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Auburn Engineering associate professor named Human Factors and Ergonomics Society fellow

By Sylvia Masango

Published: Mar 14, 2019 8:43:00 AM

Sean Gallagher Sean Gallagher

Sean Gallagher, the Hal N. and Peggy S. Pennington Associate Professor of industrial and systems engineering, has been named a fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Gallagher is included among more than 300 individuals elected to fellow status, highlighting their achievements, contributions and personal service to the society and its members.

"It is a tremendous honor to have been named a fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society,” Gallagher said. “This society is comprised of thousands of individuals seeking to discover and exchange knowledge about human characteristics and how this knowledge can be applied to improve the design of devices, systems and workplaces. This is an exciting and multidisciplinary pursuit, and it is gratifying to have been recognized for my small part in this mission by HFES.”

Gallagher's research focuses on identification of the causes of musculoskeletal disorders. These disorders are the most common cause of long-term pain and physical disability in people and affect hundreds of millions around the world. In the U.S., there are more than 16 million strain and sprain injuries treated on an annual basis, at a cost of more than $125 billion a year.

Gallagher has theorized that musculoskeletal disorders are the result of a fatigue failure process in musculoskeletal tissues. Results of several studies support this theory and have led to the development of new risk assessment tools for both lower back injuries and upper extremity injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, by Gallagher and his colleagues at Auburn.  

“We take great pride in our faculty’s successes,” said John Evans, chair of industrial and systems engineering. “Dr. Gallagher is just one of many exceptionally talented scholars who elevate Auburn’s research profile, and I congratulate him on this prestigious step.”

Founded in 1957, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the largest scientific association for ergonomics and human factors professionals in the world.

Media Contact: Chris Anthony,, 334.844.3447

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