Need help with a research project? With identifying and solving a problem in your workplace? Or advice on how to design a system/interface/device?

Faculty in the UM Center for Ergonomics have extensive experience with R&D projects on a wide range of topics, in many different application domains, and using a large repertoire of tools and techniques. If you are facing a challenging question or project that we can provide assistance with, please review the information below regarding our consultants and to schedule a meeting. If you are not sure how to proceed or which consultant might best suit your needs, please contact Nadine Sarter ( to discuss your interests and possible ways to work with us.

Fees for consulting services are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Nadine’s Consulting Topics

Attention and interruption management

How to support operators in managing their limited attentional resources to cope with challenges like data overload, frequent interruptions and the need to timeshare multiple tasks.

Complex system failures

How to help operators anticipate, diagnose and cope with breakdowns of complex systems that involve a large number of elements which interact extensively, often in unforeseen ways.

Human error

How to support the detection, diagnosis and recovery from erroneous actions and assessments through design and training.

Human-automation interaction

How to design highly automated systems and (semi)autonomous agents to ensure that they communicate and collaborate effectively with their human counterparts.

Human-robot interaction

How to design highly automated systems and (semi)autonomous agents to ensure that they communicate and collaborate effectively with their human counterparts.

Multimodal interface design

How to design displays that distribute information across various sensory channels (vision, touch and audition) to offload the often overburdened visual modality and support functions like redundancy and immersion.


Bernard’s Consulting Topics

Human vibration

Exposure to localized or whole body vibration is known to produce negative health effects, alter movement control and perception and exacerbate muscle fatigue. The mechanisms underlying these phenomena are a function of both the magnitude and frequency of vibration. The effects of human vibration are investigated to understand health issues as well as human performance decrements as a function of vibration parameters. For example, alterations of posture and movement perception, and reaching activities or the influence of drill bit wear on hand-arm vibration exposure are currently investigated.

Muscle fatigue

High or low levels of muscle activity can lead to a decrease in muscle ability to produce or control force. These outcomes are associated with muscle fatigue, which is considered a precursor to musculoskeletal disorders. Multiple mechanisms contribute to muscle fatigue, and fatigue may persist several hours after the end of muscle exertion. The influence of the type of muscle exertion on muscle fatigue (e.g., the effects of prolonged standing, sustained low level muscle contractions, or neck muscles myalgia) are investigated, and the effects of muscle fatigue on occupational activities are analyzed to prevent musculoskeletal disorder.

Sensory-motor systems and motor coordination

The functioning of the sensory-motor system is tested to understand human performance and /or their alterations as a function of injuries or muscle fatigue. Currently, we focus on trapezius muscle control in office work and sensor-motor deficits induced by stroke to improve rehabilitation procedures.


Sheryl’s Consulting Topics

Ergonomics Job Analysis

How to use occupational ergonomics design principles to analyze current or proposed work tools, tasks and workstations in various sectors (manufacturing, office environments, housekeeping, hospitals, etc.) to reduce the risk of workers developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders such as low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.

Occupational Biomechanics

How to use the principles of occupational biomechanics that include the laws of physics and engineering theories to model current and proposed work tasks. The analysis results can be compared to guidelines developed to reduce the risk of workers developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders.


How to utilize the principles of psychophysics to analyze workplace tools, equipment and other work parameters.

Ergonomics Programs

How to develop a process that integrates occupational ergonomics into workplace and product design.

Ergonomics Training

Development of customized ergonomics seminars, workshops and courses that allow attendees to utilize principles taught in the program to work on case studies from their workplace.