Latvian Research Scholar, Henrijs Kalkis, had an enriching experience at Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering department. The title of his study was Ergonomics stress indicators in contemporary social-technical system, “Human-Machine-Environment”. Henrijs was mentored by Dr. Andris Freivalds, an incredible professor who was a great influence on him while he was abroad in the US.
Through Dr. Andris Freivalds’ mentorship, Henrijs was able to have his lectures transmitted from Pennsylvania State University to Seoul National University, South Korea.
The goal of his program was to, “acquire latest knowledge of ergonomic stress indicators investigation, by applying modern research laboratory knowledge and equipment in USA”. He wants to work out those models and guidelines for today’s systems in Latvia, based on his experience in the US. Through his stay, he was able to make an impact in the community by participating in the research project “Experimental Protocol for Evaluating a Portable Test Bed to Measure Cognitive Workload”, giving several guest lectures at the University, and by actively participating in the local Student Chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. He also participated in professional conferences and seminars such as: International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics in Orlando, FL, and the International Conference on Intelligent Human Systems Integration: Integrating People and Intelligent Systems in San Diego, CA. Henrijs was very active on campus and with the community, by providing his expertise and knowledge to the University students. Not only was he making an impact in the community but he was getting new experiences by travelling around the United States and participating in the various American Holidays like Thanksgiving and Independence Day.
Henrijs strongly encourages future BAFF fellows to take all the opportunities that the scholarship can provide, “take the BAFF Enrichment trip, do travelling in your free time to explore other USA cities and states, visit conferences (for researchers), develop all possible contacts in any event that is happening around your area, engage in local celebrations.”
Since his return home, he plans to continue his work at Riga Stradins University as an associate professor, processing and incorporating his experience in the US in his research approach and teaching. Henrijs will continue to develop the ergonomics field in Latvia through the Latvian Ergonomics Society, implementing contemporary approach based on his US experience of ergonomics and human factors research.