Laura Ikuma

Laura Ikuma headshot

Associate Professor of Industrial Engineering

3290R Patrick F. Taylor Hall

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA 70803


Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Industrial Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • M.S., Industrial Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • B.S., Industrial Engineering, North Carolina State University

Research Interests

  • Ergonomics/Human Factors
  • Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Psychosocial Factors
  • Biomechanics
  • Safety

Research Overview

My research interests focus on ergonomics, in particular how process improvement initiatives can impact safety, health, and well-being of workers. I have conducted research in many applied settings: healthcare, construction, manufacturing, and the petrochemical industry.

Recent Projects

  • U2 KneeTM System with a Disposable Trial: Cost and Efficiency Study (United Orthopedic Corporation, current)
    • This study compares cost and efficiency of using two different technologies (disposable versus traditional trials) used during total knee replacement (TKR) surgeries.
  • Collaborative: BRCC-LSU: A Partnership for STEM Student Success (NSF, current)
    • The goal of this project is to increase retention of students transferring from a community college to a four-year engineering program. In this project I perform statistical analysis to compare outcomes of students that participate in support programs versus those that do not.
  • Wearing Lower Body Exoskeleton to Reduce Physical Demands in Construction Workers (Proposal submitted, current)
    Wiring layout for machine with colour-coded clusters of points from eye tracking locations as a result of ergonomics assessment of interfaces used by control room operators in the petrochemical industry..
    • This project evaluates the use of an exoskeleton to relieve physical demands in construction work.
  • Organization Performance Excellence: Performance Measurement and Improvement in the Department of Health and Hospitals (Louisiana DHH, completed June 2015)
    • The goals of this project were to develop a performance metrics dashboard for DHH and four of the office within DHH, to streamline business planning documents, and to conduct process improvement projects within each office.
  • Performance Metrics for Operator Performance (Center for Operator Performance, completed December 2012)
    • The goal of this project was to develop a guide to measure performance and ergonomics assessment of interfaces used by control room operators in the petrochemical industry.

Recent Publications

5S impact on safety climate of manufacturing workers. Srinivasan, S., Ikuma, L. H., Shakouri, M., Nahmens, I., & Harvey, C. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 27(3), 364-378 (2016) doi:10.1108/JMTM-07-2015-0053

Performing Lean events in the public sector. Saul, B., Ikuma, L., Nahmens, I., and Harvey, C. Proceedings of the Industrial & Systems Engineering Research Conference, May 30 - June 2, 2015, Nashville, Tennessee.

Evaluating control room interfaces for petrochemical operations. Schwartz, S., Ikuma, L. H., & Harvey, C. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES)

Laura Ikuma wearing an exoskeleton machine.

Evaluating performance of novices and experts using complex displays in the petrochemical industry with a human factors-based assessment framework. Ikuma, L. H., Koffskey, C., & Harvey, C. IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, 2(3-4), 196-204 (2014) doi:10.1080/21577323.2014.990589International Annual Meeting, October 26–30, 2015, Los Angeles, CA.

A guide for assessing control room operator performance using speed and accuracy, perceived workload, situation awareness, and eye tracking. Ikuma, L. H., Harvey, C., Taylor, C. F., & Handal, C. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 32, 454-465 (2014) doi:10.1016/j.jlp.2014.11.001

Effects of work zone configurations and traffic density on physical driving variables and subjective driving workload. Shakouri, M., Ikuma, L. H., Aghazadeh, F., Punniaraj, K., & Ishak, S. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 71, 166-176 (2014) doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2014.05.016

Making safety an integral part of 5S in healthcare. Ikuma, L. H., & Nahmens, I. Work: A Journal of Assessment, Prevention, and Rehabilitation, 47(2), 243-251 (2014) doi: 10.3233/WOR-121576

The impact of kaizen on safety in modular home manufacturing. James, J., Ikuma, L. H., Nahmens, I., & Agahzadeh, F. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 70, 725-734 (2014) doi: 10.1007/s00170-013-5315-0

Using eye-tracking to investigate strategy and performance. Koffskey, C., Ikuma, L. H., Aghazadeh, F., & Harvey, C. Proceedings of the HFES 2014 International Annual Meeting. October 27–31, 2014, Chicago, IL.

Improving healthcare warehouse operations through 5S. Venkateswaran, S., Nahmens, I., & Ikuma, L. IIE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering, 3(4), 240-253 (2013) doi: 10.1080/19488300.2013.857371.

Courses Frequently Taught

IE 2400: Methods and Systems Engineering

IE 3302: Engineering Statistics

IE 4461: Human Factors Engineering

IE 4597/4598: Senior Design

IE 7467: Cognitive Ergonomics and Work Environments

IE 7722: Healthcare Research Methods

Students in a housing construction environment taking notes for a home construction study.