Best Student Project Award

For the best postgraduate student dissertation or thesis in ergonomics and human factors

Who's lining up a great career?

This Award is for the best postgraduate student dissertation or thesis in ergonomics and human factors.


  1. The nomination must be submitted by the supervisor or course director for a dissertation or thesis which has been marked and evaluated by the home university during the immediately preceding academic year.
  2. The nomination must be for a postgraduate student project report submitted as a part of the requirements for a recognised qualification.
  3. The student will normally have been studying for a taught Masters degree, postgraduate Certificate or postgraduate Diploma when the project was carried out.
  4. The postgraduate project should be in an area of ergonomics/human factors, but the postgraduate course need not necessarily be one accredited by the Institute.
  5. A short statement in support of the project and work should be included by the nominator, including clear description of the quality of data collection, analysis and contribution (theoretical and/or practical) of the work.
  6. In assessing student projects, the following points may be taken into account:
    1. How much of the project is pure ergonomics/human factors?
    2. The relationship of the work to previous research in relevant areas.
    3. Is the problem stated explicitly?
    4. The originality and technical expertise in planning and execution.
    5. Does the project show how user requirements have been studied and treated?
    6. Quality of interpretation and discussion of results.
    7. The clarity of expression and quality of presentation.
    8. Does the work fulfill the standard of a ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ Masters Degree?
  7. The award is not available for registered research students or for undergraduate students.
  8. Students on distance learning courses are eligible as well as those who are taught at university facilities.
  9. The assessors are asked to make an overall judgement of the project, perhaps using as a criterion that its 'natural home', if it were to be published, would be in the journal 'Ergonomics' or 'Applied Ergonomics'.

Note: referees for support of nominations for this award may be project supervisors, tutors, examiners, research colleagues, senior lecturers or professors, for example.


This year's winner

Well done to the winner of our Best Student Project Award 2024, Molly Macgregor, for her work on strengthening the links between primary and secondary care to improve children's health and wellbeing in Birmingham. Molly was on the Master's course in Human Factors at the University of Nottingham. Well done, Molly!

Origins of the award

This was formerly the Ulf Aberg Award.

Ulf Aberg was born in 1920 and graduated in electrical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 1945, gaining a Doctorate in 1961. For 14 years he worked with Ericsson, and later with the National Defence Research Institute, on acoustics, speech transmission and information theory. After several industrial research posts he founded the Laboratory of Industrial Ergonomics at the Royal Institute of Technology in 1969, later developing the Institute of Work Sciences which embraced occupational accidents, construction ergonomics and industrial ergonomics.

The cross disciplinary membership of the Institute permitted a broad approach to industrial work which was demonstrated by major involvement in the design and implementation of many new plant installations in Sweden. He co-authored the first Swedish textbook on ergonomics and, as Professor of Industrial Ergonomics, was influential in introducing many students to his catholic approach to the subject. He was the first foreign member of the Ergonomics Society and the founder chairman of the Nordic Ergonomics Society. This award was set up in his honour.

Roll of honour

2023 Not awarded
2022 Arthur Nichanian

2021 Finian Ralph
2020 Alistair Cooper
2019 Tassilo Bouwman
2018 Caroline Wilcock
2017 Milena Studic, Miguel Aulet
2016 Ruby Allen
2015 Vicki Antrobus
2014 Katarzyna Stawarz
2013 Nicolette Conti
2012 Laura Lewis & Andrew Lowrey
2011 Jan Mulligan & Pauline Cole
2010 Francesca Pagnacco
2009 Kim Hiltz & William Baker
2008 Dr Tara Reilly
2007 Sian Taylor-Phillips
2006 K Mercer
2005 Z Mack
2004 L Fleet
2003 Caroline Gowing
2002 Laura Norton
2001 Ian Rowley
2000 Wendy Morris
1999 E J Wright
1998 Ann Brooks; Ilse Cowdery
1996 Aileen Sullivan, Nottingham University
1995 Linda Bossi, Loughborough University of Technology
1993 Joanna Thomason, Birmingham University
1992 Mark R Wilson, Loughborough University of Technology
1991 Jacqueline Nicholls, London University
1990 I Denley
1989 Margaret Boase, Loughborough University of Technology
1987 Anthony E P Esgate, Birkbeck College London
1986 Kian Chye Ong, University of Hull
1984 M Andrew C Life, University College London
1983 Michael J Tipton, Kings College London
1982 E Barry Gill, University of Aston in Birmingham
1981 Boi-Leong Yap, Loughborough University of Technology
1980 Adrian A Philpott, University College London
1978 William A Evans, University College London
1977 Rachel R Birnbaum, University College London