Central tasks of ergonomics are the design and the evaluation of work situations and their adaptation to human needs. The well-being of the acting person as well as his/her efficiency play an equal role.

As a result of recent developments in working environments, cognitive aspects (information processing), mental strain, and demographic change have become increasingly important for ergonomic research.

Therefore, the spectrum of ergonomic research at the IfADo extends from the psycho-neuroscientific investigation of human information processing to the design of age-appropriate jobs.
Our research is subdivided into three major research topics, each of which deals with various projects in an interdisciplinary manner. Additionally, the networking group “Aging” and the trans-sectoral future laboratory integrate approaches across the department.

Information Processing

How is information recorded, processed and stored for further use? How is this process influenced by other cognitive aspects?

A central role in this topic plays the Working Memory.


Human-Machine Interaction

Which factors influence cognition in modern work environments? How can human-technology interaction in controlled environments be evaluated as comprehensively as possible?

Designing Work

How can the results of basic and applied research be taken into account when designing real-world jobs? How must a modern workplace be designed to ensure a safe interaction between man and machine?

Cross-divisional structures and projects

Networking group Aging: 

Inter-institutional coordination of cross-discipline aging research; basic research on age-related cognitive changes.

A central role in this area is:
Dortmund Vital Study: A longitudinal study on determinants of healthy aging in the workplace


Simulation of realistic workplaces