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Andrew Todd elected chair of International Committee

Date Released: Mon, 17 August 2015 12:53 +0200

Congratulations are due to Andrew Todd on this election. Vice-Chancellor Dr Sizwe Mabizela joined the HKE staff on Monday 17th August in congratulating Mr Todd on his election to lead this important chapter of the IEA.


According to the IEA website the IDC committee is responsible for, and I quote, “The International Development (ID) Standing Committee promotes, coordinates, and implements ergonomic activities in industrially developing countries by supporting local and regional initiatives concerning research, development, training, and conferences. The committee implements ergonomics development programs in industrially developing countries and collaborates with other IEA committees with interests in industrially developing countries.” Mr Todd indicates that in his view the objective of the committee is to guide and assist in the development of ergonomics across the broad cross-spectrum of countries that could be called industrially developing.

When asked about priority areas, Andrew indicated that these would be difficult to pin point without having been to an executive meeting yet, but that his aims would be: -

1) Changing perspectives: Acknowledging what it actually means to be an IDC (in other words to change perspectives of IDCs from helpless countries needing saving by the west, to a more nuanced idea that most IDCs are characterised by a large cross spectrum of income brackets and financial power (i.e. a large cross spectrum of ergonomics related concerns and not just subsistence farming problems).

2) Education: To continue with the excellent work that Prof Jose Orlando Gomes has done in development ergonomics training programmes. This work has been done primarily in South America and we would be looking to implement similar programmes in other parts of the world. The idea would be to train the trainers so that IDC countries are empowered themselves to continue with the education of their own people.

3) A collaborative approach: Avoid re-inventing the wheel – many IDCs have similar issues/concerns/barriers and have come up with innovative solutions which are not being shared across continents and countries. Academics and practitioners need to work more closely together. Additionally there has been talk of an IDC-focussed international journal which Mr Todd highlights as something he would be interested in driving forward.The

The structure of the IDC  is as follows:

  • Andrew Todd (South Africa)           : International Development Standing Committee Chair
  • Christina Josson (Nordic)              : Development and Promotion Standing Committee Chair
  • Christopher Schlick (Germany)      : Science, Technology and Practice Standing Committee Chair
  • Eric Ming Yang Wang (Taiwan)      : Past President, Award Committee Chair
  • Frederic They (Singapore)             : Professional Standards and Education Standing Committee Chair
  • Jose Orlando Gomes (Brazil)         : Vice President and Treasurer
  • Kathleen Mosier (USA)                  : Vice President and Secretary General
  • Michelle Robertson (USA)             : Communication and Public Relations Standing Committee Chair
  • Sara Albolino (Italy)                        : The IEA2018 Congress Chair
  • Yushi Fujita (Japan)                       : President

There are three committee members representing ULAERGO (South America), SENEAS (South East Asia), and India as the key stakeholders in IDCs currently. Mr Todd represents Africa via his current role as president of ErgoAfrica. 

This involovement on a global front has implications for research at HKE. Andrew says: "I would like to see some of our research resources moving in this direction; in other words for us to try and understand the barriers to the successful implementation of ergonomics in IDCs. As such I think there should be several areas of research that students will be able to get involved in. Holding the position as IDC Chair within the IEA structures will also help me better understand how money moves in the IEA community and hopefully this will give us better access to it I am hoping that we will be able to develop some funded research projects for Rhodes and other institutions to grow IDC intellectual capacity."

We wish Andrew well and support him in his new role!