History of IES

Development of the Irish Ergonomics Society: 

An informal group was formed in October 1984 and in March 1985 it was accepted as a Regional Group of the Ergonomics Society (U.K.). The Group ran seminars once or twice per year and was involved from 1985 onwards in the development of the ideas and processes for a "European Ergonomist". The aim was to provide the mechanism for establishing and controlling a recognised professional level for Ergonomists throughout Europe, in order to provide mobility between member states and to protect the public from those who are unqualified and/or not competent. The standards were agreed in 1992 and provided the mechanism for the Irish Ergonomics Group to become a fully Irish society.

A constitution was approved at an AGM in March 1993 and the Irish Ergonomics Society was formally launched on 5th March 1994 when the first Annual Conference was held at the University of Limerick. The Society was admitted to the International Ergonomics Association as an Affiliated Organisation at its 12th Triennial Congress in Toronto on 14th August 1994. This makes it the officially recognised society for Ergonomics in Ireland. The IES became a Federated Member of the IEA  (that means full voting rights etc.) at the IEA Council Meeting in August 1995. The Society also represents Ireland on the Council of the Centre for the Registration of European Ergonomists (CREE) which was incorporated legally in the Netherlands on 1st October 1995 and which administers the registration process. In June 1998 five applicants from Ireland were accepted as European Ergonomists.

Membership of the Irish Ergonomics Society is available to people with a degree (or equivalent) in the Ergonomics area, or some other degree with either the equivalent of two years of full-time work in Ergonomics or have published two scientific papers in Ergonomics. Those who do not meet these requirements but are interested in Ergonomics can join as Associates. Appropriate postgraduate courses are on offer at the University of Limerick (part-time) and at University College Galway (full-time) and at Queen's University of Belfast (full-time).

 Currently total membership stands at about 65 but is growing all the time as the Society becomes better known. The main activity is the Annual Conference supplemented by a regular newsletter with information collated from all around the world. The Society also processes applications for European Ergonomist on behalf of CREE and has occasional input to general matters of Ergonomics e.g. when the term is used incorrectly in the media, or when requested to advise on standards such as in regulations.

Prof. Tim Gallwey FIES

University of Limerick