When the pandemic hit in March 2020 and all programs moved to online study, Fanshawe’s Advanced Ergonomics Studies faculty had to find a way for their students to complete their research methods course, a critical component of the program that leads to employment. Thinking outside the box, Professor Karen Hoodless converted all student projects from in-person to online survey-based research.
Using the Rippen platform and her ergonomic network, she was able to find employers who agreed to participate. The student groups met with the companies taking the lead to develop the survey questions. The companies administered the survey and the students performed the statistical evaluations.
In one research project, a major food and beverage processor in London wanted to know if the implementation of insoles from MegaComfort would impact production staff who worked on their feet all day. Working closely with the manufacturer and MegaComfort, the students created a questionnaire designed to assess the perceived comfort, fatigue measures and implementation successes of the insoles. The end of term presentation involved a MegaComfort representative and a management team from the food/beverage manufacturer. They were all very impressed with the calibre of the research.
The study results are featured in the marketing material used at MegaComfort. Dr. Kevan, owner and inventor of MegaComfort, was so impressed with the results of the study and the calibre of the student work that he hired two graduates from the Advanced Ergonomic Studies program. The graduates support the sales team and work on new product development at MegaComfort.
About Fanshawe’s Advanced Ergonomic Studies program
The program, led by professional ergonomists, focuses on the concepts of human-centered design and the optimization of the workplace to prevent injuries. Graduates provide injury prevention and universal design recommendations using a variety of technologies and techniques including exoskeletons, wearables and virtual reality to evaluate and optimize worker and workspace interactions. There are many career opportunities in this growing field.