dots. Obviously there's a bunch of empty dots that still remain to be done, but the methodology itself is in place. How do you reach out and open up opportunity, open up conversation, open up relationships with people you traditionally don't talk to? And that inclusivity conversation, that partnership conversation is a method that we have found it now. And so we can do that with technical societies, we can do that with private public institutions. I think we're on our way. So now at this point, it's just learning how to grow. That's really a really nice way of putting, I think, because it's not just saying, yes, I deliver this, but you've also laid a roadmap, you've laid a foundation to be built on. And that constant referring to now turning into that progressive organization is, I think, a really clear message, I guess. Through your past twelve months, has anything surprised you? Something that you maybe I didn't know or just something that you weren't expecting throughout your year? I didn't realize how much institutional inertia that HFPS had that I had to overcome. I'm not going to go into the physics, you guys know, momentum and inertia. It's like an uphill battle. I think people were so used to, if it's not broken, why fix it? And what they didn't realize was that the system broke a long time ago. They just got used to it being broken and they started seeing past that. And so here we are. We came at this opportunity moment in time where it's like, why not? We had a meeting on Sunday with the executive Council where we all voted on making some institutional changes to the annual meeting itself. So while we're looking at it at the micro level, yes, we just put on an awesome party on Friday or what am I saying? Friday. Fast forward to Friday. Like I said, you've lived already seven days of the conference, you're fine. I'm living in the future. Yes. We're looking at ways to morph over the next three years, the overall way we do a conference, how do we make it more inclusive, how do we double the attendance in the opportunity itself and then maybe triple it after three years? And so these are ways that we're looking at in larger trade shows, learning from them and seeing what we can bring to the society. So it's clear that your perspective on the society as a whole has changed and your time as president, has your perspective on human factors changed or how you view human factors in relation to the rest of the world, has that changed at all in your time as president? So I started in terms of my core qualifications coming out of industrial engineering, finishing my PhD in human engineering, human factors, and, ergonomics, I've worked primarily on the physical side, but changing over to the presidency, my position with ASCM on the board of directors there, advising on the National Safety Council. I've learned to become more of an evangelist, so to say, of human factors in, ergonomics, it's a position that we traditionally aren't used to. We're traditionally used to wearing our lab coats and being in four walls and running a bunch of test subjects through and earning the results in a publication. But I think there's another level beyond that, which is the operations of a society that pushes the science, that pushes the opportunity for people. And then there's the evangelism of the science itself, right? If nobody's out there talking about it for you, does it exist if a tree falls in a forest that it makes a sound? And so if nobody knows about you, then you're not getting anywhere. It's not actually making a difference. And to get to that point, for us to make a difference in designing systems for people, we have to actually be involved in the design and our people have to be involved in the design. So that's really my emphasis there. We have over 3000 jobs that will be out by 2029 in the US alone, much less the rest of the world. You combine that opportunity with are we manufacturing enough people to put in those jobs? Probably not. We're at 1% of that. And so how do we start ramping that up? That's quite scary because we talked about some jobs earlier on today and the fact that the size of the HF community in the US is just so huge compared to, I guess, here in the UK, where we've got a much smaller resource pool, yet we've got loads of jobs out there to fill as well. So I guess what can we do on the international stage? To collaborate better, to cooperate better or just to push the word of human factors more as an international community. Yeah, it's interesting you ask that because the Australians reached out to me on our HFPS Australian counterparts a couple of months ago. They were asking about access to HFS publications. And so internally, we started the process on how do we share our internal US based, US centric publications and standards and make it more accessible to not only the Australians, but the international community as a whole. And so this past weekend, we passed a vote that basically opens up a new membership. It's an associate level that's going to create a conduit for which people can access that straight up publication and standards access. Now, we're able to do that. There's still some processing that has to take effect before that can be put in place, but the mechanism is in place to do it. Later this month, we have our International Ergonomics Association meetings where we're all convening in delft. So we're heading over to the Netherlands. We've already started putting something in place to run a ballot on international access to the US publications and standards. So we wanted to make sure we had a conduit in place so that by the time we reach IEA, it's not only helpful for our Australian counterparts, it's helpful for the rest of the world, too. I like that answer about internationalization of HFPS, and I think there's a lot of opportunity there. HFPS is a worldwide organization, right. It makes me happy to know that you're kind of right there and hopefully that the future presidents will take that and run with it. Sounds like it. If there was a vote. Speaking of sort of future presidents, you've just sort of handed over this role of President to Carolyn. What does immediate past president mean? What is that role for those who are unfamiliar? What does that mean? What does that role do? It means green pastures, nice sunsets on a beach somewhere. I'm going to go to the Ergonomics on palm trees and coconuts. But no, I've been thinking about I've had a year to think about this because it comes in phases, right? You start as a learner, understanding what the process takes as the President elect, then actually executing on it and then doing a post mortem and trying to figure out how to help the next person coming along, the next President elect or the current president. And so Carolyn actually asked me not to stop working. So I'm going from an operations perspective, running the operations of the house to now a lead advocate and an outreach person. So the whole Evangelism thing that I was mentioning before, I've gotten really good at, and they don't want to waste that momentum that I've already gained. And so I'm going to be out there working with universities, working with other institutions. I've been asked to lead the new industrial advisory board. I have two vice chairs coming in from National Safety Council with Lisa Brooks and Michael Wicklin coming from underwriters lab we're actually going to be meeting this week to start mapping out how we're going to bring in ten new members, both executive and technical level, into the Industry Advisory Board. So this is a brand new committee. We have Government Relations, which is our original branch of outreach. We have Media Relations, which started back in the end of spring this year, and now we have the private institute Relations through Industry Advisory Board. So the three of those things running full steam should be able to get us more interest in the world. There's a lot of stuff there that you've highlighted that you wanted to achieve and you're hopefully going on to achieve. When people look back and talk about Chris Reid's presidency, what's your legacy? What's the big thing that you want to be remembered for? I want to say breaking down the silos. I felt like we were too wrapped up in ourselves. We only talk to ourselves. We're really good at our science, and we want to hone in on our science. And so that means basically refining that capability by just battling amongst ourselves, by opening up the window and saying, there's a bigger world outside. It's not just what's in these four walls. It's allowed us to walk outside and say, oh, wait, I have the ability to work with you and to work with you and to work with you know, some of our relationships have been working with historically Black colleges and universities. This Thursday, we have a meeting for local area atlanta, Georgia, historically Black colleges, universities. So we're meeting with morehouse Helmet and Clark atlanta starting first conversations, fresh new conversations there. We reached out to technical societies, one of our most recent with society petroleum engineers working with areas in healthcare, different technical societies that didn't even have a clue about human factors or had an inkling about it. And now we're helping maneuver them in the direction of how we see intersections. We had task forces on environment and sustainability. Who would have thought human Factors and Ergonomics has a connection to environment and sustainability? I can think of somebody you see, we form people around that. We went out, we hunted, we found people that were outside the box who could talk to the science in their community and then work with us to understand our science and figure out how we can intersect the human with whatever element it is they're working on. So, honestly, I think I would say we opened up Pandora's box. Might be my legacy. We broke down the silos and we figured out how the world could find out about us and we can help them. So, Chris, we have a couple of minutes left. Yeah. Open mic. What sort of message topic? Anything do you want to convey to everybody watching, listening? What do you want to say? We're not done, man. I may be walking off the stage, but I'm not done. I hear about we're not done.

