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Facts & figures

Research spotlight

  • $2.2 million in research funding and grants since 2018
  • 50+ peer reviewed papers published since 2017

Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory

Identifying the limits of human survival, comfort, and work performance in extreme climates
We're building a better understanding of the physiological and physical factors that determine human heat strain and the risk of heat-related health problems during work, physical activity and heat waves.

About us

Led by Associate Professor Ollie Jay, the research activities of the Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory aim to inform policies and recommendations put forth by public health authorities, sporting bodies, and government organisations, and subsequently provide better protection for the most vulnerable individuals and communities during hot weather.

Our research

Our research is conducted under the supervision of Associate Professor Ollie Jay, Director of the Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory and Lead Researcher for the Research Node on Climate Adaptation and Health at the Charles Perkins Centre (CPC).

Our research activities largely fall under the following areas:

  • cooling interventions for at-risk groups during heat waves and hot weather
  • assessing thermoregulatory impairments of specific populations (e.g. elderly, children, MS patients, obese, pregnant)
  • extreme heat policy development
  • biothermal modelling
  • paediatric temperature management
  • managing occupational heat stress exposure
  • heat acclimatisation
  • thermoregulatory responses to dehydration and caffeine ingestion
  • mitigating heat-related fatigue.

Research highlights

  • Our team was commissioned to develop and deliver a new extreme heat policy for the 2019 Australian Tennis Open.
  • Our team has been responsible for the development of new extreme heat policies for Cricket Australia, the National Rugby League (NRL), and the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
  • In 2017, Associate Professor Ollie Jay was awarded a University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research and Teaching.
  • Associate Professor Ollie Jay was recently awarded a 2-year University of Sydney SOAR fellowship entitled "Climate change and vulnerability: managing and mitigating the health impacts of extreme heat."
  • Our team recently received a $1.1M 5-year NHMRC Project Grant to develop and disseminate the world's first evidence-based guidance for sustainable cooling strategies for vulnerable people during different types of heat waves.
  • Our research group led one of the first human thermoregulation studies to be published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) (IF: 47.7), demonstrating that current public health guidance on fan use during heatwaves issued by all major international public health agencies is potentially flawed.

Our people

  • Amy Harwood
  • James Smallcombe
  • Sarah Carter
  • Connor Graham
  • Timothy English
  • Glenda Anderson
  • Mohammad Bin Maideen
  • Grant Lynch
  • Lily Hospers
  • Lindsey Hunt

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