MMS | Human Systems Engineering

The Human Systems Engineering (MMS) department specializes in presenting complex technologies and processes in a way that is clear and transparent for humans and in making the interactions between people and technology time- and stress-resistant. The procedure for carrying out projects and studies is based on the DIN ISO 9241-210 standard for user-centered design of interactive systems, and its methods, procedures and tools are continuously applied, reviewed and refined. For practical testing, new user-centered ideas are implemented in hardware and software.

Technical competencies include ergonomic system analysis and empirical evaluation of human-machine systems as well as the conception and user-centered design of human-machine interfaces with a focus on interaction and information presentation. Methodical competencies include task and process analyses, modeling and simulation of team processes, usability studies and prototype development.

Organizational ergonomics

The Organizational Ergonomics Research Group (OE) focuses on research and development of ergonomic methods and tools for analyzing and optimizing work processes, development and integration of support technologies into existing work systems, and development of exercise and training concepts.


Control centers and decision support

The Control Centers and Decision Support (LuE) research group focuses on the design of control centers, the study of ergonomic interaction concepts, research in adaptive systems and the development of assistance and decision support systems.


Information visualization and interaction

The Information Visualization and Interaction (IvI) research group focuses on the development of methods for the design of interactive information display, development and evaluation of innovative interface technologies, and visual analytics for the intuitive analysis of large, complex data sets.



  • Operations Center of the Future
  • Simulation and test environment
  • Usability laboratory
  • Laboratory for Adaptive Human-Machine Interaction
  • User status detection and diagnosis
  • Development of support/adaptation strategies 


Official bodies

  • IST-Panel Chair - NATO Science & Technology Organization: Information Systems and Technology Panel
  • NATO IST-141 - Exploratory Visual Analystics
  • Program Committee: IST-133 Specialists Meeting Visual Analytics for Cyber Security
  • IMO Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue
  • NATO HFM-259 - Human Systems Integration Approach for Cyber Security

Research project

Port surveillance on, above and below the water

Terrorist attacks, drug smuggling, white-collar crime – these are all conceivable scenarios for illegal activities that can occur at sea, on land and in the air in port areas.
As part of a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the Fraunhofer FKIE is developing a civil port surveillance system in partnership with ATLAS Elektronik and Bremenports.


Research project

Live information from burning ships

When a ship burns in port, it is a very special case, as the responsibility lies with the onshore fire brigade. For these firefighters, the countless types of ships and their different structures as well as the unique nature of waterborne operations represent rare and difficult operating conditions. Within the research project »EFAS«, a concept was developed that ensures communication and transmission of critical situational data during ship-based operations. 


Research project

Operation Center of the Future (OPZ)

There are no windows in the operations center, which lies protected in the ship's interior. In the future, however, the view from the bridge could be synthetically transmitted to a panoramic view in the OPZ. In Wachtberg this vision is already a tangible reality for visitors to the »Operation Center of the Future«.

Research focus

Adaptive Human-Machine Interaction

New technologies and increasing automation create complex human-machine systems in which both must interact smoothly. Yet critical human cognitive states can impair this interaction. In adaptive human-machine interaction, critical user states are diagnosed and the behavior of the technology is dynamically adapted to them. The goal is to support the human operator in a situation-appropriate way.


Research project

Transport of alternative fueled vehicles

A fire alarm sounds during a ferry crossing. In such a critical situation, the crew on board must initiate preliminary fire-fighting measures themselves. Increasingly, vehicles with alternative drives, such as EV or hydrogen, are among those transported. Although they are different from conventional vehicles, they are currently not recorded or given special treatment aboard ferries. To increase safety for crew, passengers and the environment, Fraunhofer FKIE developed concepts for a safe transport.

NewsHawk® – Social Media Monitoring

Digital media offer numerous advantages. They provide information, are available to everyone and also enable exchange between users. At the same time, however, they are also confusing and have their own distribution dynamics due to non-transparent algorithms. With NewsHawk®, Fraunhofer FKIE has developed an automated AI tool that supports the monitoring of social media.