PhD Alum Wins Liberty Mutual Research Prize

Alumnae Priya Pennathur.

A team of nine researchers including ISE PhD alumna Priya Pennathur has won the 2014 International Ergonomics Association (IEA) Liberty Mutual Medal. The researchers received the award for their scientific paper, "Technologies in the Wild (TiW): Human Factors Implications for Patient Safety in the Cardiovascular Operating Room" (Ergonomics, Vol. 56, No. 2, pp. 205-219, 2013).

The winning paper describes technologies that could lead to a medical error in the cardiovascular operating room. The medal winner was announced at the Product Design/Health Care Technical Groups Networking Reception on October 28 at the Annual Human Factors and Ergonomics Conference.

In addition to Dr. Pennathur (pictured with Liberty Mutual's Ian Noy) the research team members include David Thompson, James H. Abernathy III, the late Elizabeth A. Martinez, George R. Kim, Jill A. Marsteller, Ayse P. Gurses, Peter J. Pronovost, and Lisa H. Lubomski.

Dr. Pennathur is currently an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Iowa. She performed post-doctoral research with at Johns Hopkins University. 

The IEA/Liberty Mutual Medal is awarded annually to recognize outstanding original research leading to the reduction of work-related injuries and/or to the advancement of theory, understanding, and development of occupational safety research. The Medal carries a stipend of $10,000. To access the study online, please visit