University of Rochester

EVENT: Neilly Series lecture by Kim J. Vicente, Canadian innovator and engineer on how technology can work for people

TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester’s River Campus

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public

February 17, 2005

Kim J. Vicente, a leader in the field of cognitive engineering who has lectured and worked around the world on how technology can be more responsive to the needs of people, will speak at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, at the University of Rochester. Professor of engineering at the University of Toronto and founding director of the Cognitive Engineering Laboratory there, Vicente’s talk will be held in the Welles-Brown Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University’s River Campus.

The Neilly Series lecture is free and open to the public.

Author of The Human Factor: Revolutionizing the Way People Live with Technology, Vicente’s research as a cognitive engineer has brought much attention to how technology can be enhanced in complex work environments rather than expecting people to adapt to complex machines. He was chosen by Time magazine as one of 25 Canadians expected to shape that country’s future in the 21st century, and has been a consultant to private industry and government agencies in the United States and Canada.

In The Human Factor (Random House, 2003), Vicente asserts that innovation is controlling lives instead of people managing innovation. With anecdotes and clear explanations for the non-engineer, Vicente’s book supports methods to bridge the widening gap. He also is the author of Cognitive Work Analysis: Toward Safe, Productive, and Healthy Computer-Based Work (Lea, 1999).

He has received many honors, including the first engineering professor to receive the $100,000 McLean Award, the University of Toronto’s most prestigious prize for outstanding research; only the second Canadian researcher to be invited to serve on the Committee for Human Factors of the U.S. National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences; and winner of the 2003 E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship, Canada’s prize for young academics in all areas of science and engineering.

Vicente has earned degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Toronto, in industrial engineering and operations research from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Renato Perucchio, associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Rochester, will introduce Vicente.

The yearlong Neilly Series is supported by the Andrew H. Neilly and Janet Dayton Neilly Endowment, and the River Campus Libraries. For more information, contact (585) 275-4461.

Note to editors: A jpeg image of Kim Vicente can be e-mailed to you. Please call (585) 275-4128 or send your request to