The Human Factor
“Before we design the robot we have to really understand the end-user.”
–Melissa Ledoux, Bentley MSHFID; Systems Engineer, iRobot, Inc.
Bentley graduate Melissa Ledoux designs robots for the battlefield.
Here she answers questions about her job and her MS in Human Factors in
Information Design (MSHFID) from McCallum Graduate School of Business
at Bentley University.
How did a psychology major get into military robotics? Actually, psychology is a great
background for understanding the “human factors” in design engineering. My job
merges technology with the science of human behavior—before we build the robot
we have to understand the needs of the end-user, in our case, the soldier.
Why did you decide to get your MS in Human Factors in Information Design? I was working
in the defense industry in a “human factors” role and felt I needed more background in the
usability field. Bentley’s program had the technology focus I was looking for, plus the business
perspective—and I could earn my degree while working full time.
What made Bentley’s MSHFID program a good fit? It was practical and hands-on.
We learned usability testing in the Design and Usability Center—it wasn’t just
theoretical. Plus, the professors all had real-world credentials. I came out with the
expertise I needed to succeed. Finally, the “business twist” has been a critical
asset in my career.
You seem to have a passion for sending “cool robots” on dangerous missions.
What excites you most about this field? Saving lives, making a difference.
When we get feedback from a soldier that one of our robots has saved a life,
I know I’m in the right field.
Attend a webinar on Thursday, October 7, from 7:30-8: 30 p.m. EST
to learn more about the MSHFID program.
The MSHFID is now online. Learn at bentley.edu/mshfid MORE