HFES – Human Factors Ergonomics Society, 2023

October 23-27, 2023

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) held its 67th Annual Meeting last week in Washington, DC, where a number of industrial engineering faculty members and students from Clemson University received awards for their contributions to the discipline.

Congratulations to Dr. Divya Srinivasan who was recognized as the 2023 HFE Woman and was awarded the “Woman of the Year” award during the conference.

Congratulations to Zeinab Kazemi for receiving the “Best Computational Paper” for her work titled “Differences in kinematics and resulting lumbar spinal forces during repetitive lifting tasks: simulation versus estimation of the effects of wearing a back-support exoskeleton”. This work was co-authored by Jang-Ho Park and Dr. Divya Srinivasan.

Congratulations to Dr. Satyajit Upasani on receiving the “2023 Augmented Cognition Technical Group Student Paper” award for his paper titled “Gaze Behavior and Mental Workload While Using a Whole-Body Powered Exoskeleton: A Pilot Study”.

Our students participated in Exo Games Competition held in the UK.

August 15-17, 2023

In a whirlwind of wit and exo-fueled excitement, our students participated in the Exo Games Competition organised by American Society for Testing and Materisl (ASTM) hosted by University of Central Lancashire, UK .

For this, the team built a hybrid exoskeleton with a passive back support and an active gait support to assist during the challenges. They won first place in the presentation competition and third place in the overall competition. Read more

Rahul’s notable Colloquium at this year’s IISE Conference, 2023

May 19-23, 2023

Rahul was one of the few PhD student participants from the Doctoral Colloquium who presented posters describing their thesis research. This endeavor demanded meticulous precision, succinctness, and a compelling narrative, encapsulating his dissertation study plans within a tightly woven framework. The challenge lies in crafting a presentation by rendering intricate concepts of his dissertation study plans within 3 minutes using a single slide and resonate with a diverse audience spectrum.

“ I found the whole experience very rewarding because from the beginning it forced me to rethink how to present my research in a concise and meaningful manner. “ – Rahul

Rahul attended WearRAcon 23 held in New Orleans, LA

March 30-31, 2023

WearRAcon is an annual conference that gathers participants from around the world to explore the forefront of wearable robotics. The event facilitated profound connections with eminent professionals and peers, distinguished by their hands-on involvement in crafting wearable robotic systems. 

Rahul’s pivotal contribution encompassed a meticulous study spotlighting the evaluation of passive back support exoskeletons across diverse demographics. This scholarly endeavor garnered acclaim, underscoring Rahul’s burgeoning presence in the field.

“This conference inspired me to build an exoskeleton myself along with a few lab members, which I can potentially test and present in the future WearRAcon meetings.” – Rahul.

Congressional Briefing Showcases NSF-Funded Research on Exoskeletons in Manufacturing, Washington, DC

December 6, 2022

Dr. Jessica Aviles spearheaded a Congressional Briefing for the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, unveiling four NSF-funded projects propelling manufacturing into the future. The spotlight shone on Dr. Divya Srinivasan (Clemson IE) and Dr. Georgia Chao (University of South Florida), whose research centers on integrating exoskeletons into the manufacturing workforce.

The event offered policymakers firsthand experience with these wearable robotics. Dr. Srinivasan’s work explores the ergonomic benefits and safety aspects of exoskeletons, while Dr. Chao delves into the human factors influencing worker adoption. Their synergy, backed by NSF funding, promises safer, more efficient manufacturing.

This briefing underscored the transformative potential of exoskeletons in manufacturing, bridging technology and workforce well-being. It highlighted the dedication of experts and policymakers to advance American manufacturing capabilities.

Dr. Srinivasan holds open house for new lab space at CU-ICAR

May 6, 2022

Dr. Srinivasan held an open house to showcase the new lab spaces that had been constructed at the CU-ICAR campus in Greenville. These lab spaces house equipment such as a motion capture system, force plates and walkways, an isokinetic testing and rehabilitation system, various exoskeletons, virtual reality devices, and systems that measure muscle activity and kinematics. The lab space and equipment will be used to collect data for a range of projects across disciplines in the Industrial Engineering field and others.

