Engineering grand challenges and big ideas not only demand innovative engineering solutions, but also typically involve and affect human thought, behavior, and quality of life. To solve these types of complex problems, multidisciplinary teams must bring together experts in engineering and psychological science, yet fusing these distinct areas can be difficult. This article describes how Human Systems Engineering (HSE) researchers have confronted such challenges at the interface of humans and technological systems. Two narrative cases are reported-computer game-based cognitive assessments and medical device reprocessing- and lessons learned are shared. The article then discusses 2 strategies currently being explored to enact such lessons and enhance these kinds of multidisciplinary engineering teams: a "top-down" administrative approach that supports team formation and productivity through a university research center, and a "bottom-up" engineering education approach that prepares students to work at the intersection of psychology and engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-406
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Cognitive assessment
  • Engineering education
  • Human Systems Engineering
  • Medical device reprocessing
  • University research centers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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