Sommerich named HFES President
Just like the Buckeye State, the Ohio State University Department of Integrated Systems Engineering is gaining a reputation as “the mother of presidents.”
At the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta this past October, ISE Associate Professor Carolyn Sommerich was named the organization’s president, a role previously held by ISE Professors William Marras and David Woods.
“Ohio State is sort of home to HFES presidents,” Sommerich says. “I think it does bring prestige to the Department and the University.”
Sommerich has long been active in HFES and was elected a Fellow in 2021, in recognition of her professional work and service to the Society.
In her new role, she says she would like to continue to advance the Society and increase membership and participation. HFES currently has nearly 3,000 members from academia – including students – and industry.
“Attracting new members is important,” Sommerich says. “HFES could and should be bigger. We need to find more ways to support and showcase early-career members. I also want to continue to support and showcase all of our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.”
Sommerich, who served as chair of HFES’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee from 2019 to 2021, says the Society offers a number of affinity groups related to gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ identity, and chronic illness and disability status. “These give people an opportunity and place to find their people, resources, and places of comfort,” she says. “I want to continue to support these groups.”
The role of president is a three-year commitment: Sommerich served as president-elect the previous year and will continue as immediate past president after serving as president. She also serves as the faculty advisor for Ohio State’s student chapter of HFES.
Story by Nancy Richison