Dr. Karen Chen

Dr. Karen Chen

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Phone: 919-515-6403
Fax: 919-515-5281
Instructor Website

ISE 540 Human Factors in Systems Design

3 Credit Hours

Foundational human factors principles and conceptual frameworks, and their application to design of human-machine systems. Consideration of human cognitive and physical capabilities and limitations in design for performance, safety, and comfort. Human factors research methods; experimental design; human sensory channels and capacity; design of display and control; information theory and human information processing; human performance modeling; macroergonomics and sociotechnical systems; design for disability and aging.


Have taken courses in introductory human factors (or have knowledge on basic human capabilities).

Course Objectives

  • develop knowledge of human factors design terminology;
  • learn models of human-machine interaction and information processing;
  • develop an understanding of approaches to integrating human factors in systems design and identify expected outcomes;
  • learn principles of human factors for task and system design;
  • develop a familiarity with the human factors literature;
  • discuss human factors issues in specific domains; and
  • apply human factors design principles to real-world problems through exercises.

Course Requirements


  1. Weekly Reading Assignments – You will be responsible for reading chapters of the text and assigned articles.
  2. Homework – Written problem sets / discussions aligned with course content will be assigned.


There will be three exams as part of the course. They will involve defining human factors terms, describing design principles, understanding and evaluation of human factors framework and literature, and writing brief discussion responses on how you would design complex systems.


You will be required to work on a term project. You will apply human factors concepts in analyzing and redesigning a real-world, human-technology system. The selected system must be multifaceted and complex enough to examine various hf/e opportunities.


Lee, J. D., Wickens, C. D., Liu, Y., & Boyle, L. N. (2017). Designing for people: An introduction to human factors engineering. CreateSpace. ISBN-13: 978-1539808008.


Computer and Software Requirements

Please review minimum computer specifications recommended by NC State University and Engineering Online.

Updated 11/11/2020