ISE graduate students take top prize in ergonomics competition

Published December 14, 2017

A team of five graduate students from the human factors program in UB’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering took home top honors at the 11ᵗʰ Ergonomics Design Competition as the eTools Prize Winner.

The annual competition, sponsored by Auburn Engineers, Inc., challenges students to develop solutions to real world problems using human factor and ergonomic methods.

This year, more than 150 students forming 30 teams from institutions all over North America participated in the competition. Teams faced off to solve applied ergonomics problems in three different domains: veterinary care, catering, and small engine repair. The winning group, Team TAJAQ, was advised by Assistant Professor Lora Cavuoto. Team Ergo5, also from UB and advised by Dr. Cavuoto, won an eTools Honorable Mention.

“We are very proud of our students in winning this prestigious award. This is the third time in 11 years that a UB team has won the competition!” said Ann Bisantz, professor and chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Team TAJAQ included students from four different countries: Qian Zhang (Team Leader), P.R. China; Taylor Kunkes, United States; Amit Pathak, India; Jun Kim, South Korea; and JeongSeop Kim, South Korea.

Recipients of the eTools Prize win an expense-paid trip to a national ergonomics conference, as well as one-year ownership of the competition statue, $300 per member, a plaque, and certificates. 

The competition was held online and ran from September to the start of December. For more information on the Ergonomics Design Competition, visit