UF Names New Chair of Industrial & Systems Engineering

In Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Featured, News

David Kaber, Ph.D.

The Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the University of Florida is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. David Kaber, as Professor and Chair of its Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Dr. Kaber is currently a Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. A 17-year faculty member of NCSU since 2000, Dr. Kaber holds many leadership roles in the institution, including the Director of Research at the Ergonomics Center of North Carolina (ECNC), the Director of the Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (OSE) Program, in addition to his affiliated faculty appointments in both Biomedical Engineering and Psychology. Under his leadership, the Ergonomics Center has been successful in gaining federal as well as industry-sponsored funding from Duke Energy, Strong Arm and John Deere. The OSE Program is part of an Education and Research Center (ERC) under the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) Southeastern region, where it has provided extensive student recruitment and training in the areas of cognitive ergonomics, physical ergonomics and occupational safety engineering for the past ten years. The program is expected to remain a part of the Southeastern NIOSH ERC until 2022. He was also the recipient of the NCSU ISE Department Outstanding Faculty Award in 2006 and 2013.

“We are very excited that Dr. Kaber will be joining us,” said Cammy Abernathy, Dean of the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at UF. “He is an outstanding scholar and leader. His vision to grow and diversify our ISE program will greatly enhance research and educational opportunities for our college.”

Dr. Kaber’s research interest lies in the area of human-systems engineering, in particular, measures, models and methods (the 3 M’s) for human performance in complex systems. His current work focuses on modeling and analysis of cognitive workload and situation awareness in unmanned systems operations, driver performance and behavior in automated vehicle use, and design principles for “automation transparency” in human-in-the-loop systems. He is an expert in the area of cognitive engineering and human-computer interaction, and his study in aspects of human factors and human performance in systems design and engineering, as well as in occupational ergonomics and occupational and systems-safety engineering have earned him multiple recognitions by his peers. These recognitions include being inducted as a Fellow into the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society as well as the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers. He has earned numerous research grants for his projects.  These grants have included a NSF Human-Centered Computing Research Award to devise virtual reality-based simulations that can be integrated with haptic-control devices for motor rehabilitation and fine-motor skill training, NASA Langley Research Center Aviation Safety Program funding to study aviation display clutter and its impact on pilot performance, and several North Carolina Department of Transportation contracts for the study of driver behavior and distraction in use of roadway facility designs. His research, though expansive in topics and coverage, has a common theme, it helps us better understand and ultimately improve our capability to design and engineer human systems and specifically, human-automation interaction.

“Research and teaching have been the focus throughout my career and I am now very excited to bring this experience to the Chair position at UF. I believe the Department is ready for a major expansion in terms of breadth of coverage of the industrial engineering discipline. I also believe the College is supportive of this new development and assisting the Department to realize its full potential.”

Dr. Kaber is also a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences at the Khon Khean University (KKU), Thailand and a Visiting Professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Rostock, Germany. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Central Florida and a doctorate in industrial engineering from Texas Tech University. He is a certified safety professional and certified human factors professional.​  His appointment as Chair and Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at UF begins July 1, 2018, where he will hold the Dean’s Leadership Professorship concurrently.