The 2nd Asian Conference on Ergonomics and Design 2017 (ACED2017) presented an ideal opportunity for encouraging scholarly exchange and dissemination of multi- and interdisciplinary sciences of ergonomics and practical application in Asia. Attended by researchers, education scientists, technologists and industry representatives who are experts in this science, this forum became a platform for strategic think tank to enhance a constructive dialogue and collaboration on themes relevant to ergonomics and to present latest research results and application in all areas of ergonomics.
The conference was organized by Japan Ergonomics Society and sponsored by Tateisi Science and Technology Foundation and Chiba Convention Bureau and International Center (CCB-IC). There were about 100 participants and 9 invited speakers coming from 17 countries with some represented by respective societies in ergonomics to participate in keynote, oral and poster sessions of respective themes in ACED, JES and IEA Organized Sessions. Concurrently, the ACED Ergonomics Design Awards in 2017 was also presented to the winners. Malaysia was represented by HFEM, UiTM, MIMOS Berhad, UMP and UPM with total 7 presentations in various technical sessions.
There were 2 sessions of IEA Council Meeting held on the 2nd and 3rd day of the conference. Among the discussed matters were:
- Brief introduction of each societies and its challenges.
- Supports from federated societies to non-federated associations like SEANES.
- The need to have joint research projects among Asian countries.
- Contribution of seed fund to host a conference as well as legal and finance entity to be responsible for the finance.
- To obtain assistance from IEA for the advancement and improvement of ergonomics societies in Asian countries.
In one of the ACED Organized Symposium: Ergonomics Education; Prof. Andrew Todd talked about why HFE is under exploited. Among the identified reasons are:
- People are not aware the value HFE can add (no demand)
- When there is demand, there are not enough high quality HFE practitioners?
- HFE is small in comparison with established disciplines ( e.g engineering and psychology)
- Multi-disciplinary nature of HFE with diverse topics and views makes communication with the external world very challenging?
He emphasized that providing high quality HFE professionals who can advocate for themselves through demonstration of financial benefits is key to creating the demand. He also highlighted that education is the cornerstone of HFE development strategy.
On the last day, Dr. Ng Yee Guan represented HFEM in an ACED/JES Joint Symposium, where he made a presentation on “The Challenges in Establishing the Professional Ergonomist Certification Scheme in Malaysia”.
The conference was concluded with a banquet dinner and an ACED2017 Design Award Session. ACED 2017 provided an excellent opportunity to gather together, interact and exchange findings and views during conference sessions, coffee breaks and conference dinner. It was also an opportunity to network with a number of academics and professionals from different countries who have similar research interests such as service design, product design, occupational safety and health.
Congratulations to UiTM’s Motorcycle Engineering Technology Laboratory (METAL) under the Ergonomics & Workstation Assessment Research Interest Group, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam for being awarded “Best of Best” Award for their product entitled ‘Postura MotergoTM.
HFEM hopes the conference will inspire other HFE communities in Asia to be more active in promoting HFE in their respective countries as well as at the international stage, especially in Asia.