Computational human factors tools are often not fully-integrated during the early phases of product design. Often, conventional ergonomic practices require physical prototypes and human subjects which are costly in terms of finances and time. Ergonomics evaluations executed on physical prototypes has the limitations of increasing the overall rework as more iterations are required to incorporate design changes related to human factors that are found later in the design stage, which affects the overall cost of product development. This paper proposes a design methodology based on Digital Human Modeling (DHM) approach to inform designers about the ergonomics adequacies of products during early stages of design process. This proactive ergonomics approach has the potential to allow designers to identify significant design variables that affect the human performance before full-scale prototypes are built. The design method utilizes a surrogate model that represents human product interaction. Optimizing the surrogate model provides design concepts to optimize human performance. The efficacy of the proposed design method is demonstrated by a cockpit design study.

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