Student earns recognition

By Matt Gronlund

NIU student Eduardo Shaw was awarded third place in the 1993 March and McLennan Student Paper Award this past June.

Shaw, an industrial technology major, was presented an award and a $500 honorarium at the 32nd Annual Professional Developmental Conference in Dallas.

Shaw’s paper, “The Science of Ergonomics and Its Relationship to VDT Work stations Settings,” discusses the relationship between the science of ergonomics and video display terminal (VDT) work stations.

Ergonomics, according to Shaw’s paper is “the study of how the performance, comfort and satisfaction of individuals can be maximized by creating optimum working conditions.”

“Ergonomics tries to accommodate the workplace to minimize injuries,” Shaw said.

The paper was written for an NIU class titled “Accident Prevention and the Human Factor,” taught by Associate Professor of Technology Earl Hansen. The class curriculum dealt with ergonomics.

In his paper, Shaw states ergonomics is a growing field and gives three primary examples of why this will continue. They are the rising incidence of illness, the rising cost of injuries and changing demographics.

Shaw states the fears associated with working with computers are not new. He states employers have been worried about the effects of spending too much time in front of computers since the widespread introduction of VDTs into the workplace.

The paper also covers the proper posture and distance a worker should have in relationship to their work environment.

Shaw said he was ecstatic when he heard he had won the award. “That was a great experience,” he said. “I learned a lot and had fun.”

At first, Shaw was unsure if he would be able to attend the conference due to a lack of money, but the local chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers (A.S.S.E.) came through and provided Shaw with the necessary funds to make the trip to Dallas. The A.S.S.E. also sponsored the Dallas conference.

Shaw, a co-op student at Fermi-Lab in Batavia, IL, will return to NIU in the spring to complete his degree.

Shaw’s paper has been submitted for publication in an undisclosed business magazine.