Class coordinator: Dr. C Christie (email: email@example.com)
Minimum requirement for admission is a Bachelor Degree in Human Kinetics and Ergonomics or any other Bachelor course providing the required basic knowledge. Final Admission will be based on merit, depending on number of applicants, staffing and
laboratory equipment resources. In past years, applicants with marks of at least 60 to 65% were accepted.
Structure of the HKE Honours Degree
Nine seminar modules provide students with knowledge background. Half-day seminars contain lectures, interactive work and laboratory practicals. Two modules are compulsory (Research Methods 1 & 2) and students have to select 6 more topics from the remaining modules on offer, thereby bringing the total number of modules for the year to 8. Please consult Table 1 for the various modules on offer and their dates.
|1st Term||Research Methods 1 (Compulsory)||M Goebel||Wed 11 Feb - Fri 3 Apr||Tue & Wed
8:30 – 10:00
|Product Design||S Zschernack||Mon & Fri
8:30 – 10:00
|2nd Term||Research Methods 2 (Compulsory)||M Goebel||Mon 20 Apr – Thu 7 May
Tue 12 May – Wed 27 May
|Mon 8:30 – 10:00 Thu 14:00 – 15:30
Tue & Wed
8:30 – 10:00
|Biomechanics of the Lower Back||A Todd||Tue 21 Apr – Fri 8 May
Thu 14 May –Fri 29 May
|Tue & Fri
8:30 – 10:00
Tue 7:45 – 9:15
Fri 8:30 – 10:00
|Ergonomics Risk Assessment||M Mattison||Wed 22 Apr – Thu 7 May
Mon 11 May – Thu 28 May
|Wed 8:30 – 10:00 Thu 7:45 – 9:15
Mon 8:30 – 10:00
Thu 14:00 – 15:30
|3rd Term||Usability Testing||S Zschernack||Mon 27 Jul – Fri 4 Sep||Mon & Tue
8:30 – 10:00
|Work Process Analysis and Design||M Mattison||Wed & Fri 8:30 – 10:00|
|4th Term||Biomechanics of Human Locomotion||A Todd||Mon 14 Sep – Fri 30 Oct||Mon & Tue
8:30 – 10:00
|Advanced Physiology||C Christie||Wed & Fri
8:30 – 10:00
The introduction session for the Honours course will be on Tuesday 10 Feb 2009, 9:00am -10:00am.
All seminars will be held at the HKE Department in Rm 19 (former tutorial room) at the following dates and times. Please check the HKE Honours board for details.
Minimum requirement for admission is a Bachelor Degree in Human Kinetics and Ergonomics or any other Bachelor course providing the required basic knowledge. Final Admission will be based on merit, depending on number of applicants, staffing and laboratory equipment resources. In past years, applicants with average marks of at least 60 to 65% were accepted.
The objective of the research project is to introduce students to empirical research through the investigation of a kinesiology or ergonomics project. Emphasis is on the conceptual development and the scientific rigour students apply during the course of this
project. The length of the report should be restricted to 40-55 pages excluding references and appendices. For a detailed break-down of how to structure a long empirical report, refer to the Basic Format Guide.
The research projects will start in the first term with a variety of topics being presented and discussed in the research seminar on 19 February. These topics generally fall in line with research interests of the academic staff. Students will be required to submit three choices of topics by 23 February after which the academic staff will allocate research projects and supervisors to students. Efforts will be made to grant each student his/her primary choice, while also taking teaching, research and supervision loads of academic staff into account.
Intermediate presentations of student project on their research question will be required from all students. These will be held during research seminar times and students can select their date, as long as it is before 30 April.
During the data collection / testing phase students will be requested to book the required laboratory and equipment. This is necessary as all Honours projects run concurrently and many will need to use the same equipment. Consideration of fellow students is required when booking equipment and labs - please only book a slot if you definitely will be testing then.
The deadline for the final research report is Monday 19 October by 16h30. Students should print and ring bind 3 copies – one for the Department’s library, one for the supervisor and one personal copy.
Please consult the Format Guide when structuring your report.
Presentation and Poster
At the end of the year Honours students will be required to present the findings of their research projects to academic staff, postgrads and interested 3rd year students on Friday 22 October.
The poster presentation deadline is Monday 26 October. The Microsoft Publisher template for the poster can be obtained from the secretary.
