In his early life, Arthur (Dan) Fisk had his sights set on boxing as a career. From a career perspective, an unexpected loss of a fight was one of the best things that happened to him. He went to college receiving a B.S. from The Ohio State University in 1978. Another important career event was working with Delos D. Wickens during his junior and senior years of college. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois under Walter Schneider. In addition to Schneider, Chris Wickens, also a faculty member, greatly influenced Fisk’s behavioral science approach.
A “post-doc” as Manager of Human Factors Engineering, AT&T Long Lines taught him about managing large projects. He saw first-hand the need to translate basic scientific findings into usable outcomes supporting business needs. Realizing his “calling” was academia, he accepted an Assistant Professorship in 1985 with the University of South Carolina. In 1987 he moved to Georgia Tech as an Assistant Professor in both the Cognitive Aging and the Engineering Psychology programs. For over 20 years he was the coordinator of the Engineering Psychology program helping that program gain in faculty and international reputation.
Understanding basic human attention and memory as well as applying that knowledge to understanding “high-performance” skill dominated his early work. Fisk was funded by AFHRL for several years (thanks to colleague Tom Eggemeier). Fisk received NIH/NIA funding in 1986 to study attention and aging. Understanding the aging brain and using that knowledge to better the lives of older adults became, and has remained, his passion. NIH/NIA funded his work continuously until his retirement. John Deere provided funding (over 10 years) to examine aspects of the aging brain applied to design of big equipment including automated systems. One of Fisk’s books concerning designing “things” for older adults, now in its second edition, translates scientific knowledge about aging for practitioners not trained in behavioral science.
Fisk was President of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society as well as Division 21 (Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology) of the American Psychological Association. He was Editor of the journal Human Factors. He received numerous awards including the Franklin V. Taylor award for outstanding scientific contribution in applied experimental and engineering psychology and the Jack A. Kraft Innovator Award given for extension and diversity of application of HF/E knowledge, principles and methods to new areas. He received the Paul M. Fitts Education Award given for outstanding contributions and dedication to education and training of human factors and ergonomics specialists. He was particularly excited to receive recognition as the top Ph.D. mentor at Georgia Tech, unusual for a psychologist to be thus recognized within the Georgia Tech engineering-education landscape.
Individuals Honoring Arthur D. Fisk:
Jenay Beer, University of South Carolina
Walter Boot, Florida State University
Kelly Caine, Clemson University
Sharon Carter, AT&T
Richard Catrambone, Georgia Institute of Technology
Neil Charness. Florida State University
Sara Czaja, The University of Miami
Cindy Dulaney, Xavier University
F. Thomas Eggemeier, University of Dayton
Holly Fisher, CDC
James Foley, Georgia Institute of Technology
Kristen Gilbert, University of Montevallo
Art Graesser, University of Memphis
Sigrid Gustafson, Success Exceleration
Peter Hancock, University of Central Florida
Nicholas Kelling, University of Houston – Clear Lake
Mark Lee*, Certara
Jack Marr, Georgia Institute of Technology
Elizabeth Mynatt, Georgia Institute of Technology
Emanuel Robinson, Westat
Wendy Rogers, Georgia Institute of Technology
Mark Scerbo, Old Dominion University
Paula Skedsvold, FABBS
Judy Tang, Westat
*FABBS would like to thank Dr. Mark Lee for nominating Dr. Fisk for this honor and for leading the effort.
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