A warm welcome to Lorna Wilkinson
Can you tell me about your Ergonomics (Human Factors Design) degree?
I completed a mixture of biology, psychology and design modules. The biology modules covered things like anatomy / physiology, thermal ergonomics, human performance at environment extremes and anthropometrics. The psychology modules covered cognitive ergonomics and organisational psychology, which focused on the workplace looking at structure of teams, human resource management and motivation. Design modules included human-computer interaction, user experience design and study / experiment design. I didn’t want to do a straight psychology degree, and the human factors degree I chose seemed like a great fit for me.
Following university, what did you do next?
After university, I travelled to Africa and climbed Kilimanjaro, and then went on to explore Tanzania and Zanzibar. Kilimanjaro took 6 days to climb – luckily, I didn’t suffer from altitude sickness, but many other people were vomiting and did not make it to the top. The worst I got was nosebleeds and on summit night I was told that if my nose didn’t stop bleeding, I wouldn’t be able to finish. I did it anyway! Now I know I don’t suffer from altitude sickness I’d love to visit Everest Base Camp, although it’s lower than Kilimanjaro, it still has its appeal.
What did your role as a Graduate Analyst entail?
Post travelling, I landed myself a job in the space and defence industry, in a Human Factors, psychology-based role. Most of my time was spent not in defence but working with the Health & Safety Executive on a 1-million-pound project. To become a Health & Safety Inspector, people must complete 3 units containing different e-Learning courses. I supported the re-design process of all course material, to create training and learning solutions. We started by finding out what their existing materials consisted of, what they required and intended to achieve, carrying out research around it and then collating the findings. The idea was to move away from face-to-face instructor-led training and instead create online materials, such as e-learning, web-based tools and interactive PDFs, so that staff could train to become Health & Safety Inspectors.
What is your biggest achievement to date?
Summiting Kilimanjaro and cycling from London to Paris. I also dog sled 250 km across the Arctic Circle – it got as low as -20°C in the tent at night. I raised £2,000 for breast cancer by cycling, £3,000 for Make a Wish Foundation by dog sledding, and £3,000 for Meningitis Research Foundation by climbing Kilimanjaro.
What do you love, like and enjoy?
I like food, eating out and trying new things from around the world and travelling.
I enjoy sport and going to the gym. I particularly like football – I play centre forward and have previously played for Leeds United, Bradford City and Middlesbrough. As well as playing for Loughborough whilst I was at university.
If you could be anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Queen Elizabeth II so I could wave at people, have Corgis and ride horses!
What motto do you live by?
Hard work beats talent when talent isn’t working hard.