Dr Ruth Sims

Position: Senior Lecturer in Psychology and Ergonomics

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Department: Life Sciences

Subject area: Psychology

Research Centre: Centre for Psychological Research

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About

In my previous role I worked on a succession of projects including:

  • collection of physical/capability data from older/disabled people with relation to activities of daily life and public transport usage;
  • kitchen usage through the life course and the place of the kitchen in daily life;
  • co-design to develop innovative solutions to reducing single-occupancy car travel;
  • user considerations in the design of a toilet for developing countries;
  • transferability of European road safety measures to emerging economies;
  • assessment of comfort in wheelchair, airline and car seating, and vacuum cleaner manoeuvrability.

I have considerable experience of data collection trials (design, recruitment, implementation, data input and analysis) as well as literature review, interview and questionnaire development, implementation, data input and analysis, particularly with older/disabled people and design professionals. I have significant experience of working in a consortium and in teams globally, presenting findings to industry, the public and academia both throughout the UK and also in India and Brazil. I have developed materials and taught aspects of psychology to industrial design students, inclusive design to design students and ergonomics students, and research methods to postgraduate students. I have been an invited keynote speaker at ErgoDesign 2012 held in Natal, Brazil.

I am now focusing on the psychological aspects of my interests and on my teaching. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and am a Chartered Ergonomist and Human Factors Specialist. I sit on three committees for the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors.

Teaching responsibilities

Module leader on:

  • Level 4 Introduction to Social and Cognitive Psychology
  • MSc Behaviour Change Research Project

I also teach Level 4 Developmental Psychology and Qualitative Psychology, and MSc Behaviour Change modules. I supervise MSc Ergonomics (online) Independent Studies projects, and MSc Psychology, MSc Psychology (Dip exit) and BSc Psychology (all online) projects.

I have previously been Programme Leader for the MSc Ergonomics (online) programme and am currently module leader for the Level 4 Introduction to Social and Cognitive Psychology module run in Greece (Athens and Thessaloniki).

 

Research interests

  • Ageing
  • Disability
  • Design
  • Social inclusion
  • Mutual grooming

Membership of professional bodies

  • Chartered Registered Member of the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors
  • Graduate member of the British Psychological Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Qualifications

Undergraduate qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Exeter, 2:1 (1998)

Postgraduate qualifications

  • MSc Ergonomics, Loughborough University, pass (1999)

Research qualifications

  • PhD ‘Design for All: methods and data to support designers’, Loughborough University (2003)

Other qualifications

  • Institute of Leadership and Management Level 2 Award in Leadership and Team Skills
  • Certificate of Higher Education in Early Years Practice (Open University)
  • Certificate of Higher Education in Health and Social Care (Open University)

Recent publications

Journal papers

  • Sims, R.E., Marshall, R., Summerskill, S.J. Gyi, D.E., and Case, K., “Involving older and disabled people in assessment of product, environment and service design”, Journal of Human Development, Disability and Social Change, 19(3), 2011
  • Sims, R. E., Maguire, M. C., Nicolle, C., Marshall, R., Lawton, C., Peace, S., and Percival, J., “Older peoples’ experiences of their kitchens: 2000 to 2010”, Housing, Care and Support, 15(1), April 2012, pp6-15
  • Sims, R.E., Marshall, R., Summerskill, S.J. Gyi, D.E., and Case, K. “Supporting older and disabled people’s needs in product, environment and service design”, International Journal of Business, Humanities & Technology, 2(2), March 2012, p212-220 [online open access]
  • Sims, R.E., Marshall, R., Gyi, D.E., Summerskill, S.J. and Case, K. “Collection of anthropometry from older and physically impaired persons: traditional methods versus TC2 3-D body scanner”, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 42 (1), January 2012, pp65-72
  • Marshall, R., Case, K., Porter, J.M., Summerskill, S.J., Gyi, D.E., Davis, P.M. and Sims, R.E., ''HADRIAN: a virtual approach to design for all'', Journal of Engineering Design, 21(2& 3), April 2010, pp 253-273, ISSN 0954-4828
  • Gyi, D.E., Sims, R.E., Porter, J.M., Marshall, R. and Case, K., ''Representing older and disabled people in virtual user trials: data collection methods'', Applied Ergonomics, 35(5), 1st September 2004, 443-451, ISSN 00036870. DOI: 10.1016/j.apergo.2004.04.002
  • Porter, J.M., Case, K., Marshall, R., Gyi, D.E. and Sims, R.E., '''Beyond Jack and Jill': designing for individuals using HADRIAN'', International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 33(3), 1st March 2004, 249-264, ISSN 01698141. DOI: 10.1016/j.ergon.2003.08.002 

Peer-reviewed conference papers 

  • Quigley, C., Sims, R., Hill, J., Tripodi, A., Persia, L., Pietrantonio, H. and Kharat, M., “Transport Planning Guidelines for Vulnerable Road User Safety in Emerging Economies”, Proceedings of Transport Research Arena – Europe 2012 conference, Athens, April 2012
  • Sims, R.E., Marshall, R., Maguire, M.C., Nicolle, C.A., Lawton, C., Pearce, S. and Percival, J., “Design of kitchens for independence: lessons from history for the future'', Contemporary Ergonomics 2012, Anderson,M. (Ed), Taylor & Francis, Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors: Proceedings of the International Conference on Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors, 16-19 April 2012, Imperial Hotel, Blackpool, UK., 2012, p39-46
  • Sims, R.E., Marshall, R., Maguire, M.C., Nicolle, C.A., Lawton, C., Pearce, S. and Percival, J., ''Older people's experiences of their kitchens: dishes and wishes'', Contemporary Ergonomics 2011, Anderson,M. (Ed), Taylor & Francis, Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors: Proceedings of the International Conference on Contemporary Ergonomics and Human Factors, 12-14, April 2011, Stoke Rochford Hall, Lincolnshire, UK., 2011, p387-393, ISBN-13: 978-0415675734

 

Recent conferences

On the organising committee of UCD (User Centred Design) conference 2012-2015.

On the organising committee of Ergonomics and Human Factors, the annual conference for the CIEHF, 2014-to date. On the editorial board for the Proceedings of the conference 2016-to date.

Additional interests and activities

  • EEC advisor
  • Level 4 /5 personal tutor

Experience in industry

  • Loughborough University - Research Associate (October 1999 - March 2013)

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