Annual Student Conference 

The 12th Annual CSULB HFES Student Chapter Conference

  • Date: Saturday, March 18th, 2017
  • Time: 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Location: California State University, Long Beach
  • Venue: University Student Union (USU), room 205 (parking map)

Online Registration will be available until Thursday, March 16th OR till room capacity is reached. 
(For complimentary parking register by March 1st, 2017)

About the Conference

The CSULB HFES Regional Conference is a local forum for the exchange of ideas in all areas of human factors as well as an opportunity to meet students in the MS Human Factors Psychology Program at Cal State Long Beach and surrounding schools.

Invited speakers address a wide range of human factors issues of interest to practitioners, researchers, and students and in the field of human factors. A speaker breakout session will provide attendees the opportunity for small group discussion with our speakers.

John Sulatis, Mindset Strategy & Design

Biography: Graduating with his MSHF from CSULB in 2007, John began his 10+ year path into UX via the specialization of User Research. Having conducted hundreds of usability tests, ethnographic studies, interviews, and surveys (working for internal teams) he ventured into the world of consulting where he gained expertise in Information Architecture, Interaction Design, UX strategy, prototyping, and design. Across his career he's worked on well known brands including: Lego, Jaguar, Toyota, Lexus, American Bar Association, Guitar Hero, Oxfam, Disney, Kelley Blue Book, Vodafone, Insomniac, HP, Hyatt, Omaze, PCA Skin, and UFC to name a few. Recently John worked as the VP of UX for a digital agency called HYFN ( where he built a team from scratch, defined the UX process for the agency, and worked with clients to translate their business objectives into elegant digital solutions. Most recently, he has left the world of digital agencies to co-found his own start up called COVR Price (which he hopes to sell one day to buy an island... or two).  

Topic: UX (user experience) is an umbrella term encompassing to a variety of specializations all aimed at creating physical and digital interactions that are effective, efficient, and satisfying. It's a field that melds together the heart of an artist with the brains of a scientist, whilst constantly living in a world were few people actually understand what it is that you do. In his presentation, John Sulaitis (a CSULB MSHF alumnus) will describe his UX career path 10+ years post-CSULB. You will get a first-hand look at what you can expect to find in this field, what the future holds, as well as what pitfalls to avoid. If you've ever wondered what UX is all about, are curious as to what happens to CSULB alumni, or just like a good story this presentation is for you.

Steve Vargas, Medtronic, Inc.

Biography: Over 14 years of experience in Human Factors design engineering and usability evaluations related to the development of medical devices, focusing on the treatment of diabetes and home healthcare devices. Currently, the Human Factors team leader for the development of closed loop insulin pump systems. Responsible for the Human Factors design and analysis for a number of currently worldwide commercialized insulin pump systems, continuous glucose monitoring and home healthcare devices. In this role, I lead a small design team that defines the user experience, develops user interface guidelines, and minimizes the risk of use errors.

Topic: A summary of the application of human factors principles to the development of medical devices intended to be used by a patient.  This is a special category of medical device development because the patient represents unique challenge when balancing risk and usability.

Gregg A. Bendrick  MD, MPH, MS, NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center

Biography: Dr. Gregg Bendrick serves as the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Flight Surgeon for the NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center – overseeing all aspects of medicine and occupational health. He earned his Medical Doctorate at the University of Chicago, then entered active duty with the U.S. Air Force, where he accomplished the Residency in Aerospace Medicine at the United States Air Force (USAF) School of Aerospace Medicine in San Antonio. After nine years in the military, he transferred to the private sector for three years, before assuming his current position with NASA. Dr. Bendrick has authored numerous technical papers on various aspects of Aerospace Medicine, and has co-authored a technical review of the human factors involved with various aerospace mishaps, entitled Breaking the Mishap Chain. He has also authored a novel entitled The Making of a Flight Surgeon.

Topic: On June 25, 1997 the unmanned Progress space resupply vehicle collided with the Mir Space Station, causing it to spin out of control and thereby disrupting the electrical energy that was supplied by the solar panels. More importantly, the collision compromised the structural integrity of the station, resulting in a loss of oxygen and pressure that threatened the lives of the three crewmembers on-board. Fortunately, through quick thinking and improvised action, the compromised module was sealed off, and vehicular pressure was stabilized before the crew lost consciousness.  Subsequent investigation and analysis of the incident revealed a host of individual and organizational human factors that, when combined, led to this incident. These included: 1) Use of the Tele-robotically Operated Rendezvous Unit (TORU) manual docking system instead of the planned Kurs automatic rendezvous & docking radar control system; 2) Lack of appropriate training and experience on the TORU system before its operational use; 3) Use of a poor-quality two-dimensional television screen that was inappropriate for the task; 4) Supervisory pressure to conserve fuel in an unproven vehicular maneuver; and 5) Organization incentives such as the “Scorecard” to accept tasks that had obvious associated dangers. Analysis of this incident, which was fortunately non-fatal, reveals design issues, individual performance issues, supervisory issues and organizational issues that are inherent in any complex, tightly-coupled system. Such historical “lessons learned” are relevant today in the design and operation not only of space vehicles, but of unmanned aerial vehicles in general. 

A poster session will provide students and professionals an opportunity to present research and human factors projects. Those who wish to participate may submit posters which will be on display during the poster session. Students are encouraged to submit. Poster submission will be available until Friday March 3rd. Posters must be emailed to by 6pm on Friday March 3rd. Poster submissions should be in PowerPoint format, dimensions: 42" X 42".  


Interested in joining us? Register here.

Conference registration will be available until Thursday March 16th OR till room capacity is reached.  Registration for the poster session will be available until Friday March 3rd


Complimentary parking permits will be available to those who register on or before Wednesday, March 1st. Parking permits are limited and available on a first come first serve basis. They will be distributed at the intersection of Beach Drive and West Campus Drive (see map for details). 


If you have any question regarding the conference, please email us at We look forward to see you this year!