David Ferguson Award

The David Ferguson Award is awarded for the best postgraduate thesis or undergraduate honours thesis produced in the 24 months prior to the Award.

  • Awarded to an individual student enrolled in a relevant Australian University program of study.
  • The Award is based on a paper summarising the thesis, together with a supporting statement from the student’s supervisor.
  • The Award is in the form of a Certificate, plus one year’s appropriate membership of the Society.
  • From 2017, this is awarded biannually at the HFESA Conference in the odd-numbered years.

Past recipients

2002 Glen Lichtwark
2003 Grace Szeto
2004 Valerie O’Keeffe
2005 not awarded
2006 not awarded
2007 Veronica Thorsson
2008 Sue Lukersmith
2009 Clare Haselgrove
2010 Tang Chang
2011 Nadine Milgate and Edward Dohrmann
2012 Naomi Heaps
2013 Jennifer Long
2014 Kirsten Way
2015 Valerie O’Keeffe
2016 Alison Bell
2017 no nominations received
2018 Not awarded
2019 Andrea Ireland and Scott McLean

About David Ferguson

In 1976, David Ferguson became the first Professor of Occupational Health in Australia and in the 1960s, he was the first in the field to take up ergonomics and to promote it as an integral part of workers’ health and safety programs.

David was the founding father of the application of ergonomics to OHS in Australia. He was one of the founders of the Ergonomics Society of Australia (ESA, later renamed to HFESA) in the mid 1960s and helped to develop a strong professional and scientific image for ergonomics during its early years in Australia.

David did pioneering research on repetition injuries in factory workers and in telegraphists and published papers on this work in the early 1970s.

David was responsible for the introduction of lectures in ergonomics at the University of Sydney and also participated in and encouraged the development of ergonomics courses at the University of NSW and WorkSafe Australia.

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