Keynote Speakers

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Richard Wells

Richard Wells is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, at the University of Waterloo. His major work is on the pathophysiology, risk factors and risk assessment for Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD), as well as their controls  and  implementation. Dr Wells uses a number of approaches to looking at these issues problems including studies on cadavers, laboratory studies of function, epidemiological studies to link work to MSD, workplace studies to develop assessment methods and quantify the demands of jobs and intervention studies to examine the effectiveness of workplace change. His more recent work has been on integration of MSD prevention into organizations’ processes. He is Director of the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders, a multi-university network hosted at the University of Waterloo.  He is also an Adjunct Scientist at the Institute for Work and Health.


Michelle Morrissey

Michelle Morrissey is the President of The G.O. Group, a small management and leadership consulting company that she co-founded following almost 30 years experience in the utility industry.  Much of that time, Michelle held multiple positions at the senior level in one of North America’s largest utilities in both staff and operations roles.  In those roles she provided proactive and dynamic leadership and was accountable for the safe and efficient execution of all work including many large capital construction projects and work programs.  She also oversaw the development and implementation of various management systems and programs related to health, safety and environment as well as work methods, training and apprenticeships.

Michelle earned a Masters of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo and she remains affiliated with the faculty as a long standing member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for Applied Health Sciences.  She is a past member of the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) Advisory Committee and the Canadian Electrical Association representative on the Canadian Standards Association Occupational Health and Safety Steering Committee.   She is a past President of the Business Council on Occupational Health and Safety in Ontario.  She is also a past member of the Provincial Labour Management Safety Committee, the Association of Electrical Utility Safety Professionals, and the Ontario Energy AssociationOccupational Health and Safety Joint Sector Committee. 

In her current role, she utilizes her education, business acumen and field experience to assist her clients with practical and customized solutions to maximize human and organizational performance and to reduce risk.


Katie Allanson

Katie Allanson, CCPE, is a Human Factors Engineer at Ford Motor Company’s headquarters in Detroit, MI. In addition to leading usability for new technology and in-vehicle infotainment systems, she is part of the global team responsible for ensuring that sound ergonomics, human factors and inclusive design principles are designed into the interiors of every new Ford and Lincoln vehicle. Her work includes designing and validating interaction behaviours in touchscreens as well as steering wheels, cluster displays and driver assist features to ensure that the newest technologies are intuitive and easy to use for the entire driving population. 

Katie currently sits on two ISO committees (Ergonomics Applicable to Road Vehicles and Ergonomics of Human-System Interaction) and is on the Curriculum Advisory Board for the Advanced Ergonomics Studies Program at Fanshawe College.  Prior to joining Ford, Katie held various positions in Ergonomics, HMI and Engineering at General Motors, RIM and Chrysler. She holds a Bachelor of Human Kinetics degree from the University of Windsor and a Master of Engineering degree from Lawrence Technological University. She also holds specialists certificates in Human-Centered Design and Interaction Design.