Multiple Seed Grants Obtained by Industrial Engineering Faculty for 2022-2023

April 12, 2022

“Seed grants are mechanisms to fund pilot-level research which often forms the basis for successful larger proposals that are submitted to federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).”

“Drs. Jackie Cha (Clemson University), Alfredo Carbonell (Prisma Health), Anjali Joseph (Clemson University), and Divya Srinivasan (Clemson University) were awarded a seed grant by the Prisma Health Sciences Center for “Investigating the Use of Exoskeletons for Reducing Musculoskeletal Injuries in Surgical Care Tasks”. The study will investigate the feasibility and acceptance of the use of passive exoskeletons to reduce musculoskeletal symptoms and injuries for surgeons, nurses, and other surgical team members.”

Dr. Chris Reid and Dr. Bill Billotte gave talks on HFES and ASTM at Clemson

November 12, 2021

“Dr. Reid will present a brief recap of his career journey through the field of human factors and ergonomics, and a vision of the future of HFES and why they’re investing in people, processes, and partnerships.”

“Dr. Billotte will present opportunities for faculty and students to engage closely with ASTM efforts on standards.”

Clemson students and faculty participate in an exoskeleton showcase

November 11, 2021

Members from the Biomechanics, Ergonomics, Safety and Training (BEST) lab, the Ergonomics and Computational Human Operations (ECHO) lab, and members of the HFES student organization at Clemson University participated in a specialized exoskeleton showcase* at the South Carolina Manufacturing Conference. The showcase consisted of five industry-focused exoskeleton companies demoing their devices for several manufacturing and industrial companies in South Carolina. This event presented a unique opportunity for industry partners to have hands-on experience with devices that could impact worker health and performance. Furthermore, this event brought together industry partners, exoskeleton companies, and the expertise of the BEST and ECHO labs to fortify the collaborative effort needed to propel the promising future of exoskeleton devices forward.

*The exoskeleton showcase was sponsored by the South Carolina Research Authority.

Exoskeletons could soon make ‘the future of work’ healthier and safer for manual laborers

November 3, 2021

“Exoskeletons that prevent injuries such as strained backs and shoulders have been available for years but haven’t flooded the workplace as once expected, and a group led by Clemson University industrial engineers would like to know why.

Dr. Jessica Avilés is the recipient of the inaugural NSF eFellows Engineering Postdoctoral Fellowship!

Awarded September 2021

The eFellows Fellowship targets early-career PhDs in engineering fields within university settings. This prestigious fellowship provides postdoctoral fellows with a competitive salary, travel stipends, professional development opportunities, and mentoring activities for two years. During her time as an eFellows Postdoctoral Fellow Jessica will focus her research efforts on investigating the effects of exoskeleton devices on rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with spinal cord injuries.

The eFellows program is administered by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Dr. Sophia Ulman gave a talk on performance prediction and injury risk reduction for active populations

August 12, 2021

“Adaptive and efficient movement patterns facilitate the maintenance of consistently high levels of performance across diverse environmental conditions and reduce risk for injury by allowing for increased capacity to explore alternative motor solutions. But how can these be effectively quantified?”

Two of our students, Jangho Park and Hanjun Park, were awarded the two best student paper awards from the Occupational Ergonomics Technical Group, at HFES Annual Meeting 2020.

Park, J. H., Lee, Y., Kim, S., Nussbaum, M. A., & Srinivasan, D. (2020, December). Effects of Back-Support Exoskeleton Use on Gait Performance. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 894-895). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.

Park, H., Kim, S., Lawton, W., Nussbaum, M. A., & Srinivasan, D. (2020, December). Effects of Using a Whole-Body Powered Exoskeleton on Physical Demands During Manual Handling. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 888-889). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.

Vaishakhi Suresh, awarded first place at Virginia Tech’s 4th annual Nutshell Games, for her talk: “Opportunities and Challenges in Exoskeleton-based Rehabilitation.”

A video of her presentation can be accessed here:

VT Nutshell Games presentation