About

head shot of Kathryn Woodcock, a white woman with long auburn hair, wearing apple-green jacket and top, seated infant of mauve wall with unreadable lettering
Dr. Kathryn Woodcock (photo 2019)

Dr. Kathryn Woodcock is Professor at X* University in Toronto, specializing in human factors engineering. She teaches accident theory, safety evaluation, and safety management systems in the undergraduate Occupational Health and Safety program and themed entertainment technology and design for the Master of Digital Media program in The Creative School.

Her NSERC-supported THRILL Laboratory studies applications of human factors engineering and human centred design to amusement attractions, and she serves as the faculty advisor to the interdisciplinary Ryerson Thrill Club and produces and directs the “Universal Creative Presents the Ryerson Invitational Thrill Design Competition”. 

Dr. Woodcock is a registered Professional Engineer, a Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist, IAAPA Certified Attractions Executive, and a Fellow of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists. She is a member of national and international professional societies in human factors and ergonomics and has presented and published many papers relevant to human factors, error investigation, safety inspection, amusement attractions, and accessibility, and holds a U.S. Patent.  She co-founded the Themed Experience and Attractions Academic Society and serves as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Themed Experience and Attractions Studies.

She actively participates in Advisory Councils of TSSA, and the Executive Committee of ASTM Committee F24, developing amusement ride standards, and is leading amusement accessibility initiatives, and serves on the Board of Directors of AIMS International. In addition to publishing and presenting to academic audiences, she has presented educational content to industry audiences through AIMS, NAARSO, TEA, and IAAPA conferences and various trade media, and consulted to major theme parks, event organizers, and operators in the amusement attractions industry and other industries. She was named to the Blooloop 50 Theme Park Influencer List in 2020.

A graduate of University of Waterloo and University of Toronto, Dr. Woodcock previously taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Industrial Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology (New York) and Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. Before joining Ryerson, she managed a research and policy unit in the Prevention Division of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board of Ontario, and through the 1980s, she was vice-president of a large Toronto hospital and active in the Ontario health care sector.

Her past governance and voluntary experience includes a variety of boards and councils including the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council challenged to implement the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005) from 2005-2009, the Ontario Council of Regents for Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology, the Board of Governors of Centennial College in Toronto, Ontario Service Safety Alliance, the Ontario Hospital Association/Health Care Occupational Health and Safety Association, the National Captioning Institute’s Board of Directors, the Executive Council of Association of Canadian Ergonomists, and as the first Deaf president of the Board of The Canadian Hearing Society in its 50-year history.

She has been recognized with awards for community service, advocacy, and voluntarism, including the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship and honours from professional societies and community organizations including the Safety Impact Award from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, the Citizenship Award from the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers and Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, and the Outstanding Alumni Medal from the University of Waterloo Faculty of Engineering. 

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