From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Student Wins Ergonomics Award for Public Urinal Concept

And the winner is … Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University graduate student Augusto Espinosa!

Espinosa is the first recipient of the Dieter W. Jahns Student Practitioner Award, a new award sponsored by the Foundation for Professional Ergonomics (FPE). The award was created in honor of Dieter Jahns, a life-long advocate of the practice of ergonomics and a leader in ergonomics certification. The award was presented yesterday to Espinosa by Dieter’s wife Karel at the BCPE networking reception in San Francisco. The award included a $500 cash prize (which may increase next year – read on).

Espinosa won the award for his concept design project for a men’s public urinal with a built-in hand sanitation system. In Espinosa’s own words,

This design proposes a more efficient urinal for fast paced locales such as bars, clubs, and busy restaurants. The new model combines the sink area with the urinal. This better utilizes space and improves hygiene since the person is more likely to wash his hands if the sink is already in front of him.

I’m not sure if men will encounter this proposed design in an actual restroom (water closet, WC, loo, etc.) any time soon, but the award committee was impressed enough by his methods and thought process to tilt the decision scale in his favor. Congratulations, Augusto!

I need to add a disclaimer here. As one of the FPE Directors, I’m a member of the awards committee. I’d also like to take this opportunity on behalf of the FPE to ask for your help in spreading the word far and wide about this new student award, and in helping us grow the associated cash prize.

Here’re two ways you can help:

  1. Please let all the ergonomics students in your life know about this award now so that they can prepare a submission for next year (submission deadline June 30); and
  2. Become a donor or sponsor yourself (or perhaps you’re part of a company or organization that would like to become a major sponsor?). 

Encouraging and fostering students in ergonomics is a necessary and rewarding prospect for the field, not to mention all the people they will help in their careers, so any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.

There are other FPE programs that also need financial support, including Ergonomists Without Borders. Please support FPE, a non-profit organization, with a tax deductible donation.

About The Dieter W. Jahns Student Practitioner Award

The Dieter W. Jahns Student Practitioner Award is an annual award and is given to the student (or group of students) for an Ergonomics project that demonstrates the major practice areas of ergonomics: analysis, design, and evaluation. The purpose of the award is to advance professionalism in Ergonomics by recognizing educational activities that demonstrate how professional ergonomists serve to make our lives at work and at home healthier, safer, more productive, and more satisfying.  The award is open to students (M.S. or Ph.D.) in Ergonomics and Ergonomics-related programs.  Students who have completed their graduate degrees within a year of submitting are also eligible.  Please go to for complete details on criteria and format.

About Ergonomists Without Borders

Ergonomists Without Borders is a project of the Foundation for Professional Ergonomics (FPE), and collaborates with national and international organizations through mutual support agreements to create a world in which ergonomics knowledge and resources are accessible for all developing populations to live and work safely, efficiently and sustainably, and to improve quality of life by providing ergonomics expertise and resources to agriculturally and industrially developing communities, globally. Please visit to learn more.