80th Digitaldialog: Human Factors – the human being at the center of technological innovations

Photo: DI Dr. Lucas Paletta (JOANNEUM RESEARCH), Prof. DDr. Wolfgang Kallus (Institut für Begleitforschung), DI Dr. Heinz Mayer (JOANNEUM RESEARCH). Credit: JOANNEUM RESEARCH/ Mayer

DIGITAL – the institute for Information and Communication Technologies hosted the 80th Digitaldialog (digital dialogue) on February 23, which gave an insight into the importance of human factors in the design of technical systems.

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Taking human factors into account is becoming more and more important in the development and design of products, processes and systems. The increasing complexity of technical systems also increases the complexity of the interactions between humans and technology.

“We deliberately chose this topic together with the organizers because we think that the advent of digital technologies, especially when it comes to interaction, particularly affects people,” said DI Dr. Heinz Mayer Director of the DIGITAL Institute of JOANNEUM RESEARCH.

DI Dr. Mayer moderated and opened the event – in which almost 100 people took part – with a survey: “What do you expect from human factors?” confirming that “human factors” is a research area that contributes answers to many questions in the development of digital systems.

The presentations

DI Dr. Lucas Paletta, head of the Human Factors Laboratory, gave insights into the area of ​​human factors, cognitive sensors and interaction and presented the Human Factors Laboratory that was opened last year.

What is the role of the Human Factor Laboratory?

“We want to incorporate the human factors principles into the development of digital systems. Above all, we want to map behavioural analyses and constructs from psychology in interactions with the help of innovative sensors, with the aim of creating better interfaces, new measurement technologies and new models that we can use in the respective application areas,” Dr. Paletta states.

The DIGITAL Institute of JOANNEUM RESEARCH has been researching human factors for many years and is involved in several international research projects. The newly designed Human Factors Laboratory combines the most modern measuring instruments with innovative evaluation software for conducting studies in the field of “Human Factors and Ergonomics”. With newly developed measuring and assistance technologies that unobtrusively measure data on human behaviour, the team from DI Dr Lucas Paletta from the DIGITAL Institute of JOANNEUM RESEARCH develops digital systems that can optimally support people in stressful situations, be it emergency services, employees, or elderly or sick people.

Univ.-Prof. GDR. Professor Wolfgang Kallus, renowned expert and professor at the Institute for Accompanying Research and Psychological Quality Management at the Karl-Franzens University Graz, explained the goals, advantages and results of psychophysiological measurement in his lecture on the subject of “Action-related analysis of psychophysiological sensors for the optimization of training in the flight simulator” in human factors analyses in the field of flight simulation.

Inside Sandra Schüssler, expert at the Medical University of Graz, Institute for Nursing Science, highlighted the aspect of the application of human factors research in nursing in her lecture on “Innovative assistance technologies from the perspective of nursing science”.

Maria Fellner, MBA, CEO of DigitAAL Life presented an example of the commercial implementation of joint research results in a spin-off company and showed economic and social aspects of human factors in the areas of care and dementia.

At the end of the event, Assoc. Prof. DI Dr. Arno Eichberger, who is responsible for vehicle dynamics at the Institute for Vehicle Technology and who has been dealing with the topic of automated driving for many years, discussed important aspects of the implementation of new, socially relevant technologies in his lecture “Human factors in automated driving: a solvable dilemma?”

Ana Beatriz Lopez, PhD, expert of the European Federation for Welding, Joining and Cutting, focused on the topic of the working environment and presented results of the OptimaSteel project, which aims to implement cutting-edge technologies to optimize the workplace in the steel industry.


The “Digitaldialog” is a series of events organized by the Silicon Alps Cluster and is carried out in cooperation with the partners FH Campus 02, JOANNEUM RESEARCH, IT Community Styria and FH Kärnten. In this series, which was launched in 2011 by the Styrian economic development agency SFG, recognized technology experts provide an insight into their field of activity.

Next Digitaldialog

The next Digitaldialog will be on Data Science and Data Management. Register here