Cornell University Ergonomics Web


DEA 6520: HUMAN FACTORS - Ambient Environment

Course Project

Your semester project for this course requires you to write a critical review of the literature on one of the following topics concerning with the focus on the impact of the environmental topic on human health and performance.

 TOPICS – choose ONE of the following topics

Cold environments


Hot environments


Thermal comfort


Ventilation effects


Sick building syndrome

Mineral fibers

Building related illness

Office lighting

Carbon Monoxide

Lamp spectra

Carbon Dioxide



Vision and ageing

Nitrogen oxides

Color deficiencies

Volatile organic compounds





Speech privacy

Dust mites

Sound masking/conditioning

Pet allergens

Hearing protection

Plants and Indoor air

Hearing loss

Respirable particulates

Whole body vibration


Any environmental conditions topic (with permission)

 The report should be written as follows:

 Review Format:

Length: Approximately 4000 -5000 words excluding the reference list.

Page format: Typed, 11 point Times Roman font, 1.5-spaced, 1" margins.

 Review  Content:

  1. Title of the review

  2. Your name

  3. Abstract (max 150 words) – summary of the review

  4. Body Text  (Between 3,850- 4,850 words)– Follow the HFES publication guidelines for Human Factors – “Review articles present a synthesis of published work on a topic of interest. Reviews should be organized as efficiently as possible.” (not to exceed 15 pages). “Review articles must provide an original perspective on the literature reviewed, not merely a summary, including a "status report" and extension of knowledge on the topic, often involving evaluation of the previous work, practical or theoretical conclusions, and identification of future research directions.” When you cite significant results in the review include the p value from the original paper so that the reader knows how significant a finding is.

  5. Summary table – a separate review summary table should be provided that lists the cited works by the following headings –Author(s), Year, Country of study, Sample Size, Sample characteristics (Ages, Gender etc.), Research Design (e.g. experiment, survey, etc.), Main results

  6. References – citations should use the following order – Author(s), Year, Title (paper, book or whatever), journal or proceedings, volume, publisher (for book or proceedings only), pages.


You will need to conduct a literature search to find the resources for your paper. You should consult at least the following databases - Ergonomics Abstracts, Medline, Science Direct, American Chemical Society, Social Science Citation Index. These are available via the Mann Library Gateway (

Limit your review to the most recent studies and those that focus on human performance/health effects.

 Deadline for submissionTuesday December 6 before 5pm. Your review can be submitted electronically ( as an MSWord document. Your summary table can be submitted either in MSWord or as an  MS Excel Spreadsheet.