As a University Centre of Excellence, the Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre is recognised for its research quality and impact.
The Environmental Ergonomics Research Centre has two main focus areas. The first is the interaction of people with their physical environment with respect to heat, cold, thermal comfort, clothing, work, and performance. The second focus area is healthcare ergonomics, covering a wide range of topics related to the healthcare system, patient safety and quality care.
Environmental research studies range from basic physiology research on human function and perception, to applied research jointly with industry, looking at clothing design, industrial heat and cold stress to building and clothing comfort. Examples are: body sweat distribution in children, adults, and elderly; skin health (pressure ulcers), athlete performance in the heat, impacts of climate change on productivity of workers, perception maps of temperature and moisture sensitivity across the body, skin interaction with textile products, clothing insulation and heat and moisture transfer in protective clothing.
In healthcare ergonomics studies range from design of healthcare buildings, ambulances, emergency responders gear to medical device evaluation, staff wellbeing and patient safety, delivery of healthcare activities focussing on physical risks to staff and dealing with mass casualty events.
The centre is equipped with state-of-the-art research facilities, providing an exciting, dedicated research environment including an environmental test suite (climate chambers for heat, cold, altitude, wind, sun) with a wide range of tools (treadmills, metabolic analysers, ultrasound etc), a motion analyses suite and thermal manikin test rooms for the evaluation of garments’ thermal properties.