As those who were attending were aware, as the newly appointed President of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors, it was my pleasure to deliver the closing speech of the conference.
(I never voluntarily post photos of myself talking, as I normally look slightly possessed, but this one I can just about live with)
As I noted, I was, in fact, the first ever President of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors to deliver the conference closing speech, and, in my long list of thank yous, top of the list were the presidents that have preceded me, and given me, and Ian Randle, the newly elected President-Elect, a real opportunity to move beyond the vast amounts of work that have been completed over the past few years in re-organising the Institute and its operations, and delivering Chartered status.
It really is a massive undertaking to deliver a conference of the quality and atmosphere that we all enjoyed last week – James Walton and Tina Worthy in the IEHF office, along with Pat Waterson who chairs the Events Committee, have done a tremendous amount of work over the past year to make this happen, and I know are already thinking about next year and beyond. Steve Shorrock and Pat also worked with me to edit the proceedings which we hope will provide a useful and lasting record of the conference (although, I doubt we will get a mention in Nature, as our colleagues did in 1950 and 1951 – see below)
I’ve already mentioned our keynote speakers, who really were outstanding this year; our secretariat also did a great job. As I said to them last Thursday, 20 years ago I attended my first conference. I hope that when I attend the EHF conference in 20 years time (assuming of course that we still have conferences in those days, rather than instead meeting in a holographic form or having virtual events throughout the year perhaps), one of them is standing and delivering the closing speech as President of the Institute.
The conference gave me much food for thought, both as an individual E/HF researcher and practitioner, and also as President of the CIEHF. I consider it my responsibility to represent the views of our members in our strategic decisions and actions, so hope that the conference has enabled members to voice their views about the future directions of the CIEHF, and I encourage members to continue to keep in touch and involved in whichever way is most accessible to them, whether through writing for The Ergonomist, setting up blogs such as this (and I’m planning a post in a couple of weeks of other blogs relating to ergonomics that are an excellent resource), tweeting, volunteering to help with membership activities or initiatives such as Ergonomics in Schools or Healthcare, speaking at and leading events or coming along to symposia or conferences. We can’t promise to do everything that every member wants, but the more we know about our members’ wishes, the more confident we can be that we are making the best decisions on behalf of the CIEHF.
We have an aspiration to grow our membership; this makes it particularly important that we understand and ensure that being a member of the CIEHF is valuable to members in their professional careers. As CIEHF President, I’m looking forward to taking Sir Charles Haddon-Cave’s advice, by working to identify brief, coherent and resonant messages.
If we can get these messages clear, this will help us to work more effectively as E/HF practitioners and extol the value of E/HF to educational institutions, industry contexts, and society as a whole.