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Adam Schachner, Industrial Engineering Research Master's student wins Mitacs award

November 24, 2021 - Source : NEWS

Adam Schachner received the Mitacs Award for Outstanding Innovation – Masters, at the eleventh annual ceremony of the national innovation body.

Adam Schachner, research master's student in industrial engineering. (Photo: Mitacs)
Adam Schachner, research master's student in industrial engineering. (Photo: Mitacs)

During a ceremony held on November 23, 2021 the Polytechnique student (supervised by Assistant Professor Philippe Doyon-Poulin, Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering), received the award for a research project on the evaluation of human performance and error rate when using touch screens in a cockpit environment.

The Mitacs award in question, is presented to a master's student at a Canadian academic institution who has made an outstanding contribution to research and innovation during their Mitacs-funded project. Mitacs is a national innovation organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions.

Schachner is carrying out his research project with the support of the Mitacs Accelerate program, and in partnership with Montréal company CMC Électronique.

"I'm very proud to represent Polytechnique Montreal at the Mitacs 2021 Awards. The university's Cognitive Ergonomics program, under the direction of Professor Philippe Doyon-Poulin, has a unique engineering focus on the design and analysis of safety-critical interfaces compared to other human-computer interaction programs," says Schachner.

Schachner's research project offers design solutions to improve efficiency and human satisfaction when using technical displays. Test conditions include screen placement, vibration profile, handrest use, and touchscreen technology. The results are then compared to existing performance data for non-touch interactions.

In particular, the master's student designed and assembled a vibration platform that can be adjusted to position various touch screens or interfaces according to a person's measurements and position. This platform, which can reproduce a wide range of vibrations that have been measured in various contexts, offers flexibility that allows it to be used for other academic or industrial experiments.

Another aspect of the project involved Schachner measuring the impact of various target sizes on the usability of touchscreens subjected to vibration. These results will help avionics OEMs design touchscreen interfaces to minimize errors and maximize usability.

Schachner also tested recommendations for touchscreens in avionics, in relation to the presence of a hand rest on the edge of a screen – the latter being part of SAE International Association Touch Interactive Display Systems: Human Factors Considerations, System Design and Performance Guidelines (ARP60494). His findings could lead to a rethinking of some elements of this industry standard.

Adam Schachner a conçu et assemblé une plateforme de vibration pouvant être ajustée afin de positionner différents écrans tactiles ou interfaces selon les mensurations et la position d’une personne (Photo : Denis Bernier)
Adam Schachner designed and assembled a vibration platform that can be adjusted to position various touch screens or interfaces according to a person's measurements and position (Photo: Denis Bernier)

Schachner is conducting his research project at the Laboratoire d’enseignement des systèmes intégrés en aérospatiale - LESIAQ (unofficial transl: Laboratory for Integrated Aerospace Systems Education), of which Polytechnique Montréal is an academic co-partner with Concordia University. This aerospace technology training laboratory, located at the École des métiers de l'aérospatiale in Montreal, is equipped with a Challenger 300 aircraft integration bench, a Bell 427 helicopter avionics test bench, and a CAE simulation platform.

"LESIAQ - where I built my test bench and conducted my study - is a great space for aviation research. The research there is essential, in terms of examining the future of cockpit design, and ensuring safety through better standards, design guidelines and usability testing," the graduate student points out.

Congratulations, Adam!

Learn more

Adam Schachner's project on the Mitacs website
Mitacs website
Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering website (in French only)
LESIAQ website (in French only)

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