The Lifetime Achievement Award for Practical Application is granted for major contributions to any industry or business through the application of ergonomics and human factors.
Sharon’s research focuses on meeting the needs of users in real world design applications with special consideration for those who are challenged due to physical, sensory or cognitive impairment. The award celebrated Sharon’s many achievements, which include the development of the UK’s first national livery for police vehicles, which are now being adopted around the world, and an amendment to ECE104 - a regulation that establishes guidelines for the use of retro-reflective safety markings on heavy goods vehicles operating. She has also pioneered the development of empathic-modelling tools in the form of wearable simulations of ill-health conditions. These have been adopted within Ford’s vehicle design process and commercially sold to Stannah, impacting design internationally. They have also been used under licence within the Thames Tideway (London’s Super Sewer) project, the largest UK water infrastructure project, and were recognised by the Institution of Civil Engineers Health and Safety Award for the contribution to their discipline.
Additionally, Sharon was commended for her public engagement through broadcast media, museum exhibitions, and festivals, as well as her role as a lecturer within and beyond Loughborough University.
Upon receiving the reward, Sharon reflected: “Watching my father adapt our home to improve the independence of my mother, disabled by polio, taught me the importance of considering a wide range of capabilities when designing everyday products, services, environments and systems.
“Ergonomics, which takes a user-centred approach, was thus a natural career choice which, over the years, has provided many opportunities to contribute and hopefully make a difference. I am therefore honoured that my work has been recognised by this Award.”