Psychology professor Richard Pak was recently elected to the College of Fellows for the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES). Receiving a Fellow designation – the highest recognition possible from the College of Fellows – is a high honor that recognizes consistently impressive professional contributions, service to the Society and other accomplishments.
The HFES, an organization for individuals involved in human factors and ergonomics, is the largest organization of its kind in the world. Active members include students, engineers, designers and scientists from the private sector, government agencies, universities, military research centers and more. Coming from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, members share a common goal of designing safe and effective equipment for individuals across industries. Pak has been involved with the Society for the past 21 years – first as a student member and later as an employed member. He was one of two people to receive this recognition for 2022.
Leslie Hossfeld, Dean of the College of Behavioral, Social, and Health Sciences, praised Pak, saying, “This achievement reflects highly on the caliber of our faculty and college, and we are immensely proud of Dr. Pak’s outstanding contributions to the field of human factors and ergonomics. His election into the College of Fellows is a testament to his exceptional work and dedication, and we look forward to his continued success and impact in shaping the future of this important discipline.”
As the world becomes more automated, it is critical to understand how users of all ages and types behave and perform with autonomous technology. Pak’s research interest is in understanding the psychological factors that determine successful interactions with automated technologies from smartphones and GPS to complex automated unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) control or human-robot collaboration.
His research also encompasses the psychological issues around the use of automation and autonomy such as trust, workload, acceptance, ethics and performance. He and his students conduct their research in the Clemson Cognition, Aging and Technology (CAT) Lab. He is also the current director of the Clemson Human Factors Institute, a multi-disciplinary group of researchers who study human factors topics across the University.
“I am truly humbled and honored to be designated a Fellow because it means the most distinguished scientists and practitioners in my field have recognized my professional contributions and service,” Pak said.
Through his research at Clemson, Pak has collaborated on various published books – most recently, the second edition of “Designing Displays for Older Adults” released in 2020, which is part of the Human Factors and Aging Series. Pak has contributed to numerous articles that were published by HFES, such as the recently published “The relevance of attention control, not working memory, in Human Factors.”
As a newly elected Fellow, Pak will continue working on and publishing his own research, as well as collaborating with Clemson students on research projects.
The Department of Psychology is a part of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, a 21st-century land-grant college joining together a unique combination of schools and departments: Communication, Nursing, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health Sciences and Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice. These areas have distinctive characteristics and missions – all joined together by a common thread of service to people and communities.
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