Christopher J. Drucker, MS, AEP, (PhD) Student
What was your educational and relevant work experience prior to enrolling in the OIPRT program?
Prior to enrolling in the OIPRT program, I received both my B.S. and M.S. from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. My degrees are in Industrial & Systems Engineering with my master degree concentrating in Human Factors/ Ergonomics (HF/E) engineering. Before I came to the University of Minnesota, my life was strictly academic based; therefore, I did not have any relevant work experience.
However, I am currently working as a research associate for HumanFIRST (Human Factors Interdisciplinary Research in Simulation and Transportation) here at the University of Minnesota. This entails working on transportation-related FOTs and simulator research for intelligent signage in efforts to augment driver's perception on gap safety.
What made you interested in the field of occupational injury prevention?
I was always interested in the science, math and medical fields growing up. Somehow, I wanted to mix all three interests together and it wasn't until my years as an undergraduate student that I discovered the field of HF/E. In a nut shell, HF/E is the science of understanding the human-machine interface. Utilizing principles in science and math, and then adapting them to the human body to understand how the human operates biomechanically, physiologically and psychologically allows me to satisfy all three fields at once. My interests further evolved into the field of occupational injury prevention after I spent some time conducting HF/E-based research on workstations. It was intriguing to know my research would be used directly to help the workers by reducing the risk for injury.
What made you choose the University of Minnesota?
Choosing this university was not that hard of a decision. The University of Minnesota's School of Public Health is one of the top schools in the nation. It also has exactly what I was looking for - a research-oriented Ph.D. program in occupational injury prevention that would allow me to integrate my HF/E background with public health practices and research.
What type of job would you like to find upon completion of the program?
Upon completion of my doctoral program, I would like to work in a research laboratory either for an academic institution or for a government agency conducting research relating to motor vehicles.