If you missed the 2023 HFESA annual conference in Adelaide  – we will soon have the papers available on demand. Whilst you are waiting  –  here is a sample of what you missed  – the Ron Cumming Memorial Lecture 2023 from Sara Pazell.


The Ron Cummings Memorial Lecture Award 2023 was granted to Dr Sara Pazell, a certified professional ergonomist, who advocates passionately for the adoption of good work design from a human factors perspective. Her lecture presentation, ‘From relationships to robots: the value and vitality of human factors in design in a changing world of work,’ was inspired by the first chapter that she is writing for a book that she is co-editing now with Dr Elise CrawfordGood Work Design: Conceptualisation and Practice for Sustainable Futures, part of theWorkplace Insights series by Taylor & Francis, series co-editors, Dr Nektarios Karanikas and Dr Sara Pazell.


Sara describes good work design as a person-centred approach to understanding, organising, managing, and transforming work. These initiatives develop work design literacy, capacity, and capabilities. Using these approaches, community, industry, and organisations can evolve and improve their methods of articulating and tackling business problems to prop resilient operations or community functions. With a design lens, we can increase capabilities in waterfall and agile project management. The methods consider the lifecycle of the worker experience and their work systems. Sara spoke on strategies that are underpinned by human factors and resilience engineering, supporting performance that considers the evolution of humans (their needs, constraints, and capabilities) and their ecosystems. She proposed that human factors must be central in operational considerations to mediate three pillars:

  • Workplace protections (safety management and risk & compliance)
  • People & culture (people operations & workforce strategy)
  • Design (service, user & customer experience)