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Pitt Undergraduates Win First Place in Ergonomics Design Competition

PITTSBURGH (March 20, 2019)—Undergraduate students from the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering won first place this year at the International Ergonomics Design Competition hosted by Auburn Engineers, Inc.

“We only had one team enter in this competition in the fall, and they came in first place,” says Joel Haight, professor of industrial engineering and director of Pitt’s Safety Engineering Program. Dr. Haight is faculty advisor to the Ergonomic Design Competition teams. “I’m especially proud of our students’ innovation in this event, and the application of their coursework to solve a workplace issue.”

The award grants the team a $5,000 towards a professional conference of their choice in 2019, as well as $300 per team member, a team plaque, certificates and the “eTools” Prize Statue.

Throughout the fall semester, students worked on two design projects and two lightning round smaller design solution applications All of these projects required that the students identify workplace ergonomic stressors and apply design principles to alleviate them. The most significant of these was to develop solutions to address the ergonomic stress associated with working in the cramped quarters of a food truck. 

The winning team is comprised of five industrial engineering majors who were enrolled in Dr. Haight’s Human Factors Engineering course.  They are Alexander Hartman, Maiti Keen, Megan McCormick, Dina Perlic, and Abigail Pinto. 

The University of Pittsburgh teams have historically done well in this competition, coming in second place for the past three years. With this win, they are making their debut in first place. 

Author: Maggie Pavlick

Contact: Maggie Pavlick