Research seminar and further activities
The purpose of research seminars is to engage in critical discussions with all academic staff and postgraduate students. Topics for the research seminars may include debates, discussions of current issues in our discipline, exchange of information of research activities within the Department, feed-back from conferences etc. These sessions will be held every Thursday 9:30am- 11:15am. Attendance is compulsory.
Once a term a voluntary research seminar will occur in the evenings and may involve a guest speaker. As these sessions may involve guest speakers, the dates can only be arranged closer to the time and will be communicated to all via e-mail.
Field trips are arranged by the relevant lecturers as part of their modules. Advanced notice of when and where these field trips will be taking place (as these are dependent on the relevant industry) will be given to students closer to the time.
Contribution and support for other departmental activities
The HKE Department is also involved in various “expert services”, such as high performance testing, ergonomics consultancies and training courses and office ergonomics. Interested students are welcome to become involved in these activities.
Assignments and examination
Each module will be examined at the end of the year (November) and examinations will consist of either a written exam, a practical exam or a combination of the two. Examinations will be held in-house to allow a suitable timetable arrangement for all students’ module choices. The final mark for the honours degree will consist of:
|Class record||37.5%||All 8 modules carry equal weight|
|Examinations||37.5%||Each module will have either a written examination, or a practical exam, or a combination of written and practical. The exact examination requirements for each module will be announced by each lecturer.|
|Research Project||25%||The project mark will be a combination of the final project, the process and the final presentation|
Seminar module 'Research methods'
Lecturer: M. Goebel
This module will focus on the question of how to set up and carry out research in the field of HKE. Any type of research as well as any knowledge application requires careful consideration of the different sources of variance due to the complexity of human responses in real environments.
The module highlights the basic theories of scientific research and their implications on the way we study the Human Factor. It builds a link between the practical question (the research purpose) and the set-up of appropriate analysis and evaluation, which is the basis for most types of research projects. This is complemented by reversing the procedure, i.e. studying the conversion of scientific knowledge into practice (e.g. change management).
This module is further devoted at developing the required skills to apply important methods for data acquisition, to apply the mostly used statistical methods used in Human Factors research, and to write scientific reports.
The module is complemented by some particular aspects, such as studying human reliability, data mining and fuzzy decision making.
- Research paradigms
- Basic types of research
- Qualitative and quantitative research methods
- Validity and accuracy of studies
- Statistical methods (e.g. Analysis of (Co-)Variance, Factor-/Cluster Analysis, Canonic correlation)
- Task Analysis
- Analysis, measurement and interpretation of human responses
- Types of study for Human Factor Analysis
- Intervention strategies
- Project Planning
- Report writing
- Human Reliability
- Fuzzy technologies and fuzzy decision making
- Cost benefit analysis
Seminar module 'Advanced Physiology'
Lecturer: C. Christie
Section I: Introduction to Exercise/Work physiology
• The Language of Exercise/movement
• Historical Perspective: Origin to Recognition
Section II: Movement and Responses of Biological Systems
- The Nervous System and Movement
- The Skeletal-Articular System
- The Muscular System: Structural and Functional Plasticity, Design, Function, and Performance Relationships, the Control of Muscle
Mass, Fatigue Processes
- The Autonomic Nervous System
- The Respiratory System, the Oxygen Transport System: Integration of Functions
- The Cardiovascular System: Design and Control, Cardiac Function, Organization and Control of Circulation to Skeletal Muscle
- The Gastrointestinal System
- The Metabolic Systems: Control of ATP Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle, Carbohydrate Metabolism, Lipid Metabolism, Interaction of Lipid and Carbohydrate Metabolism, Protein and Amino Acid Metabolism in Muscle
- Mitochondrial Biogenesis Induced by Endurance Training
- The Endocrine System: Integrated Influences on Metabolism, Growth, and Reproduction
- Exercise and the Immune System
- The Body Fluid and Hemopoietic Systems
- The Renal System
Section III: The Effects of Exercise/ physical work in Altered Environments
- Physiological Systems and Their Responses to Conditions of Heat and Cold
- Physiological Systems and Their Responses to Conditions of Hypoxia
- Physiological Systems and Their Responses to Conditions of Hyperbaria
- Physiological Systems and Their Responses to Conditions of Microgravity and Bed Rest
- Section V: Genomics in the Future of Exercise Physiology
- Exercise Genomics and Proteomics
Seminar module 'Biomechanics of the Lower Back'
Lecturer: A. Todd
The Honours modules in Biomechanics provide insight into advanced biomechanics focusing on issues specific to both ergonomics and sports science. This module will provide a comprehensive understanding of biomechanical considerations of the back as this area is of key concern with regard to injuries at work, sport and for rehabilitation.
