Putting the Human First in Engineering Research

The HumanFIRST Lab helps engineer systems with people in mind. The lab specializes in human factors research, a field that combines engineering and psychology.

“What we study is the interaction between people and systems, which ends up being a very broad domain of work because almost everything includes people interacting with systems,” said Nichole Morris, research associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the HumanFIRST Lab. “It can be people interacting with technology, a roadway, or infrastructure. Or, it could be interacting with an institutional system like law enforcement or the military.”

Morris' research focuses on making various environments safer for people — from pedestrians to female soldiers in combat.