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The 13th AutoErg meeting was held at MAN Truck & Bus in Nuremberg on October 18, 2018 with the main focus of “ bottleneck-oriented evaluation procedures”. Around 30 representatives from the automotive industry and science took part in the meeting organized by the Institute of Ergonomics at Darmstadt Technical University.

In three keynote lectures by representatives from BMW, Audi and IAD, the challenges, the objectives and the already developed concepts for body-segment-related risk analysis were presented. In a discussion based on this and a lively workshop, requirements for such procedures – related to data acquisition, analysis and output of the evaluation – were developed and subsequently presented. The next meeting of the AutoErg working group is already planned for April 2019 at Opel in Rüsselsheim

During the graduation ceremony of the faculty of law and economics our employees Tim Steinebach and Philip Joisten were honoured for their outstanding achievements in the study of industrial engineering.

Mr Joisten was awarded the ING-DiBa prize for the best master's graduate in the academic year 2017/18 in the master's degree programme Industrial Engineering – Technical Field of Study Mechanical Engineering. Mr. Steinebach was awarded the prize of the Friends of the TU Darmstadt for the best master thesis in the field of production and supply chain management by Prof. Dr. Christoph Glock. His master thesis, which was written in cooperation with the IAD, dealt with the topic: “evaluation of motion capturing systems for use in the ergonomic evaluation of workplaces in logistics”.

We congratulate Mr. Joisten and Mr. Steinebach to these outstanding achievements and are pleased that we could win them as employees for our institute.

Stärke cloud

In order to be able to meet the demands of an ever faster changing market, a high degree of self-directed action, communicative competence and the ability to organise oneself is required. For “tomorrow's work”, the importance of individual and organisational resilience is growing. By this is understood the ability to adapt quickly to a new situation and to react appropriately. As part of the Call for Proposals for “Preventive Measures for the Safe and Healthy Work of Tomorrow”, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded the STÄRKE – starke Beschäftigte und starke Betriebe durch Resilienz“ project.

At the end of the STÄRKE project, a conference was held on 26th November 2018 in the Georg-Lichtenberg-Haus in Darmstadt under the heading ”Growing with change – how do resilient organisations work? Interesting presentations were given by representatives from companies and and employers association, as well as a panel discussion with representatives of the four pilot companies from the STÄRKE project.

The 20th conference of the International Ergonomics Association took place in Florence between august 26ths and August 30th. More than 1500 scientists and representatives of economy authorities and politics took part in the presentations and discussions around the lead theme “Creativity in Practice”

The IAD was also represented and reflected the professional diversity of the conference with its contributions: The design of a support system for blind people, the evaluation of an adaptive assembly system and creativity in the design of man-machine cooperation were dealt with, as well as risk assessment in manual load handling and results on loads in U-Assembly lines.

the @CITY research initiative brings together 15 partners from the automotive industry, supply industry, software development and universities. Subdivided into the two projects @CITY and @CITY-AF, concepts, technologies and prototypical applications are developed, enabling automated driving in complex urban areas. The aim is to make the city traffic of the future as safe, comfortable and efficient as possible for all road users. The research initiative is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) with a funding volume of around 20 million euros.

The Institute of Ergonomics is represented in the project @CITY-AF and will conduct research in the subproject “Human-Vehicle-Interaction” for the next four years. This subproject deals with the interaction between the three protagonists: vehicle users, automated vehicles and other road users. The Institute of Ergonomics will work on the question of how everyday human forms of communication in traffic (eye contact, gestures etc.) can be “translated” to automated systems without misunderstandings. Another research focus is the execution of non-driving activities in automated driving.

Further information about the project can be found at

Weitere Informationen zu dem Projekt finden Sie unter

Nach langem Wirken am IAD werden sowohl Dr. Christina König als auch Andrea Sinn-Behrendt ab September neue Wege gehen.

Frau König hat über viele Jahre hinweg die Forschungsgruppe Arbeitsorganisation & Kompetenzentwicklung erfolgreich weiterentwickelt und geleitet nachdem sie zum Thema menschzentrierte Entwicklung von Arbeitsmitteln am IAD promoviert hat.

Ihre Kompetenz als Arbeitsmedizinerin hat Frau Sinn-Behrendt in viele Projekte des IAD eingebracht. Ihre Schwerpunkte lagen hierbei auf den Themen alternsgerechte Arbeit, Mitarbeiterfähigkeiten, Belastungsbewertung.

Das Team des IAD wünscht Dr. Christina König und Andrea Sinn-Behrendt alles Gute für ihre persönliche und berufliche Zukunft.

From 15th to 17th August 2018, the twelve doctoral students, as well as the leaders of the research groups and Professor Bruder, attended the traditional doctoral seminar in the “Kurhaus Trifels”. The research projects of each doctoral candidate were discussed in three very intensive days, which meant that everybody left the Kurhaus with lots of new impulses. Thank you very much to all participants and the team of the Kurhaus Trifels for the pleasant atmosphere.

