Plenary Speaker 5

Professor Andrew Thatcher

Professor of Industrial/ Organizational Psychology
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Topic: Sustainability, HFE, and design for all: why the sustainability agenda represents good HFE.


It is clear from multiple converging crises that we are approaching an existential inflection point in humanity’s history. Tackling the global challenge of sustainability will require concerted effort from many disciplines. 

HFE can play a key role in ensuring a just transition to a sustainable way of living. However, to make a significant impact HFE will need to carefully reconsider what are important goals and how it treats its traditional stakeholders. In this plenary address I will draw on six values necessary to enable HFE to act in a sustainable way. 

In doing so I will show that not only can HFE contribute meaningfully to the global sustainability agenda, but that these six values address design for all while also enhancing the quality and value of HFE.

About speaker

Andrew Thatcher (PhD, Witwatersrand, South Africa) is Professor and Chair of Industrial/Organisational Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. 

He is currently Chair of the IEA’s Future of Work Task Force and prior to that was Chair of the IEA’s Human Factors and Sustainable Development Technical Committee. He is an editor of the journal ‘Ergonomics’ and publishes regularly in the top journals in HFE. 

His two most recent books “Human factors for sustainability: theoretical perspectives and global applications” and “Ergonomics and human factors for a sustainable future: current research and future possibilities” have set the agenda for the scope and practice of HFE and sustainability. 

Prof. Thatcher’s research work focuses on creating sustainable work systems within complex socio-eco-technical environments to improve human and environment functioning.

"To make a significant impact HFE will need to carefully reconsider what are important goals and how it treats its traditional stakeholders."

Conference speakers

David caple

Professor David C. Caple

La Trobe University
Melbourne, Australia

Professor Arto Reiman

University of Oulu


David J. Wortley

United Kingdom


Professor Sidney W.A. Dekker

Griffith University
Brisbane, Australia


Professor Andrew Thatcher

University of the Witwatersrand
South Africa

Hon. Dr. Palanivel Thiaga Rajan

Minister for Finance and Human Resources
Tamil Nadu, India


Dr. Sarita Dara

Civil Aviation Authority
New Zealand


Dr. Pawan Vora

SUNY Buffalo

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