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Current Affiliation: University of Michigan
Don B. Chaffin is the R.G. Snyder Distinguished University Professor (Emeritus 2008) in Industrial and Operations Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan. He received his B.S. from GMI (now Kettering University) in 1962, his M.S. from the University of Toledo in 1964, and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1967, all in industrial engineering. Chaffin served as chair of the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering from 1977 to 1981 and as director of the Center for Ergonomics from 1981 to 1998. During the period he served on both a NIOSH Study Section and on the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors. He also was appointed by the Secretary of Labor to serve on the National Advisory Council on Occupational Safety and Health.
His research has resulted in six books, more than 140 peer-reviewed journal articles, and more than 300 proceedings papers, book chapters, and reports. He and his graduate students and staff have developed a set of widely used software programs to assist engineers who are involved in designing workplaces and vehicles to ensure that people do not suffer overexertion injuries during the performance of manual tasks. In 1998, Chaffin founded the University of Michigan Human Motion Simulation Laboratory in the Center for Ergonomics, which he directed until his retirement in 2007. His work has resulted in his election to Fellow status in six international professional and scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Chaffin has received many national and international awards for his teaching, research, and service and was elected to membership in the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 1994. In 2008, he received the National Engineering Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies for his lifetime achievements and leadership in the field of ergonomics.