“At TU Meet & Move, the entire university meets for a major sports and health event in the university’s athletics stadium. In addition to informational activities and demonstrations of a wide range of sports offered by the unisports centre, there are various competitions, which visitors can take part in.

As every year, employees and friends of the IAD formed a team for the ultramarathon. In the best possible weather conditions and moods, the team “Ergonauten” ran a total of 42.2 km and reached the 19th place out of 39 teams. The evening ended with a cozy get-together in the university stadium.”

Results can be found here.

On 22 May 2018, Markus Heidl successfully defended his dissertation titled: “Analyse und Bewertung der physischen Belastung und Beanspruchung des Oberkörpers bei repetitiven Montagetätigkeiten” (Analysis and Evaluation of the Physical Stress and Strain of the Upper Body During Repetitive Assembly Activities).

Within the scope of the work, limit values for frequencies and amplitudes of movement were found, which correlate with a higher risk of suffering pain and discomfort. Firstly, a model based on the literature was developed for this purpose. It was then tested on the basis of an empirical study with 249 subjects in various plants of a German automotive supplier. Additionally, it was examined to what extent the found relationships are mapped by currently common screening methods.

Congratulations for passing the exam!

Show your research! This is the motto, of the annual university competition, which is tendered by the initiative “Wissenschaft im Dialog“ and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung). This year’s competition focuses on the theme of the science year, “Working Worlds of the Future”. The IAD team, consisting of Pia Bettenbühl and Verena Steidel, was able to convince the jury with their project idea “Robot leads!”, which covers the subject of robots as managers. At which workplaces could robots possibly be managers? What does leadership mean in this context? And what kind of robot is suitable as a manager? The implementation, which is awarded with 10,000 euros, has started now and can be observed here. The interdisciplinary approach through the collaboration of a psychologist and an engineer is very helpful for the topic of robotics in order to investigate both, the technical possibilities and the human acceptance.

In co-operation with the company Anlagenbau Günther an implementation project in the fields of digitisation and connectivity has started. The aim of this project is the digitisation of logistics processes using tablets. In the future, incoming and outgoing goods, as well as commissioning activities and quality assurance will be controlled digitally. At a kick-off event at the company's location in Wartenberg, a first process analysis was carried out and a variety of ideas were collected. The employees of the IAD were also given a tour of the company's logistics and production areas. First concepts will be developed and presented by May.

We look forward to working together with Anlagenbau Günther!

The Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors is a committed partner of the Year of Science (“Wissenschaftsjahr”) 2018, with this year's motto being “Working Worlds of the Future”. The aim is to point out and communicate the opportunities and potential of the working worlds of the future. Based on a broad expertise in the field of “digitisation of work”, the IAD will shed light on the changes brought about by the transformation of the working world in a series of events throughout the year 2018. Questions about the new interaction between human and technology, a possibly changed role of humans in this process, as well as the need to acquire enhanced competences in dealing with technology, will be addressed in informative and interactive formats. In accordance with the tradition of ergonomics, the emphasis is placed on the effects, digitisation has on humans. For example, a workshop on the digitisation of workplaces in production will take place on April 26 in the process learning factory CiP of the TU Darmstadt. The Year of Science is an initiative of the Federal Bureau of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) and Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD). For further information on the Year of Science 2018, visit

The centre of discussion at this year’s conference of the GfA, the society of ergonomics, was how ergonomics can contribute as a basis for management and skills development. This question reveals a very fundamental discussion in the field of ergonomics and human factors, in which the focus is on the pursuit of human and economic interests simultaneously. The changes in the workplace are an example of this: how can the use of data enhance productivity and develop skills on the one hand, whilst a responsible handling of sensitive employee data is secured on the other hand. Numerous contributions took up this discussion and reported from research and practice on the topics big data, virtual reality, health, learning models, interaction and assistance systems. The contributions were rounded off by keynote lectures on the topics “Science Year 2018 – Working Worlds in Transition”, new methods for work ability and opportunities to shape the digital change.

The IAD-team was represented by more than ten employees, who informed the participants about current research results from the fields of work organization & skills development, work evaluation & workplace design, and human-machine interaction & mobility.

For the ninth time, the Walter Rohmert Research Award for outstanding research achievements in the field of ergonomics, was awarded at the 64th Spring-Congress of the Ergonomics Society (“Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaften”).

This year’s award winner is Dr Johannes Wendsche from the Chair for Work and Organizational Psychology at the Technische Universität Dresden. He was rewarded with the prize for his dissertation on the topic of stress-optimizing effects of short breaks “Modulatoren und Mechanismen der beanspruchungsoptimierenden Wirkung von Kurzpausen“. The jury put special emphasis on the high standard of his publications, as well as his outstanding research and commitment to teaching.

