Ergonomics

The University of Utah’s RMCOEH has two distinct routes to training in Ergonomics that uses different graduate degrees.  Both involve the same faculty, but the training and coursework somewhat differ.  One set of degrees are in Mechanical Engineering (MS, PhD; access hotlink to left) and the others are Occupational and Environmental Health (MSOH, MOH, PhD).  All of these options are multi-disciplinary programs integrating the efforts of engineering, occupational injury prevention, industrial hygiene, and occupational medicine. The field of Occupational Ergonomics emphasizes biomechanics while the field of Occupational Safety applies engineering principles and methodologies to minimize the physical hazards of the occupational environment.

Students with an MSOH with Ergonomics emphasis gain specialized skills to work in and contribute to many industries - from manufacturing to healthcare to biotech.

The study of Occupational Ergonomics in the OEH degree programs is a non-engineering degree program that deal with minimizing the hazards and maximizing the efficiency of a work system in which the human is a part. The scope of this system can be as limited as a carpenter and a hammer or as complex as the control system of a nuclear power plant. “Ergonomics” is derived from the Greek word “erg” which means “work” and the Greek word “nomus” which means “the study of” or “the natural laws of.” Ergonomics is therefore the study of the natural laws of work.

The RMCOEH was established in 1977 as part of the University's original NIOSH education and research center grant. The program continues to operate within a world-class, interdisciplinary, occupational health education and research environment.

Objectives

Program graduates achieve the following competencies, as defined by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Graduates are able to: 

  • effectively manage ergonomics and safety programs.
  • identify, evaluate, and abate hazards relating to ergonomic and safety issues in the workplace.
  • interpret government standards and other guidelines relating to ergonomics and safety.
  • present internal training to address safety and ergonomics issues.
  • work as a team member with management and engineering personnel to address ergonomics and safety issues and develop program plans to address these issues.
  • effectively communicate to workers, peers, and management using verbal, visual, and written skills.

Required Courses

See other option of for Mechanical Engineering for MS in MEEN degree requirements. 

Course # Course Title Credit Hours Semester Offered
OEHS 6761 Introduction to Ergonomics 3 Spring
OEHS 6370 Occupational Epidemiology 3 Fall
OEHS 6000 Applied Occupational Biostatistics 3 Fall
ME EN 6960-4 Work Physiology and Occupational Heat Stress 3 Summer Odd AY
ME EN 6120 Human Factors in Engineering Design (or 6130) 3 Fall Odd AY
ME EN 7100 Advanced Ergonomics 3 Spring Odd AY
OEHS 6760 Administration and Management of Health and Safety Programs 3 Fall
OEHS 6750 Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene 2 Fall
OEHS 6311 Research Design 3 Fall
OEHS 6960 Occupational Health and Safety Solutions 3 Spring
Electives 8
OEHS 6910 Project Research – MSOH OR 6 Fall,Spring, & Summer
OEHS 6911 Thesis Research - MSOH 6 Fall,Spring, & Summer
MSOH-Ergonomics Total Credit Hours 43