 

 

Literally. It feels like one of those movies where we just figured out what we were capable of. All right, here we go. You guys will run with this one. Think of Dragon Ball z. Right? Okay. How many times do we need to watch goku go to the next level of Super Saiyan before they stop doing Dragon Ball Z? I mean, this dude has reached Super Saiyan level five and we keep finding new levels. He just keeps pulling it out of himself. So I think it's like that we've learned how to fish in this pond. We've just realized we have a whole nother ocean to go play in. Let's keep pushing the boundaries. Let's keep pushing the science and learning how to adapt. What Super Saiyan level would you say? HFS is that right now? I think we just broke level one. Okay. Alright. We just went Super Saiyan. Before that, it was all I'm trying to remember where he would basically turn red. Yeah, he thought he was all Hyped up until they killed his boy Grilling. So unfortunately, that anger made him level one. I think that's where we are now. It's like we've reached this level of we've had enough right now. Let's do something about it. Yeah, it sounds like there's a lot of runway to go. Barry, do you have any other questions? I guess it's a question I'd ask you when we talked last time on the Twelve at Two podcast. But I've got in a few months time I get to take over presidency of the CIHF. What advice would you give me about with your years worth of experience now? What's the golden nugget that I need to take into my presidency? Well, you're going to have to figure out how to commune with your environment on the council level for your and the people who you surround yourself. Figure out their boundaries where you can push them, figure out where they would like to go. Those insights are going to be helpful, but I think if you have something that's aspirational that you want to do, wrap them around that and point them in that direction. I know you see I'm very tactical and strategic. I like laying out, here's what I want to do, do it, and then here's what I did. I think you can do the same. It's no different whether you're US based or in South Africa or India or in UK. It's the same message, man. It's figure out how to spread the impact of human factors in Ergonomics and fed your people in all the right places and make sure they have the ability to grow. Well, Chris, it's been a pleasure to have you on the show and thank you so much for your leadership of the last year. I am not bullshitting you when I say that I think that HFPS has come a long way in just the last couple of months here, Chris. Thank you so much for being on the show. Thanks, everyone. Good to you again, Barry. Good luck with you. Those greener pastures, man.

 

 

Chris Reid Profile Photo

Chris Reid

Interviewee

Specialties: Industrial Ergonomics, Office Ergonomics, Occupational Biomechanics, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Human System Interaction, Usability Design, Human Performance, Workplace Safety & Design, Anthropometry

Susan Kotowski Profile Photo

Susan Kotowski

Lab Director at University of Cincinnati