The Walter Rohmert Research Award is tendered by the Institute of Ergonomics (IAD) and awarded by a highly renowned jury at the GfA Spring-Congress each year to honour outstanding scientific achievements in dissertations.

Am 29. November 2017 verteidigte Jens Heine erfolgreich seine Dissertation mit dem Titel: „Entwicklung eines Algorithmus zur Prädiktion eines innerstädtischen Fahrstreifenwechsels“.

Im Rahmen der Arbeit wurde ein echtzeitfähiger Algorithmus entwickelt, welcher eine frühzeitige Prädiktion von Fahrstreifenwechseln im innerstädtischen Verkehr ermöglicht. Die Entwicklung folgt einem induktiven Ansatz und leitet Merkmale für eine Fahrmanöverprädiktion aus Daten einer großen Probandenstudie im kontrollierten Feld, unter Nutzung von Verfahren zum maschinellen Lernen, ab. Die Bereitstellung der Information zu einer Fahrerabsicht ermöglicht es Fahrerassistenzsysteme an das Fahrerverhalten anzupassen, um ein mögliches Warndilemma abzuschwächen.

Wir gratulieren zur bestandenen Prüfung!

Nach einer einjährigen Pause war Darmstadt bei der World Usability Day Serie 2017 wieder mit einer lokalen Veranstaltung am 9. November vertreten. Das Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft war Co-Organisator dieser jährlichen Veranstaltung, die weltweit in mehr als 150 Standorten zur Etablierung der nutzerzentrierten Produktentwicklung am zweiten Donnerstag im November stattfindet. In den Veranstaltungsräumen der IHK Darmstadt boten Referenten aus Wissenschaft und Praxis spannende Einblicke in die Relevanz und Umsetzung von nutzerzentrierten Entwicklungsprozessen. Vor mehr als 50 vorwiegend aus der Praxis stammenden Zuhörern legte Prof. Dr-Ing. Bruder als Keynote Speaker praxisnahe Beispiele für die Relevanz der Nutzereinbindung in die Produktentwicklung dar, die der Unternehmer Eric Nürnberger in einem interessanten Fallbeispiel zur Rolle der Usability im Zuge der Digitalisierung von Fischzuchtanlagen fortführte. Neben der aktiven Teilnahme an einer Podiumsdiskussion hatten die Teilnehmer darüber hinaus noch die Möglichkeit sich an mehreren Ständen zu Themen rund um Usability zu informieren. Die Fachgruppe Usability und User Experience, in der das Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft vertreten ist, bot dabei einen Methodenstand an, an dem sich mehrere Besucher intensiv austauschten. Nach dem tollen Erfolg der diesjährigen Veranstaltung wird das Institut für Arbeitswissenschaft auch in den Folgejahren an den Darmstädter World Usability Days mitwirken.

Im Rahmen des Kooperationsprojekts „U-Linien-Montagesysteme“ gefördert von der Berufsgenossenschaft Holz und Metall (BGHM) und Berufsgenossenschaft Elektrotechnik (BGETEM) untersuchen Forschungspartner der Universität Kassel (Fachgebiet A&O), des Instituts für Arbeitswissenschaft der TU Darmstadt (IAD) und des Instituts für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA) Arbeitsbelastungen sowohl an den U-Linien im Labor, als auch in der Praxis in einem ganzheitlichen Ansatz. Dieser Ansatz erlaubte es die Wechselwirkungen zwischen physischer und psychischer Belastungen an den 19 U-Linien in fünf namhaften Unternehmen herauszuarbeiten und praktische Handlungsempfehlungen zur Gestaltung dieser Linien abzuleiten. Die Empfehlungen wurden dann gemeinsam mit Praktikern vor Ort hinsichtlich ihrer Umsetzung diskutiert. U-Linien-Montagesysteme sind industrielle Arbeitsplätze, welche nach dem „One-Piece-Flow“ Konzept in Form eines U angeordnet sind. In diesem Projekt wurden die unterschiedlichen Parameter von psychischen und körperlichen Arbeitsbelastungen sowie physiologischen Beanspruchungen in oberen und unteren Extremitäten nicht unabhängig voneinander, sondern integriert über die Ergebnisse der Projektpartner analysiert. Beispiele hierfür sind die Kombination von:

- Bewegungsdaten der oberen Extremitäten (CUELA-IFA) hinsichtlich Mikropausen mit Blickbewegungsdaten (Uni Kassel) – Weist das Ausmaß an Mikropausen einen Zusammenhang zu Monotonie-Erscheinungen bei der Arbeit auf?

- EMG Beanspruchungsdaten der unteren Extremitäten (IAD) mit Art der Bewegungen zwischen Stationen/ Arbeitsbereichen – seitliche /gemischte Schritte (CeyeBERMAN, Uni Kassel), die gegenüber dem „klassischen“ Gehen ein deutlich anderes Belastungsmuster aufzeigen – Gibt es generische Belastungsaspekte?