Balanced Human Systems Integration

Key Info

Basic Information

Professor Frank Flemisch

Further Information



Team balanced Human Systems Integration




In the 21st century, where technology and systems consisting of people, technology, organization and environment are becoming increasingly complex, it is becoming increasingly important to systematically combine technical perspectives with a view on people, technology and organization. The key to this is the consistent inclusion of system science in the form of Human Systems Integration.

Human Systems Integration (HSI) is the interdisciplinary science of designing and developing sociotechnical products and systems based on Human Factors, Systems Science and Systems Engineering. The goal of Human Systems Integration is the successful integration of people, technical (sub)systems, organizations and the environment. The origin of HSI can be traced back to NASA and today it is increasingly used in various areas, especially safety-critical ones, such as the automotive industry or aviation.


Balanced Human Systems Integration places particular emphasis on a holistic and balanced approach. For us, holistic means adequately considering all relevant interests and factors, including the effects on the embedding systems (e.g. the ecosystem). “Balanced” means that potential areas of friction (e.g., people, technology, organization, environment, subjective assessments and objective performance measures, or initially diametric system properties such as safety, performance, and acceptance) are bridged and balanced, turning them from a problem space to a solution space so that a coherent and good sociotechnical system is created for all stakeholders.

Teaching and Learning Method

The course consists of twelve lecture units supplemented by a practical project. The lecture begins with a historical overview of the science, craft, and art of systems design. This is followed by the fundamentals of systems science and systems engineering, as well as the physiological and psychological characteristics of humans that are most relevant to systems design. In addition to addressing important system qualities such as performance, safety, acceptance, and robustness or resilience, the central part of the lecture, as well as the exercise, deals with the approach to human-machine system design. It covers the phases of analysis, requirements engineering, design including collaboration, interaction, and interface design, implementation including rapid prototyping and links to concurrent engineering, and finally evaluation and testing including usability assessment. The lecture material is additionally illustrated with current examples from traffic systems engineering, aerospace and manufacturing. Subsequently, the project exercise enables the design and testing of small human-machine systems in a simulated environment.

The modules of the lecture are composed as follows:

  • Introduction
  • Fundamentals of Systems Science
  • The human system: modalities of interaction
  • The human system: brain
  • Sociotechnical systems
  • Design and development process of human-machine systems
  • Analysis of human-machine systems
  • System qualities and requirements
  • Interaction design
  • Implementation of human-machine systems
  • Evaluation of human-machine systems
  • Outlook: Future scenarios of human systems integration