Before choosing courseME2040 Human Factors Engineering - Man-Machine System 6.0 creditsAdministrate About course

The goal of human factors is making the human interaction with systems one that enhances performance, increases safety and increases user satisfaction. Engineers need to understand how knowledge of human strengths and limitations, both mental and physical, can lead to better system design, more effective training of the user, and better assessment of the usability of the system.

Course offering missing for current semester as well as for previous and coming semesters

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents *

Human Factors, research methods, design and evaluation methods, human information processing (perception, cognition, action), displays and controls, anthropometry, decision making, automation, interface and cognitive engineering

Project: Written report, e.g. analyse a technical system or product with appropriate methods and suggest improvements on Human Factor aspects using design methods.

Tutorials 1: Visit to Alba Nova nuclear power plant simulator.

Tutorials 2: Based on examples of accidents, discussion in class on resolution of problems and tasks of the operator in a human-machine system.

Laboratory work: Illustrations of various aspects of human information processing as well as human capabilities and limitations. Simple experimental psychology, computer tests on cognition, memory and perception.

Intended learning outcomes *

After completing the course the student should be able to:

  • Describe the main areas within the subject human factors/ergonomics/human-machine system.
  • Describe the relation between these and safety, efficiency and work satisfaction within technical systems applied to examples from industry.
  • Discuss how it is possible to enhance human abilities and reduce human limitations by technical solutions and system design based on theories about human mental and physical capabilities.
  • Explain a user oriented design process and front-end analysis and the answers expected for the different steps in the process for design of a new system, product or interface and improvements of an existing system.
  • Present and discuss the work in a written report and an oral presentation as well as judge and structurally critique other students work.
  • Plan and conduct an analysis of a human-machine system with regards of system design, automation level and work content as well as suggest improvements, make recommendations and argue for tradeoffs in the design.

Course Disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites *

ME1009/4D1009 Work science, general course, Industrial Management, general course, or equal course.

Recommended prerequisites

Two years academic studies. ME1009 is recommended.


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  • Wickens. C et al. ”An Introduction to Human Factors Engineering” (2004), Pearson-Prenctice Hall
  • Reason, J. (1993): "Human error", kap 7.
  • Hand-outs.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale *

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Examination *

  • LAB1 - Laboratory Work, 1.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Project, 2.0 credits, Grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 1.0 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • TEN2 - Examination, 2.0 credits, Grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade *

Written exams 1 and 2 (TEN1; 1hp), (TEN2; 2hp), project (PRO1; 2hp), laboratory work and tutorials (LAB1; 1hp).

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Lena Kristina Mårtensson

Ethical approach *

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web ME2040

Offered by

ITM/Industrial Economics and Management

Main field of study *

No information inserted

Education cycle *

Second cycle

Add-on studies

ME2046 Managing risks in complex technical systems.


Pernilla Ulfvengren,, +46 8 790 78 40

Supplementary information

Replaces 4D1084