- How big a problem is it?
- Models to determine risks
- Calculating forces – Comparison between sport and working environments – implication for task design
- Musculoskeletal system implications
- Risk Factors
- Pathways to lower back disorders
- Biomechanical logic
- Assessment of spinal loading
- Static and dynamic models (Ergo Imager 3D SSPP, Ergo web)
- What really causes injury
- Types of injury
- Prevention of injury
Seminar module 'Biomechanics of Human Locomotion
Lecturer: A. Todd
This module will provide students with an advanced understanding of biomechanical considerations in human locomotion.
- Energy cost of walking at a constant speed
- Energy cost of running
- Mechanical efficiency of walking and running
- Positive and negative work
- Force – velocity revisited for negative work
- Measurement of mechanical work
- Internal and external work
- Potential and kinetic energy changes in walking and running
- Mechanical models for walking
- Mechanics of running
- Mechanical models for running
- Wasted mechanical work in locomotion
- Measurement of maximal muscular power during running
- Impact of pushing and pulling
Seminar module ‘Ergonomic Risk Analysis’
Lecturer: M. Mattison
This module focuses on the practical execution of performing ergonomics risk analyses in industry and implementing effective intervention strategies. Fieldtrips form an integral part of this module.
Part 1: The Role of the Ergonomist
- Ergonomics in Industrially Advanced vs. Industrially Developing Countries
- Ergonomics vs. Occupational Health and Safety
- Ergonomics Legislation in South Africa
Part 2: Job and Worksite Analysis
- The risk assessment approach
- Walk-through surveys
- Quantifying risk using industrial records
- Work-related risk factors
- Theories of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
- Risk screening tools for gross posture
- Office Ergonomics
- MSD Intervention Strategies
- MSD Management and Injury Prevention Programs
Seminar module ‘Work Process Analysis and Design’
Lecturer: M. Mattison
This module is concerned with the work processes that occur within the greater physical environment and focuses on productivity related issues that occur as a result of poor process design (as opposed the ergonomics risk assessment module which deals with the health risks of sub-optimal ergonomics design). Students will learn how to analyze work processes and how to improve productivity through (re)design of work tasks. Emphasis is laid on practical competence and fieldtrips form an integral part of this module. Topics include:
- Overview of the work system
- Describing & determining task requirements
- Task analysis methods
- Task development & design methods
- Measurement of human performance
Seminar module ‘Ergonomics Design Methods’
Lecturer: S. Zschernack
Ergonomists are required to introduce ergonomics quality during the development process of products and workplaces. While this requires a sound knowledge of ergonomics principles the development follows an iterative problem solving cycle where the result cannot be predicted - there is not one perfect solution. The application of different design principles will rather aid in finding one solution that best fulfils the requirements.
The central theme for the module will be the development cycle of a product from the idea of a product to its final design. Specific emphasis will be placed on development methods as well as the necessary interactions between different people involved in the process: developers as well as users.
The module consists of a theoretical and a practical component. The theoretical component will cover methods of product development (creative as well as systematic methods) which will have to be applied in the project of the practical component. The practical component of the module will require the design of an innovative product (a specific task will be given at the beginning of the module) from the basic product idea to a detailed mock-up (non-functional model). Assessment of the module will include a written exam at the end of the year as well as assessment of the practical component (class mark).
Seminar module ‘Usability testing’
Lecturer: S. Zschernack
A common task of ergonomist is the selection of tools and equipment in all areas of life (e.g. selecting chairs for office workers) and this requires the assessment of the “ergonomic quality” of existing products. In this context the ergonomist often finds him-/ herself in the situation that different ergonomics requirements are contradictory (e.g. subjective rating of users vs. expert assessment). In many cases usability has to be tested with a very limited user group within a limited amount of time.
This module focuses on methods and tools of usability, i.e. methods that assess the utility of products from the user’s point of view and that indicate problems in usage and understanding. Special attention will be paid to constrains and possible disturbances of the tests. Different methods will be presented and applied to different groups of products. Those usability tests will form the class mark.
The final assessment at the end of the year will comprise of a combination of written and practical examinations.