A delegation of officers José Orlando Gomes, Kathleen Mosier, and Yushi Fujita conducted the first official IEA visit to Cuba to participate in the XIX CUJAE Engineering & Architecture Congress organized by the Technological University of Havana. Our immediate aim was to support the Cuban Ergonomics Society in their education, research, and industry endeavors, and to set up contact with Cuban Universities and research groups for promotion and dissemination of HFE in Cuba and Latin America. We met with high-level university officials, students, and industry leaders and identified several potential areas for IEA collaboration and support, including the placement of PhD students in universities abroad to enhance their research, support for research equipment, conduct of summer courses, design of transit infrastructure, use of ISO standards in research and industry, and a reallocation project to address the aging worker population. More details are below.
November 26th. IEA delegation participated on at the Official Opening Ceremony of the XIX CUJAE Engineering and Architecture Congress at the Palacio de Convenciones de la Habana, and held discussions with Profs. Silvio Viña Brito and Aida Rodriguez about potential topics for cooperation.
The IEA officers were informed that there are in several Cuban Universities, specially at the Industrial Engineering Departments & Colleges regular courses in HFE at undergrad and graduate level (M.Sc. and Ph.D.). There were trained 15 Ph.D. in HFE and several dozen M.Sc.
In Cuba there are 15 universities delivering a diploma in Industrial Engineering (5-year course) in which HFE is a mandatory course with at least 60h-course including several subjects mainly physical and organizational ergonomics. The IEA Systemic approach and cognitive ergonomics are areas for promising cooperation on teaching, research, and practice in Cuba. The universities are listed in the Cuban Ministry of Education as providing training in Industrial Engineering/HFE on undergrad, master and doctorate levels: http://www.mes.gob.cu/es/ingreso/carreras/ingenieria-industrial
November 28th. – Meeting with the authorities of the Technological University of Havana listed below:
– President: Prof. Alicia Alonso, Industrial Engineer & Ph.D. in HFE,
– Dean of the Industrial Engineering College: Prof. Martha Abreu, Ph.D. at the Department of Enterprise Informatics,
– International Relations Office´s Director: Prof. Jose Maria Ameneiros Martinez, Ph.D. and Chemical Engineering College,
– Enterprise Informatics Department Chair/Industrial Engineering College, Prof. Yadary C. Ortega Gonzalez, Ph.D.,
– Prof. Silvio Viña Brito, Ph.D. in HFE, first Ph.D. in Cuba in 1973, and pioneer, Industrial Engineering College,
– Prof. Aida Rodriguez, Ph.D., Industrial Engineering College and HFE team member,
– Prof. Indira Ordoñez Reyes, M.Sc., Industrial Engineering College and Ph.D. student at CUJAE in HFE,
– Prof. Aleida Gonzalez Gonzalez, Ph.D., Industrial Engineering College and full prof in Quality Engineering at CUJAE
After presentation from both sides, several points of cooperation were discussed and several areas of requested support from IEA by Prof. Alicia Alonso were identified:
1. To provide profs in HFE/universities abroad to receive 2 CUJAE´S young profs in HFE that are currently doing their Ph.Ds. for a short stay (max 6 months each) to improve their doctorate research
2. To improve the CUJAE´s HFE lab through international donation of equipment and tools.
3. To help CUJAE to promote a summer school in HFE for Cuba and other Latin American countries.
We also held a meeting with Universidad Camilo Cienfuegos de Matanzas, Prof. Joaquin Dihigo Garcia, Ph.D. in HFE and International Relations Office. The university has a M.Sc. in HFE. It was requested that IEA support the university by facilitating potential donors or funding organizations to renovate the HFE lab which including civil construction and acquire tools and equipment with a total cost around US$30k. Prof. Joaquin (3rd from the left) will prepare a executive proposal in English to send to IEA.
November 29th. Symposium Qualitas (Quality Engineering) organized by Prof. Aleida Gonzalez Gonzalez of CUJAE.
Key note addresses:
Quality Management System at AICA and Impacts, Ing. Antonio Vallin Garcia, CEO of AICA Laboratories, a company from the Cuban Holding Pharmaceutical Group BIOCUBAFARMA.
HFE plays a major role in contributing to TQM through Standardization, Prof. Yushi Fujita, IEA Past President and IEA Awards Committee Chair.
Some initial contacts were established with the industry CEO (in the center of the picture) for potential collaboration with CUJAE university, through the graduate program in industrial engineering. Prof. Aleida introduced two young Ph.D. students whose will work on subjects related to quality engineering and HFE ISO standards. In addition to the Cuban pharmaceutical industry, Prof. Aleida mentioned two other potential sectors for collaboration: food industry and construction.
Meeting with the CUJAE Architecture College and the UK Open University/University College of London. This meeting was preceded by another one with Profs from the UK Open University & University College of London. Both universities have a 3-year Cooperation Project with CUJAE on Urban Mobility.
CUJAE profs from the College of Architecture participated in this meeting: Jorge Pena Diaz and Adrian Gonzalez, from the Urban Research and Action Group. This research group with support from UK universities is redesigning multi-modal commuting station in Havana City incorporating some HFE concepts.
The UK profs are Dr. Emily Morris, Honorary Research Associate, Institute of the Americas, University College of London, Emily.email@example.com; Dr James Warren, Senior Lecture, UK Open Univesity, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Dr. Rob Anderson, CENEX, Senior Fleet Specialist, email@example.com. We discussed a potential cooperation with the 2 research groups in order to formally insert HFE in this specific commuting project as well as in future ones with the CUJAE´s College of Architecture. Prof. Adrian Gonzalez is a Young prof at CUJAE and currently doing his Ph.D. and prospecting opportunities for a short stay abroad (max 6 months) at a HFE lab working with HFE in transportation systems. Prof Aleida is his Ph.D. advisor.
November 30th. Symposium on Human Resources was organized by Prof. Armando Cuesta, full prof in the Industrial Engineering College.
Key note addresses:
Commitment Management, Prof. Armando Cuesta analyzed the actual state of art in Cuban companies.
IEA Strategies for Effective Human Factors and Ergonomics, Prof. Kathleen Mosier, President of IEA. Following the presentation several questions were made by the audience related to IEA and HFE.
Meeting with Cuban Telecommunications Company- ETCSA. The IEA officers along with Profs. Silvio and Aida met the ETECSA Manager, Lic. Nubia Gutiérrez Placeres, M.Sc. in HFE at CUJAE and responsible for ETECSA OHS Department. The manager presented several topics related to HFE with special focus on aging worker population and the company request for reallocation. A potential cooperation project IEA-CUJAE-ETCSA will be drafted by Profs. Silvio and Aida from CUJAE.
Jose Orlando Gomes, Vice President/Treasurer