Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering - Leading Process and Product Improvement

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IME 5420 - Human Factors Engineering

Catalog Description:

The process of designing for human use. The course covers the study of the interactions between the individual, equipment, products, and the environment in any human-task-environment system. Topics include human capabilities and limitations; human input, output, and control; work space design; and the work environment.

Prerequisites & Corequisites: Prerequisites: Recommended, IME 2610 and IME 2620 or equivalent.

Credits: 3 hours

Lecture Hours - Laboratory Hours: (3 - 0)

Course Objectives:

  1. Understand the functional processes of the human system that pertain to an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of humans in human-machine systems. The role of psychology, physiology, ergonomics, and safety will be discussed in the context of measuring and predicting human performance. (e,f,i).
  2. Understand the principles and applications of human factors through design problems, case studies and a term project. (g, i).
  3. Understand the ramifications (ethical and legal) of collecting data on humans and product liability (d,h).
  4. Intensify the critical, analytical process of thinking (k).
  5. Experience the planning, designing and testing of human performance aids(a,b,c,g).
  6. Demonstrate collection of reliable and reproducible data, statistically analyze the data,discuss implications of the data, and draw reasonable conclusions. (b, h).
  7. Demonstrate competence in oral and written communications (g).
  8. Develop technical ability to design with multidisciplinary objectives (d, h)

Performance Criteria:

The student should be able to:


Objective 1

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of human capabilities and limitations. (4, 5, 7)

Objective 2

  1. Understand and develop appropriate human performance aids following industrial and managerial practices. (1, 2, 4, 3)

Objective 3

  1. Complete written tasks in a clear, concise, efficient manner. (1, 2, 5, 7)

Objective 4

  1. Incorporate statistical research into reports using electronic and print media and verify and document those resources appropriately. (3, 4, 5, 7)

Objective 5

  1. Present ideas orally in an organized, concise, and effective manner. (3, 6)


Wickens, C. D., Hollands, J. G. (2000). Engineering Psychology and Human Performance, 3rd Ed. Prentice, Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Casey, S. (1998). Set Phasers on Stun, 2nd Ed. Aegean Publishing, Santa Barbara, CA.

Course Coordinator:

Tycho Fredericks
Western Michigan University
E-223 Parkview Campus
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008-5336
Phone: 276-3360

Revision Date: Fall 2004


Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5336 USA
(269) 276-3350 | (269) 276-3353 Fax

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