Human Factors College of Design


Phone: 612-626-0026



  • Healthcare Systems and Processes
  • Human Factors in Design
  • Design Research Methods


Kathleen Harder's general research interests involve investigating how various systems (environmental contexts) can be designed to enhance human performance. She is the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of a number of current and recent studies focusing on the design of safer transportation environments. Issues explored in her research include reducing crashes at controlled rural intersections, human factors issues in head-up display design, driver acceptance of delays at ramp meters, the value of travel-time information to drivers, psychological and roadway correlates of aggressive driving, the effects of sleep deprivation and alcohol consumption on driving performance, and the effects of roadway features such as rumble strips, centerline treatments, and traffic calming measures.

Harder was educated in Sweden, at Stockholm University, where she obtained an M.Sc. in Experimental Psychology, and in the USA at Dartmouth, where she obtained a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology.

"My involvement as a faculty advisor in the MSRP program offers the opportunity to interact with students and architectural firms on research questions of particular pragmatic interest to us as a team. It is a meaningful experience to “shepard” students in hands-on-learning of various research methods in situ and it is rewarding to witness their development as they become more comfortable and conversant in data collection methods that are very new to them.  It is equally rewarding to collaborate with team members from architecture firms who are at the front lines of designing spaces that our research could impact. 

I was invited to participate because my research experience and content expertise are a good fit with the interests of a couple of architecture firms that participate in the consortium. Our weekly meetings help to foster teamwork and productive collaboration as we formulate and tackle the research together.  I expect that our collaboration will yield findings that will benefit the field.

The MSRP program offers a rich opportunity for aspiring architects to work as interns at architecture firms while they simultaneously benefit from faculty mentorship. The program is particularly important in that it gives architecture students a more informed understanding of the complexity of research and appreciation for the valuable role that research can and should play in informing practice."

Consortium for Research Practices
Rapson Hall - Room 145
89 Church Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Main Reception Desk: 612-624-7866
fax: 612-624-5743